A lightweight, regenerable heat absorber (RHA), developed for rejecting metabolic heat from a space suit, may also be useful on Earth for short-term cooling of heavy protective garments. Unlike prior space-suit-cooling systems, a system that includes this RHA does not vent water. The closed system contains water reservoirs, tubes through which water is circulated to absorb heat, an evaporator, and an absorber/radiator. The radiator includes a solution of LiCl contained in a porous material in titanium tubes.

The evaporator cools water that circulates through a liquid-cooled garment. Water vapor produced in the evaporator enters the radiator tubes where it is absorbed into the LiCl solution, releasing heat. Much of the heat of absorption is rejected to the environment via the radiator. After use, the RHA is regenerated by heating it to a temperature of 100 °C for about 2 hours to drive the absorbed water back to the evaporator. A system including a prototype of the RHA was found to be capable of maintaining a temperature of 20 °C while removing heat at a rate of 200 W for 6 hours.

This work was done by Michael G. Izenson and Weibo Chen of Creare Inc. for Johnson Space Center.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71
16 Great Hollow Road
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone No. (603) 643-3800
Fax No.: (603) 643-4657
URL: www.creare.com

Refer to MSC-23914-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2008 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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