Thermal Management of Electrical Actuation System via Enhanced Air Circulation

Period of Performance: 09/27/2013 - 12/26/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rini Technologies, Inc.
582 South Econ Circle
Oviedo, FL 32765
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: In the proposed Phase II program, RINI will demonstrate the key attributes of a thermal management (TM) concept for High Performance Electric Actuation System (HPEAS). The TM system does not interfere with the aircraft Environment Control System (ECS) nor the aircraft Power and Thermal Management System (PTMS). The concept is based on enhanced forced convection with autonomously controlled variable speed fans. It is expected this approach can address essentially all scenarios encountered in electrical actuation of flight control surfaces. The TM system can function in a wide range of environmental temperature and pressure, and under a variable gravity situation. In the Phase I, it was demonstrated that forced convection and radiation are sufficient to transport the waste heat from the HPEAS to the bay ambient air with temperatures defined in the solicitation. Key components of the Electro-Mechanical Actuation (EMA) hardware were kept below their respective operating temperature limits for all ambient conditions. In the Phase II program, TM systems will be designed, fabricated and applied to flight quality EMA hardware in collaboration with a prime aerospace company. BENEFIT: The primary benefit of the proposed technique is to greatly increase the heat transfer effectiveness from EMAs to ambient air under various flight conditions and body force. By significantly enhancing air circulation in bays, EMAs located there can operate at much higher power without overheating. It is anticipated the proposed TM system can find application in the cooling of electric motors and generators in hybrid and electric vehicles. The technology developed can also be applied to many types of portable systems such as personal cooling systems, etc.