Electrohydrodynamic enhancement of extraterrestrial capilliary pumped loops for nuclear applications
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This work examines electrohydrodynamic enhancement of capillary pump loops (CPL) for use in extraterrestrial nuclear applications. A capillary pump uses capillary action through a porous wick to transport heat and mass. The capillary pump is being considered as a method to improve heat transport in extraterrestrial nuclear applications. The work consists of a literature review of electrohydrodynamics, capillary pumped loops and space type nuclear reactors. Current CPLs are assessed for their performance and several design solutions are investigated using theoretical and analytical techniques. Experimental analysis is performed on an electrohydrodynamic gas pump to determine their suitability for implementation into the vapour leg of a capillary pump loop. The results suggest the EHD gas pumps could offer improved performance and it is recommended experiments should be performed in future work with an EHD gas pump in a CPL for verification. A new design for the electrohydrodynamic evaporator is also developed for enhanced performance.