SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Noelle Keltner
TIME: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
TITLE: Study of PocoFoam(TM) as a Heat Exchanger Element in Cryogenic Applications
COMMITTEE: Dr. S. Mostafa Ghiaasiaan, Chair (ME)
Dr. Sheldon Jeter (ME)
Dr. Prateen Desai (ME)
Dr. Akif Gurun (External - General Electric)


Superconductors present great potential for weight reduction and increased power delivery when compared to traditional copper power delivery systems, but current systems require cryogenic cooling systems. Traditional superconductor cooling systems consist of helium cooled by helical heat exchangers made of Oxygen Free High thermal Conductivity (OFHC) copper tube. The helium is cooled by bulky heat exchangers consisting of OFHC copper coils wrapped around a cryogenic cooler heat sink for heat transfer into the working fluid.

Metal foams have recently been studied in a variety of heat transfer applications, and could greatly reduce the weight of heat exchanger modules in superconductor cooling systems while simultaneously providing increased heat transfer effectiveness. Aluminum and Copper foams have been available for several years, but more recently, carbon foams, such as PocoFoam™, have been developed which have particularly good heat transfer characteristics.

Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to model a cryogenic heat exchanger application, this study examines the effectiveness and pressure drop of aluminum, copper and carbon foam heat exchangers, and compares their performance with the traditional helical coil design for superconductor cooling applications.