Thermal management of pulsed loads on an all-electric ship
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The United States Navy has made a corporate decision to build future warships that are "all-electric”. As part of an effort to investigate near to far-term ship concepts, the Office of Naval Research has created a group of leading institutions called the Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium (ESRDC). As a member of the consortium, a small group at The University of Texas at Austin has focused on providing the United States Navy with simulation tools to design and study potential thermal management solutions for the future all-electric ship. The all-electric ship will employ an integrated power system, ultimately making the addition of large-scale pulsed weaponry possible. Consequently, the overarching theme of this thesis is numerical modeling of a large-scale electromagnetic railgun and its associated thermal management. First, an energy storage system, a requirement for a fully functioning integrated power system, was designed and optimized across multiple power profiles. Next, numerical models of the capacitor-based and rotating machine-based railgun systems were developed in MATLAB in order to quantify the resultant pulsed thermal loads. More detailed numerical models representing the greatest pulsed thermal load, the ohmic heating within the rails, and potential thermal management techniques were then developed. These thermal management techniques include both rail through-hole coolant passages and the use of a phase-change insert. Finally, less comprehensive representations of the rails and their associated thermal management were developed and used as custom modules within the dynamic thermal software package, ProTRAX. The resultant pulsed thermal loads, used in conjunction with a ProTRAX dynamic chiller model, simulate a potential dedicated thermal management system and act as a starting point for potential thermal management systems for the all-electric shp. The work presented in this thesis provides the first step in allowing ship designers to perform dynamic system-level thermal management analysis and investigate potential means for actively cooling critical pulsed loads.