Boosting the thermal management performance of a PCM-based module using novel metallic pin fin geometries: Numerical study

A.M. Elshaer, A.M.A. Soliman, M. Kassab, A.A. Hawwash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Satellite avionics and electronic components are getting compact and have high power density. Thermal management systems are essential for their optimal operational performance and survival. Thermal management systems keep the electronic components within a safe temperature range. Phase change materials (PCMs) have high thermal capacity, so they are promising for thermal control applications. This work adopted a PCM-integrated thermal control device (TCD) to manage the small satellite subsystems under zero gravity conditions thermally. The TCD's outer dimensions were selected upon a typical small satellite subsystem. The PCM adopted was the organic PCM of RT 35. Pin fins with different geometries were adopted to boost the lower thermal conductivity of the PCM. Six-pin fins geometries were used. First, the conventional geometries were square, circular, and triangular. Second, the novel geometries were cross-shaped, I-shaped, and V-shaped fins. The fins were designed at two-volume fractions of 20% and 50%. The electronic subsystem was assumed to be "ON" for 10 min releasing 20 W of heat, and "OFF" for 80 min. The findings show a remarkable decrease in the TCD's base plate temperature by 5.7 ℃ as the fins' number changed from 15 to 80 for square fins. The results also show that the novel cross-shaped, I-shaped, and V-shaped pin fins could significantly enhance thermal performance. The cross-shaped, I-shaped, and V-shaped reported a decrease in the temperature by about 1.6%, 2.6%, and 6.6%, respectively, relative to the circular fin geometry. V-shaped fins could also increase the PCM melt fraction by 32.3%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10955
Number of pages23
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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