The concept of “more and all electric plane” has been running high in the last two decades, which will boost the extensive utilization of air-borne electrical actuators such as permanent magnet synchronous machines (PMSMs). Thus, considerable waste heat will be generated inevitably during their operation due to the incomplete energy conversion, which would be a great challenge for the conventional onboard thermal control system. It would lead to a sharp temperature rise in thermal-sensitive components of the onboard devices if the huge generated heat cannot be removed efficiently. This overheating will cause operational failures which are intolerable in aerospace applications. For the purpose of improving the current thermal protection measures and gain a higher compatibility of the current PMSM system aboard, a phase change material based (PCM-based) thermal protection strategy using commercial wax is proposed in this paper. Comparative investigation was organized to show that the temperature did drop down, demonstrating the advantages of deploying the proposed PCM-based cooling scheme. Further data processing using partial derivative to attain a relative optimal operating condition. Such method can be promoted to wider applications using PCM as a cooling medium as dimensionless study was conducted in this paper.
Keywords phase change material, thermal energy storage, heat transfer, thermal control, aerospace engineering