Viability of Spray Cooling an Air-Cooled Condenser in a Personnel Microclimate Cooling System

Brent A. Odom, Patrick Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attaining a reasonable size and weight for a personnel microclimate cooling system for an individual person who operates away from logistical support remains a problem. This work analyzes whether spray cooling the ambient air before it cools the condenser in a small vapor compression cycle is worthwhile in terms of battery weight savings. The analysis specifies essential characteristics of each of the main components of an ideal vapor compression cycle in order to determine equations describing their expected performance. Then, a mathematical technique is used to find balance points for the model system at different ambient air temperatures. The balance points show the decrease in condensing temperature and compressor work that result from a decrease in ambient air temperature. The saved compressor work is converted to battery weight savings and compared to the weight of water required to reduce the air temperature. It is found that the potential battery weight savings do not offset the amount of cooling water required, i.e., spray cooling the air-cooled condenser should not be pursued to decrease system weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041010
JournalJournal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 17 2012


  • Condenser
  • Microclimate cooling
  • Soldier
  • Spray
  • Vapor compression cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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