Phase change material engine for micro air vehicle - Design and process analysis

J. Fuchs, E. Sher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In the past several years as the use of unmanned flying vehicles has increased dramatically, miniaturization has become a main line of developing systems. As vehicles have become smaller and smaller, the demand for energy and power has made the energy source and system a limiting factor by its size and weight and conventional systems such as internal combustion engines [1] and battery operated electrical motors are cutting it close to meet the specific energy and power requirements for a miniature vehicle. Lidor et al. [2] examined several energy source alternatives, including springs, flywheels, thermonuclear micro devices, artificial muscles, carbon nano-tubes, pneumatic systems, fuel cells and phase changing materials (PCM) based systems. This study focuses on the process of a proposed solution on one of the promising alternatives - the PCM based engine. The design is an open system, containing an insulated pressure tank holding the cryogenic fluid, a series of heat exchangers and a turbine. The design uses the heated working fluid itself to bring heat from the environment to the cold liquid in the tank in a controlled coupled fashion in order to sustain boiling. This paper covers analytical study of the process, evaluates its stability and offers manners of controlling and regulating it. Finally, empiric results from a test bench are brought, proving the concept and showing an actual PCM engine performance.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event57th Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences, IACAS 2017 - Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel
Duration: 15 Mar 201716 Mar 2017


Conference57th Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences, IACAS 2017
CityTel Aviv and Haifa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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