Smart shipboard thermal management

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Smart valves keep things cool for military naval battle systems

Naval weapons systems gain smart thermal management with remote oversight of redundant chilled water systems

Marotta Controls has released an advanced Automatic Source Transfer Valve (ASTV) system designed to cool shipboard combat systems computing cabinets. The ASTV is a smart thermal management system that is fully integrated with an electronic controller capable of communicating directly with shipboard mission control systems for simplified, remote utility management.

Power dissipation in large shipboard computing systems is mitigated by using circulated chilled water. Traditional chilled water systems are basic and inefficient, requiring manual monitoring and mechanical control at the site. Customers engaged Marotta to design and develop a modernized solution that would deliver benefits such as real-time, dynamic monitoring of system health and performance as well as remote control options.

Smart Water Circulation via Smart Valves

The ASTV is a three-assembly system. It includes one electronic control panel and two valve/source assemblies for redundancy purposes.

The source assembly incorporates two Marotta proportional control valves, one managing water supply and the other water return. Each valve is equipped with sensors gauging valve position, temperature and differential pressure—information used by the control panel to modulate water flow through the computing cabinets’ exchangers.

Key features and capabilities include control panel monitoring status of both sources, automatic switch to alternate/redundant source if current source becomes non-compliant, configurable parameters, manual override ability and salt/spray environmental sealing. Major components are top accessible for easy maintenance and the unit is qualified to US military standards for naval combat systems, including shock, vibration, corrosion and noise.

According to Brian Fly, Vice President of Marine Systems at Marotta Controls, the smart controller was initially developed to replace mechanical relay logic with solid-state. This system ensured proper data processing performance by remotely monitoring everything from humidity and temperature to power draw and thermals.

“We then took that methodology and added it to the chiller system to complete the modernisation of combat system thermal management. As a result, navy crews do not have to man the combat computers at their location, giving them the ability to deploy elsewhere as needed without sacrificing the timely oversight of such a crucial system.”

Jonathan Newell
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