Raymond Chow

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

George J. Nelson

Committee Member

Guangsheng Zhang

Committee Member

Bryan Mesmer


Exergy., Space stations--Thermodynamics., Life support systems (Space environment)


An exergy based analysis of the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) aboard the International Space Station is conducted. Exergy is chosen as a measure of performance because it enables performance assessment with respect to the First Law and Second Law of Thermodynamics. Exergy destruction incurred during ECLSS operation is quantified through steady state exergy balances, and exergy efficiencies are estimated for the ECLSS, key subsystems, and their constituent components. Exergy balances derived for the ECLSS, its subsystems, and their components are implemented through a MATLAB code. The results of the exergy analysis are presented in this thesis. In general, the exergy efficiency of the ECLSS system is low due to its operation near the dead state and, for certain subsystems, the necessary venting of reaction products. The Oxygen Generation Assembly is emphasized due to its large contribution to power consumption and exergy destruction in the overall system.



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