Heat Pipes in the Magnetic-Field Environment of a Fusion Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
G. A. Carlson

Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, Calif.

M. A. Hoffman

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis, Calif.

J. Heat Transfer 94(3), 282-288 (Aug 01, 1972) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3449933 History: Received March 26, 1970; Revised December 02, 1970; Online August 11, 2010


Heat pipes have been proposed for use in environments where there are strong magnetic fields such as in controlled fusion reactors. The presence of a magnetic field can influence the performance of a heat pipe significantly, depending on the heat-pipe geometry, its orientation in the magnetic field, the heat-pipe materials and fluid properties, as well as the magnetic-field strength. A liquid-metal heat pipe, specifically designed to operate in a magnetic field, will employ a compound wick structure with the optimum liquid-flow passage size larger and the vapor flow passage proportionately smaller than for the no-magnetic-field design. The basic conclusion is that the presence of a magnetic field always results in a lower maximum heat-flux capability, but the detrimental effects of the magnetic field can be greatly reduced by using a heat-pipe geometry optimized for operation in the specific magnetic-field environment.

Copyright © 1972 by ASME
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