Experimental Investigation of the Maximum Heat Transport in Triangular Grooves

[+] Author and Article Information
H. B. Ma, G. P. Peterson

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123

J. Heat Transfer 118(3), 740-746 (Aug 01, 1996) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822694 History: Received September 14, 1995; Revised April 29, 1996; Online December 05, 2007


An experimental investigation was conducted and a test facility constructed to measure the capillary heat transport limit in small triangular grooves, similar to those used in micro heat pipes. Using methanol as the working fluid, the maximum heat transport and unit effective area heat transport were experimentally determined for ten grooved plates with varying groove widths, but identical apex angles. The experimental results indicate that there exists an optimum groove configuration, which maximizes the capillary pumping capacity while minimizing the combined effects of the capillary pumping pressure and the liquid viscous pressure losses. When compared with a previously developed analytical model, the experimental results indicate that the model can be used accurately to predict the heat transport capacity and maximum unit area heat transport when given the physical characteristics of the working fluid and the groove geometry, provided the proper heat flux distribution is known. The results of this investigation will assist in the development of micro heat pipes capable of operating at increased power levels with greater reliability.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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