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Research Papers: Heat Exchangers

Experimental Investigation of a Flat-Plate Closed-Loop Pulsating Heat Pipe

[+] Author and Article Information
Wessel W. Wits

Thales Netherlands,
P.O. Box 42,
Hengelo, 7550 GD, The Netherlands;
Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR),
P.O. Box 153,
Emmeloord, 8300 AD, The Netherlands;
Faculty of Engineering Technology,
University of Twente,
P.O. Box 217,
Enschede, 7500 AE, The Netherlands
e-mail: Wessel.Wits@nl.thalesgroup.com

Gerben Groeneveld

Faculty of Engineering Technology,
University of Twente,
P.O. Box 217,
Enschede, 7500 AE, The Netherlands

Henk Jan van Gerner

Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR),
P.O. Box 153,
Emmeloord, 8300 AD, The Netherlands

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received September 11, 2018; final manuscript received December 17, 2018; published online July 22, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Fabio Bozzoli.

J. Heat Transfer 141(9), 091807 (Jul 22, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1590; doi: 10.1115/1.4042367 History: Received September 11, 2018; Revised December 17, 2018

The thermal performance and operating modi of a flat-plate closed-loop pulsating heat pipe (PHP) are experimentally observed. The PHP is manufactured through computer numerical controlled milling and vacuum brazing of stainless steel 316 L. Next to a plain closed-loop PHP, also one that promotes fluid circulation through passive Tesla-type valves was developed. Each channel has a 2 × 2 mm2 square cross section, and in total, 12 parallel channels fit within the 50 × 200 mm2 effective area. During the experimental investigation, the power input was increased from 20 W to 100 W, while cooling was performed using a thermo-electric cooler (TEC) and thermostat bath. Three working fluids were assessed: water, methanol, and ammonia. The PHP was charged with a 40% filling ratio. Thermal resistances were obtained for different inclination angles. It was observed that the PHP operates well in vertical evaporator-down orientation but not horizontally. Moreover, experiments show that the minimum operating orientation is between 15 and 30 deg. Two operating modi are observed, namely, the thermosyphon modus, without excessive fluctuations, and the pulsating modus, in which both the temperature and pressure responses oscillate frequently and violently. Overall thermal resistances were determined as low as 0.15 K/W (ammonia) up to 0.28 and 0.48 K/W (water and methanol, respectively) at a power input of 100 W in the vertical evaporator-down orientation. Infrared thermography was used to visualize the working fluid behavior within the PHPs. Infrared observations correlated well with temperature and pressure measurements. The experimental results demonstrated that the developed flat-plate PHP design, suitable for high-volume production, is a promising candidate for electronics cooling applications.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

General design and working principle of PHPs [5]. Reproduced from Khandekar, S., Gautam, A.P., and Sharma, P.K., “Multiple Quasi-Steady States in a Closed Loop Pulsating Heat Pipe,” International Journal of Thermal Science, 48(3): 535–546. Copyright @ 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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Fig. 2

Figure of merit for PHP working fluid selection; (a) according to Khandekar et al. [15] and (b) according to Van Es et al. [16]

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Fig. 3

X-ray images of manufactured flat-plate PHPs; traditional (top) and with Tesla-type valves (bottom)

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Fig. 4

CAD model of PHP experimental setup

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Fig. 5

Thermocouple and pressure sensor locations

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Fig. 6

Encapsulated measurement setup

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Fig. 7

Overall thermal resistances in vertical bottom-heating configuration for three working fluids with and without Tesla-type valves

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Fig. 8

Individual thermal resistance contribution of the evaporator (left) and condenser (right) sections in the vertical bottom-heating configuration

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Fig. 9

Effective thermal conductivity in the vertical bottom-heating configuration for three working fluids with and without Tesla-type valves

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Fig. 10

Time evolution of the average evaporator temperature for ammonia (A), methanol (M), and water (W) as the working fluid in vertical bottom-heating configuration

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Fig. 11

Time evolution of the measured and saturation pressure for water as the working fluid in the vertical bottom-heating configuration

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Fig. 12

Infrared thermography during the vertical operation for the three working fluids including Tesla-type valve; (a) methanol, (b) water, (c) ammonia, and (d) infrared measurement setup

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Fig. 13

Time evolution of infrared thermal recordings of a water-charged PHP with the Tesla-type valve in the vertical orientation during start-up at 100 W power input

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