Theoretical Analysis of the Maximum Heat Transport in Triangular Grooves: A Study of Idealized Micro Heat Pipes

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

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

J. Heat Transfer 118(3), 731-739 (Aug 01, 1996) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822693 History: Received July 01, 1995; Revised May 10, 1996; Online December 05, 2007


A mathematical model for predicting the minimum meniscus radius and the maximum heat transport in triangular grooves is presented. In this model, a method for determining the theoretical minimum meniscus radius was developed and used to calculate the capillary heat transport limit based on the physical characteristics and geometry of the capillary grooves. A control volume technique was employed to determine the flow characteristics of the micro heat pipe, in an effort to incorporate the size and shape of the grooves and the effects of the frictional liquid–vapor interaction. In order to compare the heat transport and flow characteristics, a hydraulic diameter, which incorporated these effects, was defined and the resulting model was solved numerically. The results indicate that the heat transport capacity of micro heat pipes is strongly dependent on the apex channel angle of the liquid arteries, the contact angle of the liquid flow, the length of the heat pipe, the vapor flow velocity and characteristics, and the tilt angle. The analysis presented here provides a mechanism whereby the groove geometry can be optimized with respect to these parameters in order to obtain the maximum heat transport capacity for micro heat pipes utilizing axial grooves as the capillary structure.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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