The Heat Transport Capacity of Micro Heat Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Ha, G. P. Peterson

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

J. Heat Transfer 120(4), 1064-1071 (Nov 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2825891 History: Received April 04, 1996; Revised May 29, 1998; Online December 05, 2007


The original analytical model for predicting the maximum heat transport capacity in micro heat pipes, as developed by Cotter, has been re-evaluated in light of the currently available experimental data. As is the case for most models, the original model assumed a fixed evaporator region and while it yields trends that are consistent with the experimental results, it significantly overpredicts the maximum heat transport capacity. In an effort to provide a more accurate predictive tool, a semi-empirical correlation has been developed. This modified model incorporates the effects of the temporal intrusion of the evaporating region into the adiabatic section of the heat pipe, which occurs as the heat pipe approaches dryout conditions. In so doing, the current model provides a more realistic picture of the actual physical situation. In addition to incorporating these effects, Cotter’s original expression for the liquid flow shape factor has been modified. These modifications are then incorporated into the original model and the results compared with the available experimental data. The results of this comparison indicate that the new semiempirical model significantly improves the correlation between the experimental and predicted results and more accurately represents the actual physical behavior of these devices.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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