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Parametric experiments on a miniature loop heat pipe with PTFE wicks

Elsevier Masson SAS
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2014.05.016
  • Heat-Transfer Coefficient
  • Loop Heat Pipe
  • Porous Media
  • Ptfe
  • Vapor–Liquid Two-Phase Flow


Abstract A miniature loop heat pipe (LHP) with polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) wicks was fabricated and its evaporator thermal performance was investigated with parametric experiments. The variables considered were the clearance between the cylindrical evaporator casing and the wick, the working fluid inventory, the properties of the working fluids, and the sink temperature. Micro-gaps between the outer surface of the wick and inner surface of the evaporator casing were included in the experiments with variables of clearance to investigate their effect on the evaporator heat-transfer coefficient. Ethanol, acetone, and R134a were charged in the LHP to evaluate the effect of the properties of the working fluids. The LHP tests were conducted with several W/cm2 of applied heat flux to the evaporator under controlled sink temperature. The clearance seriously affected the evaporator heat-transfer coefficient, with a gap of 20 μm between the wick and casing having the best effect on the evaporator heat-transfer across a range of tested heat fluxes. The effects of the working fluid inventory and fluid properties on the evaporator heat-transfer were also clarified. Finally, the developed LHP was tested using ethanol as a working fluid under a stepwise heat load and sink temperature.

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