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Heat Pipes

Notes

*5/9/2012

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Notes

A heat pipe or heat pin is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces.

At the hot interface within a heat pipe, which is typically at a very low pressure, a liquid in contact with a thermally conductive solid surface turns into a vapor by absorbing heat from that surface. The vapor condenses back into a liquid at the cold interface, releasing the latent heat. The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action or gravity action where it evaporates once more and repeats the cycle. In addition, the internal pressure of the heat pipe can be set or adjusted to facilitate the phase change depending on the demands of the working conditions of the thermally managed system.

(Wikipedia, Heat Pipes, 5/10/2012)

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In order to achieve a reduction in size and an improvement in performance of the electronic apparatuses described above, heatpipes are used for transporting heat from heat-generating sources to heat-dissipating units. Among them, capillary pumped loops/loop heat pipes (referred to CPL/LHP hereinafter) are now developed to achieve a high heat-transport capability and a reduction in size and thickness.

The basic principle of the CPL/LHP is almost the same as that of a general heatpipe; i.e. an enclosed refrigerant absorbs heat by vaporization in a vaporization unit and dissipates the heat by liquefaction in a liquefaction unit. Thus, the heat energy is transported from the vaporization unit to the liquefaction unit.

In the CPL/LHP, the liquefied refrigerant is sucked by capillary action (suction of the refrigerant by capillary force) and is transported to the vaporization unit so that the refrigerant is continuously vaporized, resulting in the continuous operation of the heatpipe.

[Tonosaki et al, US Patent 8,136,581 (3/20/2012)]

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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 5/9/2012.