Design and Operation of a Heat Pipe
Burges, Rufus Thurman
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An experimental stainless steel heat pipe using water as the working fluid and 400 mesh stainless steel screen for a wick was designed and tested to determine the effect of gravity and nucleate boiling on heat pipe performance. The results of heat pipe operation at various angles of inclination in a gravity field are presented and compared with the existing theoretical predictions. The maximum heat flux obtained experimentally at angles of inclination less than 90 degrees was less than the predicted value by a factor of two or three. The maximum heat flux obtained for an angle of inclination greater than 90 degrees was much higher than that predicted. In addition, nucleate boiling noise was detected during operation at angles of inclination greater than 90 degrees. The experimental results coupled with visual examination of the pipe after operation indicate that the pipe was not performing satisfactorily. Recommendations for a better design of an experimental heat pipe are presented.
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