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 Introduction
 What are heat pipes?
 What are loop heat pipes?
 Basic components of loop heat pipes
 Operating principles of LHP
 Conditions for the operation of LHP
 LHP design
 Types of LHP’s
 Limitations of loop heat pipes
 Applications of LHP
 Conclusions
 References

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 The loop heat pipe (LHP) was invented in Russia in the early
 Thermal management is an important factor .All applications
generate high concentrated heat so need to control this
 The LHP is known for its high pumping capability and robust
operation because it uses fine-pored metal wicks and the
integral evaporator/hydro-accumulator design
 two-phase heat transfer devices that utilize the evaporation
and condensation of working fluid to transfer heat
 capillary forces developed in fine porous wicks to circulate
the fluid

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 Offer 100 to a 1000 times more effective thermal
conductivity than that offered by a solid copper rod.
 Hollow cylindrical channel lined with a wick structure.
 Channel evacuated and a working fluid is injected.
 One end heated so phase change of the working fluid
 Vapor flows through the hollow middle section.
 Fluid is wicked back
through the wick structure.
 Used as an efficient
heat path between a heat
source and a heat sink.

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 serious constraint on conventional heat
pipes is the reduction of transport
capabilities when condenser is located
below evaporator section in a
gravitational field.
 Loop heat pipes are the solution
 Can perform at any orientation in a
gravitational field over long distances
 Phase change from liquid to vapor
state by absorbing latent heat
 vapor is transported to the cooling sink
where it cools down and change phase
to the liquid form
 utilizes the thermodynamic pressure
difference developed between the
evaporator and condenser to circulate
a working fluid through a closed loop

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 The evaporator
 The working
 The wick or
 condenser

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Three main layers
 Top layer “ vapor chamber ”
 Middle layer “ Wick material “
 Bottom layer “compensation chamber “

Three modes of Heat

transfer in evaporator
•conducted through the walls
of the pores in axial and
lateral direction.
•heat lost in compensation
chamber by convection
•Evaporation in meniscus of
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pores. 7
 Compatibility with wick and wall materials
 Good thermal stability
 Wettability of wick and wall materials
 High latent heat
 High thermal conductivity
 Low liquid and vapor viscosities
 High surface tension
Some working fluids
 Liquid Ammonia
 Liquid Nitrogen
 Water

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function of the wicking material
•Hold the meniscus using capillary
•Surface meniscus to withstand the back
pressure effects of the gas
•Provide liquid return from
Types condenser
of wicks
•Primary wick
to evaporator primary wick will not be totally
• Secondary wick
The primary function of
secondary wick is to wet the
primary CPS wick

There are sintered ceramic or

metal wicks (nickel, titanium,
stainless steel and copper)
working fluid initially is pumped
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through the secondary wick9 into
 dual core condenser was designed
and developed
 inner core with working fluid
 outer core with cooling water
 opposite directions for efficient heat

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 Heat applied into evaporator
 liquid is vaporized and the menisci formed at the liquid/vapor interface in the
evaporator wick develop capillary forces to push the vapor through the vapor
line to the condenser
 Vapor condenses in the condenser
 the capillary forces continue to push liquid back to the evaporator
 The waste heat from the heat source provides the driving force for the
circulation of the working fluid and no external pumping power is required
 The two-phase compensation chamber stores excess liquid and controls the
operating temperature of the loop
 In order for the loop to continue to function, the wick in the evaporator must
develop a capillary pressure to overcome the total pressure drop in the loop.

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 Total pressure drop =frictional pressure of(evaporator
Total pressure drop =frictional pressure of(evaporator
grooves +vapor line +condenser +the liquid line
evaporator wick) +any static pressure drop due to
 Capillary pressure rise= 2σ cos α /R
 σ is the surface tension of the working fluid,
 R is the radius of curvature of the meniscus in the wick,
 α is the contact angle between the liquid and the wick

 The radius of curvature will continue to decrease with

increasing heat loads until it is equal to the pore radius
of the wick, Rp. Under this condition, the wick has
reached its maximum capillary pumping capability
 Total pressure drop ≤Capillary pressure rise

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 the LHP consists of sealed tubes (liquid line and evaporator line) connecting an
evaporator (heat source) with a condenser (heat sink)
 The evaporator consists of a top cap, coherent porous silicon wick (CPS) and the
compensation chamber which acts as a reservoir for the working fluid.
 The CPS wick as shown is an array of micron-range silicon dioxide capillaries
 micro machined using KOH through ordinary (100) electronic quality silicon
 main concerns in LHP is heat leak from the vapor side to the liquid side
 Ideally the pump core is always fully primed with liquid and the only heat leak is
through the wick material
 presence of two phases can arise in the core section due to heat leak.
 extra volume is provided in the form of a reservoir
 Major components of the evaporator package like top cap, CPS wick and
compensation chamber gets heated up before the water in the wick due to their
thermal capacitance.
 The CPS wick as shown an array of micron-range silicon dioxide capillaries

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 0TH generation LHP
 top-cap CPS wick and the bottom
reservoir were epoxied together
 condenser was not designed

 1ST generation LHP

 A new compensation chamber was
included in this design replacing the
bottom chamber.
 allowing the wick not to dry out
 condenser was also designed
 Quartz wool was chosen to have good
wetting properties to be a secondary wick
 secondary wick in a LHP will consist of a
reticulated structure similar to the
primary wick. The main difference will be
the larger size pores to allow for a low-
pressure drop and sufficient capillary
force to bring the liquid back to wet the
primary wick.

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 2ND generation LHP
 To avoid the thermal mismatch between the top-cap and the
compensation chamber, the top-cap was machined in Pyrex glass
 A condenser was built but was never tested as it was leaking
significantly to make any calorimetric measurements.
 Without insulation around the evaporator package the heat lost to
convection dominated the heat transfer
 3RD generation LHP
 out-gassing of the Lexan® used for the evaporator package. Thus
it was decided to use a thick piece of borosilicate 7740 (Pyrex®)
as of the back plate.
 4TH generation LHP
 A new compensation chamber was designed to use gravity to feed
the liquid back to the primary wick through the secondary wick.
 condenser which was capable to perform calorimetric calculations
was built in this generation device
 dual core condenser was designed and developed

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 The capillary limit for a silicon wick is the pressure that will break the
interface and force the interface to leave the wick. So one bad or large
pore in the wick will dominate the capillary pressure effect and will be
responsible for the vapor-liquid interface to burst through
 The sonic limit is the maximum allowable mass flow rate or heat transfer
that could choke the loop heat pipes. The vapor flow rate will choke, when
the vapor reaches the sonic speed. This could happen if the duct cross-
sectional area decreases while the working fluid is flowing in the pipe.
 The entrainment limit is the maximum allowable mass flow rate or heat
transfer rate that can be used before causing the evaporator to dry out. In
general, this could happen in a conventional heat pipe when the vapor
shear is able to carry water droplets from the liquid stream flowing back to
the condenser. This will cause less flow to go to the evaporator and dry out
the evaporator.
 Superheated liquid limit -Underneath the vapor-liquid interface a
superheated liquid exists, since the interface is separates a high-pressure
vapor and a low-pressure liquid with heat transfer across the interface.
Most interfacial studies support the assumption of no temperature jump
across the interface. Assuming no temperature jump across the interface,
one can deduct that the liquid underneath the interface has to be
superheated liquid and the evaporation process is a non-equilibrium one.

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 Aircraft thermal control applications
 Acturator-mounted electronics cooling
 Wing and cowl anti-icing using engine waste heat
 Avionics Cooling


 waste heat dissipation


More electronic packages
have to be accommodated


Used when length from evaporator to
condenser is small
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 to have an operating LHP, a buildup pressure should exist between
the top side of the evaporator and the bottom side of the evaporator
circulating working fluid from the evaporator to condenser back to
 buildup pressure depends on the operating temperature LHP design,
CPS wick, and the working fluid
 pressure-temperature gradient depends on operating temperature
and the working fluid
 less circulated mass in the LHP means either the total heat removed
decrease or the vapor temperature decrease.
 LHP with short pumping distance and large tube size is better

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