JECTC  Vol.4 No.4 , December 2014
Numerical Study of Thermal Performance of a Capillary Evaporator in a Loop Heat Pipe with Liquid-Saturated Wick
ABSTRACT
Heat transfer of a capillary evaporator in a loop heat pipe was analyzed through 3D numerical simulations to study the effects of the thermal conductivity of the wick, the contact area between the casing and the wick, and the subcooling in the compensation chamber (CC) on the thermal performance of the evaporator. A pore network model with a distribution of pore radii was used to simulate liquid flow in the porous structure of the wick. To obtain high accuracy, fine meshes were used at the boundaries among the casing, the wick, and the grooves. Distributions of temperature, pressure, and mass flow rate were compared for polytetra-fluoroethylene (PTFE) and stainless steel wicks. The thermal conductivity of the wick and the contact area between the casing and the wick significantly impacted thermal performance of the evaporator heat-transfer coefficient and the heat leak to the CC. The 3D analysis provided highly accurate values for the heat leak; in some cases, the heat leaks of PTFE and stainless steel wicks showed little differences. In general, the heat flux is concentrated at the boundaries between the casing, the wick, and the grooves; therefore, thermal performance can be optimized by increasing the length of the boundary.

Cite this paper
Nishikawara, M. , Nagano, H. , Mottet, L. and Prat, M. (2014) Numerical Study of Thermal Performance of a Capillary Evaporator in a Loop Heat Pipe with Liquid-Saturated Wick. Journal of Electronics Cooling and Thermal Control, 4, 118-127. doi: 10.4236/jectc.2014.44013.
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