Effects of Gravity on Start-up and Heat Load Sharing of a Miniature Loop Heat Pipe 2007-01-3234
This paper describes an experimental study on effects of gravity on the start-up and heat load sharing of a miniature loop heat pipe (MLHP) with two evaporators and two condensers. Each evaporator has an outer diameter of 9 mm and has its own integral compensation chamber (CC). For this experimental study, the MLHP was placed under five different configurations where the relative elevation and tilt among loop components were varied. The four well-known initial conditions between the evaporator and CC prior to the LHP start-up were created through combinations of: 1) the test configuration; 2) the method of pre-conditioning the loop prior to start-up, and 3) the heat load distribution between the evaporators. Effects of gravity on start-up transients and heat load sharing were clearly seen under otherwise the same heat load distribution and sink temperatures. An analytical model was used to simulate the MLHP transient behaviors, and the model predictions agreed very well with the experimental results.