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Technical Paper

Effects of Gravity on Start-up and Heat Load Sharing of a Miniature Loop Heat Pipe

2007-07-09
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.
Technical Paper

Capillary Limit in a Loop Heat Pipe with a Single Evaporator

2002-07-15
2002-01-2502
This paper describes a study on the capillary limit of a loop heat pipe (LHP) at low powers. The slow thermal response of the loop at low powers makes it possible to observe interactions among various components after the capillary limit is exceeded. The capillary limit at low powers is achieved by imposing an additional pressure drop on the vapor line through the use of a metering valve. A differential pressure transducer is also used to measure the pressure drop across the evaporator and the compensation chamber (CC). Test results show that when the capillary limit is exceeded, vapor will penetrate the primary wick, resulting in an increase of the CC temperature. Because the evaporator can tolerate vapor bubbles, the LHP will continue to function and may reach a new steady state at a higher operating temperature. Thus, the LHP will exhibit a graceful degradation in performance rather than a complete failure.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Low Power Operation in a Loop Heat Pipe

2001-07-09
2001-01-2192
This paper presents test results of an experimental study of low power operation in a loop heat pipe. The main objective was to demonstrate how changes in the vapor void fraction inside the evaporator core would affect the loop behavior. The fluid inventory and the relative tilt between the evaporator and the compensation chamber were varied so as to create different vapor void fractions in the evaporator core. The effect on the loop start-up, operating temperature, and capillary limit was investigated. Test results indicate that the vapor void fraction inside the evaporator core is the single most important factor in determining the loop operation at low powers.
Technical Paper

Testing of a Loop Heat Pipe with Two Evaporators and Two Condensers

2001-07-09
2001-01-2190
Most existing loop heat pipes (LHPs) consist of one single evaporator and one single condenser. LHPs with multiple evaporators are very desirable for cooling multiple heat sources or a heat source with large thermal footprints. Extending the current LHP technology to include multiple evaporators and multiple condensers faces some challenges, including operating temperature stability, adaptability of loop operation to rapid power and sink temperature transients, and sizing of the compensation chambers (CCs). This paper describes an overview of an extensive testing program for an LHP with two evaporators and two condensers. Tests performed include start-up, power cycle, sink temperature cycle, CC temperature cycle, and capillary limit. Test results showed that the loop could be started successfully in most cases, and the operating temperature was a function of the total heat load, heat load distribution between the two evaporators, condenser sink temperature and ambient temperature.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study of the Operating Temperature in a Loop Heat Pipe with Two Evaporators and Two Condensers

2001-07-09
2001-01-2189
This paper presents a comprehensive experimental study of the loop operating temperature in a loop heat pipe (LHP) which has two parallel evaporators and two parallel condensers. In a single evaporator LHP, it is well known that the loop operating temperature is a function of the heat load, the sink temperature and the ambient temperature. The present study focuses on the stability of the loop operating temperature and parameters that affects the loop operation. Tests results show that the loop operating temperature is a function of the total system heat load, sink temperature, ambient temperature, and heat load distribution between the two evaporators. Under most conditions, only one compensation chamber (CC) contains two-phase fluid and controls the loop operating temperature, and the other CC is completely filled with liquid. Moreover, as the test condition changes, control of the loop operating temperature often shifted from one CC to another.
Technical Paper

Active Control of the Operating Temperature in a Loop Heat Pipe with Two Evaporators and Two Condensers

2001-07-09
2001-01-2188
This paper describes a test program on active control of the operating temperature in a loop heat pipe (LHP) with two evaporators and two condensers. Test results shoe that when the CCs were not actively controlled, the loop operating temperature was a function of the total heat load, heat load distribution among evaporators, condenser temperature and ambient temperature. Because of the many variables involved, the operating temperature also showed more hystereses than an LHP with a single evaporator. Tight operating temperature control can be achieved by controlling the compensation chambers (CCs) at a desired set point temperature. Temperature control was achieved by maintaining one or both CCs at the desired set point through cold biasing and external heating. Tests performed included start-up, power cycle, sink temperature cycle, CC temperature cycle, and capillary limit.
Technical Paper

Testing of A Loop Heat Pipe Subjected to Variable Accelerating Forces, Part 2: Temperature Stability

2000-07-10
2000-01-2489
Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs) are being considered for cooling of military combat vehicles and spinning spacecraft. In these applications, it is important to understand the effect of an accelerating force on the performance of LHPs. In order to investigate such an effect, a miniature LHP was installed on a spin table and subjected to variable accelerating forces by spinning the table at different angular speeds. Several patterns of accelerating forces were applied, i.e. continuous spin at different speeds and periodic spin at different speeds and frequencies. The resulting centrifugal accelerations ranged from 1.2 g's to 4.8 g's. This paper presents the second part of the experimental study, i.e. the effect of an accelerating force on the LHP operating temperature. It has been known that the LHP operating temperature under a stationary condition is a function of the evaporator power and the condenser sink temperature when the compensation temperature is not actively controlled.
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