heat pipes – very efficient heat transfer devices

http://www.cheresources.com/htpipes.shtml describes ‘heat pipes’ well

‘A heat pipe is a simple device that can quickly transfer heat from one point to another. They are often referred to as  “superconductors” of heat as they possess an extra ordinary heat transfer capacity and rate with almost no heat loss’

‘a heat pipe consists of a sealed aluminum or copper container whose inner surfaces have a capillary wicking material. The wick provides the capillary driving force to return the condensate to the evaporator’

heat pipe moves heat from one end to the other

here’s another definition of the heat pipe:

‘A heat pipe is a heat transfer mechanism that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces’

‘Heat pipes employ evaporative cooling to transfer thermal energy from one point to another by the evaporation and condensation of a working fluid or coolant. At the hot interface within a heat pipe, which is typically at a very low pressure, a liquid’ (and water works well at the 80-90-100 deg C temperatures we’re interested in working at) ‘in contact with a thermally conductive solid surface turns into a vapour by absorbing the heat of that surface. The vapor condenses back into a liquid at the cold interface, releasing the latent heat. The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action or gravity action where it evaporates once more and repeats the cycle’

some useful facts about heat pipes:

there are no mechanical moving parts, and no maintenance

the advantage of heat pipes over many other heat-dissipation mechanisms is their great efficiency in transferring heat

heat pipes can be made in many different shapes and sizes, including planar or flat sheet like structures

very interesting!


About Vishwa Narayan

who can live without water? drinking water for all is my goal, through Theertham, a not-for-profit organization i founded and registered in Texas. you can reach me at drvishwanarayan@yahoo.com
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