Heat Pipe Basics



Obviously, a heat pipe is a heat transfer device. It combines thermal conductivity and phase transition to transfer heat between two solid interfaces. This highly efficient device provides thermal solutions to consumers across the world. Let's look at where heat pipes are used, how they benefit us and what different types are available.

Generally, there are three uses of heat pipe, including electronics cooling, aerospace, and heat exchangers.

Electronics Cooling: These pipes are used to cool transistors and high density semiconductors. These high performance components get heated very easily but the heat pipes cool them down by transmitting cold air.

Aerospace: State of the art satellites and outer space craft's use these pipes as well. Shuttles are fitted with these pipes for better air density consumption.

Heat Exchangers: Heat exchangers are generally found in factories and industrial power plants. Industries use heat pipes to transfer gas between heaters and boilers.

Then, thermosyphon, leading edge, rotating and revolving, and cryogenic are four main types of heat pipes.

Thermosyphon: This is a gravity assisted heat pipe. Gravity is used to condense water and evaporate it into vapor. The condenser is located above the evaporator in the gravity field. This helps for easy transmission of liquid.

Leading Edge: This type of heat pipe is found in automobiles. It is specially designed for modern hypersonic vehicles. It increases air intake and gives you a better driving experience.

Rotating and Revolving: These pipes provide thermal solutions through their rotating motors. They condense the returning vapor through the centrifugal force. Turbines and other electric machinery usually have these pipes.

Cryogenic: This is a low temperature heat pipe. It is very subtle and is used to cool optical instruments in space. It is a specially designed pipe that can sustain pressure even in space.

As a matter of fact, there are numerous advantages of heat pipes. One of the key benefits of these pipes is that they are excellent thermal conductors. Less temperature difference is needed to transport the heat as compared to other materials. Another thermal solution that it provides is low thermal resistance across all surfaces. Besides, these pipes can constantly condense heat and maintain a consistent level while the evaporator shuffles variable heat fluxes. What’s more, the evaporator and condenser temperature can be controlled through the effective usage of these pipes. A fixed temperature can be maintained which is ideal for heating water. In addition, the condenser and evaporator will use different areas to fit variable area spaces. High heat flux can be dissipated with low heat flux using natural convection.

In a word, these pipes provide us with endless thermal solutions. Their use in various industries has significantly improved industrial processes and saved unnecessary expenses.