A heat pipe is a device that used to transfer heat from one location to another by means of fluid inside it. Unlike other heat transfer devices, the heat pipe does not count on gravity for the inner liquid to travel back. It even ensures almost zero heat loss, which is why many industries and fields have relied on the application of heat pipe technology. The heat pipe was originally made for refrigeration systems, however, over the years, its use has expanded towards residences, air conditioners, transistors, aircraft, and even spacecraft.
A substantial part of the application of heat pipes is in the cooling of electronic parts like transistors and integrated circuit packages. There are 2 general ways of accomplishing this. One is by mounting the component directly onto the heat pipe, while the 2nd is mounting the component onto a plate where the heat pipes will be inserted.
Heat pipes are particularly practical when it comes to cooling laptops. Its light weight, small profile, and passive operation can match the needs of laptops. No upkeep is required and there are no moving parts, so there is absolutely nothing to break. There is additionally no risk of the fluid leaking out in case the container should break, since the fluid will most likely evaporate.
Another massive usage of heat pipe technology is in spacecraft, where it obtained most of its developments. Many of its usages involve equalizing temperature in spacecraft, cooling components and radiator design. It is even made use of as space nuclear power sources wherein it is used to remove heat from reactors and get rid of bothersome thermal gradients.
Thirdly, heat pipes are suitable devices for the conservation of energy. They are utilized for energy conversion and heat recovery systems. As the price of fuel continues to rise and the need for energy efficiency rises every day, heat pipes are being studied and enhanced so they can address these requirements more effectively than they currently do. The major applications of heat pipes in energy conservation include recovery of waste heat in a process so it can be recycled in the same process later on and heat recovery in air conditioning systems.
Apart from the above three major uses, heat pipe technology also has a number of additional uses, which differs from country to country and one scientific field to another.