Optimization of the configuration and working fluid for a micro heat pipe thermal control device
MetadataShow full item record
Continued development of highly compact and powerful electronic components has led to the need for a simple and effective method for controlling the thermal characteristics of these devices. One proposed method for thermal control involves the use of a micro heat pipe system containing a working fluid with physical properties having been speciffcally selected such that the heat pipes, as a whole, vary in effective thermal conductance, thereby providing a level of temperature regulation. To further explore this possibility, a design scenario with appropriate constraints was established and a model developed to solve for the effective thermal conductance of individual heat pipes as a function of evaporator-end temperature. From the results of this analysis, several working fluids were identified and selected from a list over thirteen hundred that were initially analyzed. Next, a thermal circuit model was developed that translated the individual heat pipe operating characteristics into the system as a whole to determine the system level effects. It was found that none of the prospective fluids could completely satisfy the established design requirements to regulate the device temperature over the entire range of operating conditions. This failure to fully satisfy design requirements was due, in large part, to the highly constrained nature of problem definition. Several fluids, however, did provide for an improved level of thermal control when compared to the unmodified design. Suggestions for improvements that may lead to enhanced levels of thermal control are offered as well as areas that are in need of further research.
Coughlin, Scott Joseph (2005). Optimization of the configuration and working fluid for a micro heat pipe thermal control device. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from