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The Effect of Initial Charge on the Steady-State Operating Performance of a Capillary Assisted Thermosyphon

[+] Author Affiliations
V. Tudor, M. Cerza, A. N. Smith

U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

C. T. Conroy

Bechtel Bettis, Inc., West Mifflin, PA

Paper No. HT2005-72323, pp. 537-542; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 Summer Heat Transfer Conference collocated with the ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems
  • Heat Transfer: Volume 4
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 17–22, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4734-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The future capabilities of naval ships will be directly related to the electronic components used in advanced radar systems, fire control systems, electric propulsion and electric weapons. Modern electronics continue to grow in speed and functionality but shrink in size and mass, causing the power density to dramatically increase. Thermal management is becoming a major issue for the modern electronic Navy. An experimental investigation on the effect of liquid charge in a capillary assisted thermosyphon (CAT) loop for the shipboard cooling of electronics components has been conducted. The employed CAT loop differs from the capillary pumped loop or loop heat pipe system, in that the basic cooling loop is based on a thermosyphon. A wick structure located on the walls of the evaporator plate provides the capillary assistance needed to spread the working fluid (i.e. water) across the flat plate evaporator in the areas under the heat sources. This differs from a capillary pumped loop in that the wick structure does not produce a significant capillary pumping head from the liquid return to the vapor outlet side of the evaporator. The forced circulation in the CAT loop is caused by a gravity head between the condenser cold plate and the flat plate evaporator. The influence of the liquid charge on the CAT loop performance was studied for a fixed sink temperature and a range of heat inputs from 250W to 1000W. The initial liquid charge was varied from 50 ml to 200 ml (i.e. 16% to 24% evaporator fill ratio). The evaporator fill ratio was defined in this study as the ratio of the initial charge to the total volume of the evaporator. The condenser cold plate cooling water flow rate was set to 63.088 ml/sec. The CAT flat plate evaporator performed very well under this range of heat inputs, sink temperature, and initial charges. The experimental results obtained indicated that as heat input and the liquid charge increased or decreased above/below an optimum value, the operating temperature in the evaporator increased. The CAT loop flow dynamics also changed as a function of the initial liquid charge. Overall these effects did not hinder the thermal performance as measured by the internal operating temperature of the evaporator. An optimal charge was observed at an evaporator fill ratio of 40% (i.e. 125ml).

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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