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Performance of Glass Heat Pipes for Solar Thermoelectric Energy Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Nenad Miljkovic, Evelyn N. Wang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. IHTC14-22816, pp. 547-556; 10 pages
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Volume 7
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 8–13, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4942-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3879-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The development of high performance thermal management strategies offers opportunities to increase energy conversion efficiencies for solar thermoelectric systems. In particular, heat pipes and two-phase thermosyphons have received increased interest due to their ability to passively and efficiently transport heat using liquid phase-change. However, the high manufacturing and materials costs limit the broad utilization of such cooling solutions. In this work, we investigate heat pipe designs using glass where the manufacturing methods can be inexpensive for solar thermoelectric systems. We developed an analytical model based on dimensionless thermal resistances that determines how material properties, geometry, scaling and solar concentration affect heat transfer performance. We simultaneously investigated the feasibility of three realistic heat pipe solar thermoelectric systems. The results from the work offer design guidelines for the development of high performance, low cost heat pipes for solar thermoelectric systems.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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