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Utilization of Pore-Size Distributions to Predict Performance of Biporous Wick Evaporators

[+] Author Affiliations
Sean W. Reilly, Ivan Catton

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. HT2012-58443, pp. 1021-1029; 9 pages
  • ASME 2012 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2012 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting and the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Theory and Fundamental Research; Aerospace Heat Transfer; Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Transport Phenomena in Materials Processing and Manufacturing; Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology; Environmental Heat Transfer; Visualization of Heat Transfer; Education and Future Directions in Heat Transfer
  • Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, USA, July 8–12, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4477-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Sintered copper porous media has found many uses in the electronics cooling industry as it effectively transfers energy while maintaining low heater side temperatures. Evaporator wicks of this type transfer heat through sensible and latent heat as the liquid evaporates. A biporous wick is particularly effective for this application as there are two distinct size distributions of pores; small pores to provide ample capillary pressure in order to drive flow through the wick and large pores to provide high permeability for escaping vapor. The modeling proposed in this work was inspired by the work by Kovalev (1987), which used a pore size distribution in order to determine the most probably pore size at a given position. The model distinguishes phases by choosing a “cutoff” pore size, above which all pores were assumed to be filled with vapor and below which filled with liquid. For a given thickness and thermophysical properties of the liquid, this 1-D model predicts a temperature difference across the wick for a given input heat flux. The modeling proposed in this work was compared to experimental data collected on biporous evaporators at UCLA for validation. It is hoped that this modeling is the starting point for more extensive modeling and optimization of biporous evaporators for phase change heat transfer devices.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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