Heat pipes are self-contained heat pumps that can transport heat at high rates over fairly substantial distances with no external pumping power. Heat pipes are made out of aluminum or copper and are lined with a wicking material such as a ceramic or carbon fiber that provides capillary action. A liquid inside the heat pipe is heated and enters the porous wicking material, saturating the inside of the heat pipe. The gas that results from the heated liquid moves heat from the input end of the heat...
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Q & A on Heat Pipes

We asked our users for their input on Heat Pipes. Here are the results of 53 users familiar with Heat Pipes.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing heat pipe design?
6 answers
Answers:
Power electronics that require small foot print and high power density.
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Space craft, Solar panel designs and electronic component cooling.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Yes, new structures: groove, wire mesh, powder metal, fiber/spring.
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Fuel cells, radar systems, military applications in general....
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Wickless heatpipes, sintered wick structured heatpipes
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Fluid and material developments, surface improvement.
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative heat pipes?
6 answers
Answers:
DAU, Ferraz Shawmut (R-Theta Thermal Solutions)
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Maybe ENERTRON....
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Isothermics
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ
Thermacore
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Various air conditioning companies
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
U.S companies
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used heat pipes for?
15 answers
Answers:
Automotive cooling, electronics cooling, thermal storage, permafrost applications, HVAC applications, waste heat recovery, high voltage transformer cooling,combustion air preheating, dehumidification, pollution control, geothermal energy applications.
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ
Process plant applications generally in very corrosive environments, for example: Air-to-air heat recover heat exchanger part of a stainless steel pickling plant emission control system.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Medium Voltage Power conversion (Inverters)
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Cooling electrical equipment enclosures.
~Marketing/Sales, Irving, TX
Heat Recovery Steam Boiler Economiser
~Engineering, Other, Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Heat recovery, precooling, reheating
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Installing into air handling units
~General Corporate Mgmt, Logan City, Australia
Multiple different ones......
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Heat exchanger and spreader.
~Engineering, Design, Columbia, MO
Solar thermal collectors.
~Marketing/Sales, Reading, Great Britain
Experimental purposes.
~Engineering, Design, Christchurch, New Zealand
Basement freezing.
~Vasily K, Design Engineer, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Dehumidifiers
~Engineering, Design, Farnham, Great Britain
LED cooling
~Chinh P, Engineering, Design, Irvine, CA
Air/Air HEX
~Engineering, Consulting, Needham, MA

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that heat pipes have been used for.
4 answers
Answers:
I think about hot pipes with radiator inclined relative to the tube, which allows vertical flow of hot air from the corridor, using the fan. The upper end of the tube would be mounted on the latch with a pipe in which flows the refrigerant R-134a. Heat pipes should be relatively long, tube with R-134a over a suspended ceiling.
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Freeze thaw sustainable heat pipes.
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Bulk solid particles-to-air heat recovery heat pipe heat exchanger.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Air conditioning purposes.
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of heat pipes?
5 answers
Answers:
Not that I have done. I have heard other companies' designs have failed due to improper fin stack designs, as well as bending the pipes such that they affected overall performance.
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
A company misapplied heat pipes in an industrial application resulting in a serious accident.
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ
Modules over heat, too ambitious use creates non operating products.
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Yes, heat pipes explode if improper working fluid is chosen.
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Tubes filled with water in the server.
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
5 answers
Answers:
Heat pipes for recovering heat from air conditioners.
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Higher Power capability with aggressive fin stack designs.
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Better anti-gravitational heat transfer.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Properties and shapes are OK. We need ideas about the applications. For example, a rotating pipe with a snail radiator.
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Lower cost manufacturing
~Marketing/Sales, Irving, TX

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of heat pipes?
6 answers
Answers:
Ensure that the supplier is involved in the application design, mistakes are often made when the application of heat pipes is made by designers that are not fully aware of the device's benefits and operation.
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ
Proper sizing and design considerations for high altitude applications (above 10,000 feet).
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Pay attention to details, and don't assume that parameters are not important.
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Yes, the application range, the temperature, potential to be carefully chosen.
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Always ask experts.
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Read the manual.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using heat pipes?
6 answers
Answers:
Have the companies supplying the heat pipes come in to the facility and do a comprehensive 1 day seminar on all aspects of "Designing using Heat Pipes".
~Engineering Specialist, Arden, NC
Know your application well, heat loads and operating conditions are never trivial.
~Andreas E, Research & Development, Ashington, United Kingdom
Explore possibility of using heat pipes to the extent possible.
~Nethaji N, Faculty/Staff, Dharmapuri, India
Choose a qualified heat pipe supplier.
~Richard P, Design Engineer, Sparta, NJ
Good quality, not from China
~Jan C, Engineer, Plonsk, Poland
Read the manual.
~Frederik M, Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa

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