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What is heat pipe?

2017/10/4 19:01:20 Viewers:

The principle behind heat pipe's operation is actually very simple.

At sea level water boils at 100oC (212oF), but if you climb to the top of a mountain the boiling temperature will be less that 100oC (212oF). This is due to the difference in air pressure.



Based on this principle of water boiling at a lower temperature with decreased air pressure, by evacuating the heat pipe, we can achieve the same result. The heat pipes used in  solar collectors have a boiling point of only 30oC (86oF). So when the heat pipe is heated above 30oC (86oF) the water vaporizes. This va pour rapidly rises to the top of the heat pipe transferring heat. As the heat is lost at the condenser (top), the va pour condenses to form a liquid (water) and returns to the bottom of the heat pipe to once again repeat the process.

When the heat pipe is shaken, the ball of water can be heard rattling inside. Although it is just water, it sounds like a piece of metal rattling inside.

Even though the heat pipe is a vacuum and the boiling point has been reduced to only 25-30oC (86oF), the freezing point is still the same as water at sea level, 0oC (32oF). Because the heat pipe is located within the evacuated glass tube, brief overnight temperatures as low as -20oC (14oF) will not cause the heat pipe to freeze. Plain water heat pipes will be damaged by repeated freezing. The water used in the heat pipes still freezes in cold conditions, but it freezes in a controlled way that does not cause swelling of the copper pipe.