Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of a Three-Phase Oscillating Heat Pipe

[+] Author and Article Information
Tingting Hao

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Missouri–Columbia,
Columbia, MO 65201;
Liaoning Key Laboratory of Clean Utilization of Chemical Resources,
Institute of Chemical Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology,
Dalian 116024, China
e-mail: haotingting224@mail.dlut.edu.cn

Hongbin Ma

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Missouri–Columbia,
Columbia, MO 65201
e-mail: mah@missouri.edu

Xuehu Ma

Liaoning Key Laboratory of Clean Utilization of Chemical Resources,
Institute of Chemical Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology,
Dalian 116024, China
e-mail: xuehuma@dlut.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications. Manuscript received December 8, 2018; final manuscript received March 1, 2019; published online May 3, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Steve Q. Cai.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 11(6), 061006 (May 03, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1653; doi: 10.1115/1.4043090 History: Received December 08, 2018; Accepted March 04, 2019

This paper presents an investigation of a three-phase oscillating heat pipe (3P OHP). The working fluid in the OHP consists of phase change material (PCM) and water. During the operation, the PCM changes the phase between solid and liquid, and water changes phase between liquid and vapor. The OHP investigated herein contains three phases: solid, liquid, and vapor. Erythritol was selected as the PCM with an instant cooling effect when dissolved in water due to the high fusion heat of 340 J/g. When the working fluid flows into the evaporator section, the PCM solid phase of the working fluid can become liquid phase in the evaporator, and the PCM liquid phase of the working fluid become solid phase in the condenser. The effects of heat input ranging from 100 to 420 W, and the erythritol concentration ranging from 1 to 50 wt % on the slug oscillations, and the OHP thermal performance was investigated. Experimental results show that while the erythritol can help to increase the heat transfer performance of an OHP, the heat transfer performance depends on the erythritol concentration. With a range of 1–5 wt % concentration of erythritol/water mixtures, a maximum 10% increase in the thermal performance was observed. When the erythritol concentration of erythritol/water mixtures was increased to a range of 10–50 wt %, the thermal performance of OHPs was lower than pure water-filled OHP, and the thermal performance decreased as the erythritol concentration was further increased. In addition, visualization results showed that slug oscillation amplitudes and velocities were reduced in the OHPs with erythritol solution compared with water-filled OHP.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the experimental setup

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Fig. 2

Photo and exploded view of the tested oscillating heat pipe

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Fig. 3

Temperature effect on solubility of sugar alcohols and sucrose [35,39]

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Fig. 4

Viscosity of erythritol solutions at different concentrations [40]

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Fig. 5

Schematic of oscillating heat pipe with vapor–liquid–solid phase at the working stage

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Fig. 6

OHP evaporator temperature oscillation curves with a working fluid of 0–50 wt % erythritol (heat input: 260 W)

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Fig. 7

Effect of erythritol solution concentration on the slug oscillation positions in OHPs (heat input: 140 W)

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Fig. 8

Effect of erythritol solution concentration on the slug oscillation velocities in OHPs (heat input: 140 W)

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Fig. 9

Maximum positions and velocities of liquid slug oscillation with various erythritol concentration at a heat input of 140 W

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Fig. 10

Thermal resistances of OHPs with different erythritol solution concentrations



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