A study was performed to experimentally characterize the effect of fluid loading on the heat transport performance of wicked heat pipes. In particular, experiments were performed to characterize the performance of heat pipes with insufficient fluid to saturate the wick and excess fluid for a variety of orientations. It was found that excess working fluid in the heat pipe increased the thermal resistance of the heat pipe, but increased maximum heat flux through the pipe in a horizontal orientation. The thermal performance of the heat pipe was reduced when the amount of working fluid was less than required to saturate the wick, but the maximum heat flux through the heat pipe was significantly reduced at all orientations. It was also found in this case the performance of this heat pipe deteriorated once dry-out occurred.

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