The thermal performance of a flat evaporator for capillary pumped loop (CPL) applications was investigated. Two to four layers of coarse wire screen wicks were placed onto the heated surface to provide irregular passages for vapor flow. The evaporator and condenser were separated by a distance of 1.2 m and were connected by individual liquid and vapor lines. The wall material was copper and the working fluid was ethanol. The experimental facility utilized a combination of capillary and gravitational forces for liquid return, and distribution over the evaporator surface. The tubing used for the vapor and liquid lines was 0.935 cm or less in diameter and heat removal from the condenser was by convection of air.

A heat flux of up to 4.9 × 104 W/m2 was applied to a flat evaporator having dimensions of 100 mm by 200 mm, 20 mm thick. The thermal resistance of the system as well as the temperature characteristics of the system was investigated as the evaporator heat flux and the condenser cooling capacity varied. The performance of the evaporator and the effect of condenser cooling capacity were analyzed and discussed.

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