Heat transfer characteristics of an aluminum plate pulsating heat pipe (PHPs) were investigated experimentally. Sizes, consisting of parallel and square channels as well as different cross-sections and different number of turns were considered. Acetone was used as working fluid. The characterization had been done for various heating mode orientations, cooling conditions, and internal structures via flow visualization and thermal performance tests. The flow visualization showed that the aluminum plate PHPs can maintain the heat transfer characteristics of the liquid and the vapor slug as well as the conventional tubular PHPs. The trend of flow pattern changed from the intermittent oscillation to unidirectional circulation. It was also observed that the PHPs’ thermal performance improved as heating power increased. The gravity greatly influenced the thermal performance of plate PHPs. Increasing the cooling temperature decreased the thermal resistance of the plate PHPs. Increasing the number of turns and the area of channel cross-section improved the heat transport capability of plate PHPs for some specific scenarios. A heat sink with a plate PHP was developed for comparing with the pure metal and conventional heat pipe solutions. The result showed that the plate PHPs solution performed well, and had the potential to replace previous solutions in some cases.

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