Previous numerical and experimental studies indicate that the high-temperature heat pipe startup process is characterized by a moving hot zone with relatively sharp fronts. Based on the above observation, a flat-front model for an approximate analytical solution is proposed. A closed-form solution related to the temperature distribution in the hot zone and the hot zone length as a function of time are obtained. The analytical results agree well with the corresponding experimental data, and provide a quick prediction method for the heat pipe startup performance. Finally, a heat pipe limitation related to the frozen startup process is identified, and an explicit criterion for the high-temperature heat pipe startup is derived. The frozen startup limit identified in this paper provides a fundamental guidance for high-temperature heat pipe design.

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