Through the application of thin film evaporation theory and the fundamental operating principles of heat pipes, a hybrid axial groove has been developed that can greatly enhance the performance characteristics of conventional heat pipes. This hybrid axial groove is composed of a V-shaped channel connected with a circular channel through a very narrow longitudinal slot. During the operation, the V-shaped channel can provide high capillary pressure to drive the fluid flow and still maintain a large evaporative heat transfer coefficient. The large circular channel serves as the main path for the condensate return from the condenser to the evaporator and results in a very low flow resistance. The combination of a high evaporative heat transfer coefficient and a low flow resistance results in considerable enhancement in the heat transport capability of conventional heat pipes. In the present work, a detailed mathematical model for the evaporative heat transfer of a single groove has been established based on the conservation principles for mass, momentum and energy, and the modeling results quantitatively verify that this particular configuration has an enhanced evaporative heat transfer performance compared with that of conventional rectangular groove, due to the considerable reduction in the liquid film thickness and a corresponding increase in the evaporative heat transfer area in both the evaporating liquid film region and the meniscus region.

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