Abstract

The thermal and capillary performance of a groove-enhanced, or “microchannel-embedded,” flat-plate oscillating heat pipe (MC FP-OHP) was experimentally investigated while varying heating width, orientation, working fluid and operating temperature. The copper MC FP-OHP possessed two layers of 1.02 × 1.02 mm2 square channels, with the center 14 channels possessing two embedded microchannels (0.25 × 0.13 mm2) aligned coaxially with the primary minichannels. A FP-OHP without embedded microchannels, but with deeper minichannels (DC FP-OHP), was also tested for comparison. The FP-OHPs were filled with Novec 7200 or water (both at 80% ± 2% by volume), and the heating widths were varied between full-width and localized configurations: 38.71 cm2 and 14.52 cm2, respectively. Experimental results demonstrate that the MC FP-OHP is significantly less sensitive to operating orientation and can perform with less detriment as heat flux increases. The MC FP-OHP has a lower startup heating requirement and provides more fluid wetting along the FP-OHP structure—which is advantageous for pumping liquid from the evaporator to the condenser. The MC FP-OHP has enhanced convective heat transfer during operation, as it was observed to have similar or lower thermal resistances to that of the DC FP-OHP for a wide range of operating conditions. The groove-enhanced minichannel within the MC FP-OHP also provides for enhanced heat transfer because there being more thin-film evaporation sites and vapor–liquid mixing between the minichannel and microchannels.

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