What are Heat Pipes?
Heat pipes are hollow metal pipes filled with a liquid coolant that moves heat by evaporating and condensing in an endless cycle. A heat pipe can be considered a passive heat pump; moving heat as a result of the laws of physics.
How do Heat Pipes work?
As the lower end of the heat pipe is exposed to heat, the coolant within it starts to evaporate thus absorbing heat. As the coolant turns into vapor, it, along with its heat load, convect within the heat pipe. The reduced molecular density forces the vaporized coolant upwards, where it is exposed to the cold end of the heat pipe. The coolant then condenses back into a liquid state, releasing the latent heat. Since the rate of condensation increases with increased delta temperatures between the vapor and heat pipe surface, the gaseous coolant automatically streams towards the coldest spot within the heat pipe. As the coolant condenses, and its molecular density increases once more, gravitational forces pull the coolant towards the lower end of the heat pipe. To aid this coolant cycle, improve its performance and make it less dependent on the orientation of the heat pipe towards Earth’s gravitational center, modern heat pipes feature inner walls with a fine capillary structure. The capillary surfaces within the heat pipe break the coolant’s surface tension, distributing it evenly throughout the structure. As soon as coolant evaporates on one end, the coolant’s surface tension automatically pulls in fresh coolant from the surrounding area. As a result of the self-organizing streams of the coolant in both phases, heat is actively convecting through heat pipes throughout the entire coolant cycle, at a rate unmatched by solid heat spreaders and heat sinks.
By adjusting its dimensions, capillary surface structure, coolant formula and internal pressure, our engineers can fine-tune our heat pipes’ performance, operating range and angle dependence to match a wide range of operation.
A heat pipe-based cooling solution usually weighs less while moving more heat at a lower delta than traditional cooling solutions, increasing components’ and products’ lifetimes and operation reliability.
Heat pipes enable passive cooling solutions for high heat load and high temperature equipment; lacking moving parts and boasting extraordinary lifetimes as a result.