Small-Sized Pulsating Heat Pipes/Oscillating Heat Pipes with Low Thermal Resistance and High Heat Transport Capability
Electronics (particularly power electronics) are the core element in many energy-related applications. Due to the increasing power density of electronic parts, the demands on thermal management solutions have risen considerably. As a novel passive and highly efficient cooling technology, pulsating heat pipes (PHPs) can transfer heat away from critical hotspots. In this work, we present two types of small and compact PHPs with footprints of 50 × 100 mm2, thicknesses of 2 and 2.5 mm and with high fluid channel density, optimized for cooling electronic parts with high power densities. The characterization of these PHPs was carried out with a strong relation to practical applications, revealing excellent thermal properties. The thermal resistance was found to be up to 90% lower than that of a comparable solid copper plate. Thus, a hot part with defined heating power would remain at a much lower temperature level and, for the same heater temperature, a much larger heating power could be applied. Moreover, the dependence of PHP operation and thermal properties on water and air cooling, condenser area size and orientation is examined. Under some test configurations, dryout conditions are observed which could be avoided by choosing an appropriate size for the fluid channels, heater and condenser.