Thermo-hydrodynamics of an extended meniscus as unit-cell approach of pulsating heat pipe

Abstract : This work makes an attempt to explain the self-sustained thermally-induced oscillations of a two-phase system consisting of an isolated confined liquid–vapour meniscus (a single liquid plug adjoining a vapour bubble) inside a circular capillary tube, the tube length being exposed to a net temperature gradient, thereby creating a continuous cycle of evaporation and condensation. This system represents the simplest ‘unit-cell’ version of a Pulsating Heat Pipe (PHP). The fundamental understanding of its transport behavior leading to self-sustained oscillations is vital for building the hitherto non-existent mathematical models of the complete PHP system. First, visualization of the oscillations of the unit-cell has been done under controlled thermal boundary conditions. Here, a unique and novel understanding of the system dynamics has been achieved by real-time synchronization of the internal pressure measurement with high-speed videography that was used to visualize and record the meniscus oscillations and the thin liquid film that is laid on the wall when the meniscus leaves the evaporator. A numerical model was developed for the system consisting of a vapour plug and a liquid slug oscillating in a tube closed at one end and connected to a reservoir at a constant pressure at the other end. The modeling principle had been posed in previous work. Some modifications were never the less introduced in this work to take into account the peculiarities of the new experimental set-up and to improve the liquid film evaporation model in the light of the experimental results. Also a parametric study was carried out to understand the implications of the various factors on the working of such system.
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Manoj Rao. Thermo-hydrodynamics of an extended meniscus as unit-cell approach of pulsating heat pipe. Thermics [physics.class-ph]. INSA de Lyon, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ISAL0080⟩. ⟨tel-01247470⟩

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