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University of Parma & Calyos Paper


Gaeta, Italy


June 22, 2022

Flat-plate pulsating heat pipe for three-dimensional thermal spreader

On the 22nd of June, Naoko Iwata presented a research paper on pulsating heat pipes at the UIT International Conference in Gaeta, Italy. The paper is a collaboration between the University of Parma and Calyos and was completed over the last four Months and is part of the POTPLOS (Performance Optimisation of Two-Phase Passive Loop System) project funded by the EU Horizon program.

Calyos was responsible for design and production of the pulsating heat pipe solution. The final design was produced using 3D printing. The University of Palma undertook an extensive test campaign to fully evaluate the performance of the device.

Naoko Iwata - University of Parma
Fabio Bozzoli - University of Parma
Flavio Accorinti - Calyos
Vincent Dupont - Calyos
Antoine de Ryckel - Calyos

A common thermal management solution for miniaturized electronic devices with high heat flux values is to integrate the heat spreader and the heat sink so that the forced or free convection is promoted. Taking advantages of thin and wickless simple structure of Pulsating Heat Pipes (PHPs), several studies proposed flat-plate PHPs for this application. In most of the PHP studies, the evaporator and the condenser are located at both ends the PHP. However, in many practical cases, the PHP configuration could be different: it could be used as to spread a centrally located heat source in a three-dimensional direction, achieving high temperature uniformity in a limited space. In the present study, in order to investigate this particular configuration with the evaporator in the centre, a flat-plate PHP is proposed for spreading heat of electronic devices with high heat flux up to 50 W/cm2 and its thermal performance experimentally investigated is shown. Methanol was charged as the working fluid. As the result of changing the filling ratio, the optimum filling ratio was estimated between 59 – 39 %. The thermal performance was evaluated with in four orientations. The thermal resistance in every orientation was less than on-half of that of the empty PHP. The results shown in this work could contribute to improve thermal management of the electronics generating high-heat flux by proposing an innovative heat spreader.

This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 894750.

The paper will be available for download later this year.

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