Nonconventional Heat Pipes

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Types of Heat Pipes
  1. Two-Phase Closed Thermosyphon
  1. Capillary-Driven Heat Pipe
  1. Annular Heat Pipe
  1. Vapor Chamber
  1. Rotating Heat Pipe
  1. Gas-Loaded Heat Pipe
  1. Loop Heat Pipe
  1. Capillary Pumped Loop Heat Pipe
  1. Pulsating Heat Pipe
  1. Monogroove Heat Pipe
  1. Micro and Miniature Heat Pipes
  1. Inverted Meniscus Heat Pipe
  1. Nonconventional Heat Pipes

While the majority of heat pipes have a cylindrical or rectangular cross section, specific applications require the use of heat pipes with other geometries. Examples include heat pipe cross sections with polygonal shapes, such as micro/miniature heat pipes, or cross sections that vary along the length of the heat pipe [1][2]. An example of this latter type of cross section is shown in Fig. 1, where nosecap and leading edge heat pipes are shown schematically. Another example that standard coordinate systems, such as Cartesian or cylindrical coordinates, are not applicable is heat pipe turbine vane cooling [3] as shown in Fig. 2.

Conceptual design of a leading edge heat pipe.
Figure 1: Conceptual design of a leading edge heat pipe.

The leading edge heat pipe has been proposed to cool the leading edges of future hypersonic aircraft and reentry vehicles (Fig. 1) [4]. The heat pipe will cover the leading edges of the wings and engine nacelles, where the aerodynamic heating is the most intense. The heat will be absorbed and transported through the heat pipe to the condenser, where it will be rejected by radiation and/or convection. The extremely high heat fluxes and temperatures which will be experienced by the proposed leading edge heat pipe will make its design and manufacturing one of the most challenging design problems faced by heat pipe engineers to date.

A sketch of the heat pipe turbine vane: (a) heat pipe turbine vane cooling; (b) representative vane cross section.
Figure 2: A sketch of the heat pipe turbine vane: (a) heat pipe turbine vane cooling; (b) representative vane cross section.


  1. Faghri, A., 2012, "Review and Advances in Heat Pipe Science and Technology," Journal of Heat Transfer, 134(12), 123001.
  2. Faghri, A., 1995, Heat Pipe Science and Technology, 1st ed., Taylor & Francis, Washington, D.C.
  3. Zuo, Z. J., Faghri, A., and Langston, L., 1998, "Numerical Analysis of Heat Pipe Turbine Vane Cooling," Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 120(4), 735-743.
  4. Cao, Y., and Faghri, A., 1991, "Transient Multidimensional Analysis of Nonconventional Heat Pipes with Uniform and Nonuniform Heat Distributions," Journal of Heat Transfer, 113(4), 995-1002.