Simulation of thermal processes in a flat evaporator of a copper–water loop heat pipe under uniform and concentrated heating
A 3D model has been developed for investigating heat and mass transfer in a flat evaporator of a copper–water loop heat pipe. It takes into account heat-transfer processes in the active zone, the barrier layer of the wick, the wall and the compensation chamber. The problem was solved by the finite difference method with the use of a nonuniform grid adapted to the configuration of the flat evaporator and its geometric peculiarities. Investigations have been carried out for understanding the effect of the heating zone size on heat distribution in the evaporator. The heating area was 9 cm2 with a uniform heat supply and 1 cm2 with a concentrated one. Numerical simulation has been performed for a heat load range from 20 to 1100 W. Data have shown that a decrease in the heating area at a fixed heat load results in both increasing temperature on the evaporator wall under the heater and local wick draining in the active zone. The results of the model have been verified using results of experimental tests.