Pulsating Heat Pipes (PHP) are promising and effective passive two-phase heat transfer devices in terms of high heat transfer capability, efficient thermal control, adaptability and low cost and therefore they have been extensively studied in the last years. Many authors have estimated the heat fluxes at the evaporator and at the condenser area only in terms of the average values based on first principle considerations. In the present study the application of an inverse analysis technique to experimental infrared temperature data is proposed to investigate the local convective heat flux for forced convection flow inside these devices along the adiabatic zone. A PHP specifically designed to be hosted on board the heat transfer host of the International Space Station was tested in microgravity during the 67th Parabolic Flight Campaign organized by the European Space Agency. The device consists of an aluminium tube closed in a loop with 14 turns in the evaporator section, 3 mm inner diameter, half filled with FC-72 fluid. The external temperatures of the device are measured in the adiabatic zone with a high-speed infrared camera (50 Hz, 1280x1024 pixels). The images are thereafter post-processed and adopted as input data for the solution of the inverse heat conduction problem in the pipe wall (Tikhonov regularisation method) to extrapolate time-varying local heat fluxes on the tube internal surface in contact with the fluid.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
support through the grant EP/P013112/1 as well as the ESA MAP Project INWIP and ESA MAP Project TOPDESS.
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