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Energies 2018, 11(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11010148

Analytical Investigation of the Heat-Transfer Limits of a Novel Solar Loop-Heat Pipe Employing a Mini-Channel Evaporator

1
School of Engineering, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
2
Department of Thermal Science and Energy Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Technologies for Buildings)
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Abstract

This paper presents an analytical investigation of heat-transfer limits of a novel solar loop-heat pipe developed for space heating and domestic hot water use. In the loop-heat pipe, the condensate liquid returns to the evaporator via small specially designed holes, using a mini-channel evaporator. The study considered the commonly known heat-transfer limits of loop-heat pipes, namely, the viscous, sonic, entrainment, boiling and heat-transfer limits due to the two-phase pressure drop in the loop. The analysis considered the main factors that affect the limits in the mini-channel evaporator: the operating temperature, mini-channel aspect ratio, evaporator length, evaporator inclination angle, evaporator-to-condenser height difference and the dimension of the holes. It was found that the entrainment is the main governing limit of the system operation. With the specified loop design and operational conditions, the solar loop-heat pipe can achieve a heat-transport capacity of 725 W. The analytical model presented in this study can be used to optimise the heat-transfer capacity of the novel solar loop-heat pipe. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar loop-heat pipe; mini-channel evaporator; solar collector; heat transfer; limit solar loop-heat pipe; mini-channel evaporator; solar collector; heat transfer; limit
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Diallo, T.M.O.; Yu, M.; Zhou, J.; Zhao, X.; Ji, J.; Hardy, D. Analytical Investigation of the Heat-Transfer Limits of a Novel Solar Loop-Heat Pipe Employing a Mini-Channel Evaporator. Energies 2018, 11, 148.

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