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VAPOR FLOW ASSISTED HIGH HEAT FLUX HEAT PIPE COOLING DEVICES WITH VARIABLE WICK STRUCTURES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007733D
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-17

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The apparatus and methods disclosed herein relate to cooling devices generally, and more particularly to high heat flux pipe cooling devices used to cool electrical and digital heat-producing devices.

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UNITED STATES DISCLOSURE OF TECHNOLOGY

for

 

 

VAPOR FLOW ASSISTED HIGH HEAT FLUX HEAT PIPE COOLING DEVICES WITH VARIABLE WICK STRUCTURES

Authors:

HONGBIN MA

SERI LEE

MURLI TIRUMALA

prepared by:

BLAKELY, SOKOLOFF, TAYLOR & ZAFMAN LLP

12400 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA  90026-1026

(408) 720-8300

for Publication by

VAPOR FLOW ASSISTED HIGH HEAT FLUX HEAT PIPE COOLING DEVICES WITH VARIABLE WICK STRUCTURES

INTRODUCTION

[0001]         The apparatus and methods disclosed herein relate to cooling devices generally, and more particularly to high heat flux pipe cooling devices used to cool electrical and digital heat-producing devices.

[0002]         Several drawings accompany this disclosure.  

[0003]         FIG. 1 is a simplified cross-sectional side view of a prior art cooling system.

[0004]         FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the wick shown in an uncompressed state and positioned within a base.

[0005]         FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of a wick of FIG. 2A, but shown in a compressed state such that a first thickness of the wick is different than a second thickness of the wick.

[0006]         FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a cooling device including the vapor leading tube.

[0007]         FIG. 4 is another cross-sectional view of the cooling device of FIG. 3.

[0008]         FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cooling device.

[0009]         FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional end view of the cooling device of FIG. 5.

[0010]         FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of the cooling device of FIG. 5 taken along the line A-A’.

BACKGROUND

[0011]         Electrical and digital components associated with desktop and laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDA’s), stereos, commercial power stations, and other machines produce excess heat when operated that must be dissipated in order to keep the machines’ operating temperatures within acceptable limits.  If not dissipated, the excess heat may degrade performance or render the machine temporarily or permanently inoperable.

[0012]         Cooling devices such as heat pipes are used to remove the excess heat produced by the operating machine. Conventional heat pipes are formed by encasing a coolant-filled metallic wick in a tubular case made of metal or other thermally conductive material.  In use, one end of the heat pipe is attached to a heat-producing component (or metal block coupled with the heat producing component).  The other end of the heat pipe is coupled with a plurality of fins or with a chilled solid or liquid-filled metal block.  Inside the heat pipe, coolant vaporized at the hot end propagates through the heat pipe to the other end of the heat pipe.  The vaporized coolant cools and condenses into a liquid at the cool end of the heat pipe, and the condensate is “pumped” back to the hot end of the heat pipe by capillary action of the wick.

[0013]         One shortcoming of heat pipes generally is dry-out, a serious condition, which often results in a significant temperature increase within and complete failure of the heat pipe.  Dry-out is caused when the heat flux level generated b...