Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Clair Batty


Flat plate heat pipes are very efficient passive two-phase heat transport devices. Their high e'ciency and low mass are desirable in the aerospace and electronics industries. The highly competitive nature of the thermal management industry results in little awareness of the capabilities of at plate heat pipes, which has resulted in only a few applications of the technology. In the year 2000 a research and development project sponsored by Space Dynamics Laboratory was launched to investigate building carbon-based at heat pipes. The at conguration is desireable to incorporate many components onto one thermal management system. Development led to the adoption of the term "Channel Panel" because of the orthogonal grid of channels used as the capillary structure. Work to date has veried the utility and basic function of this technology but has not resulted in a standard method for the design and fabrication of channel panels. This study investigates and evaluates currently available and relevent models useful for the design of channel panels, investigates issues with fabrication, and makes suggestions for future development. Shallow pool boiling is shown to be an appropriate model for the critical heat ux of boiling in at plate heat pipes and provides a means for estimating the convective heat transfer coe'cient. Previous work by Neal Hubbard is modied and shown to accurately couple the geometry and operating limits of a channel panel. Experiments verify the analytical predictions of these models. Issues in the fabrication of channel panels are reported as well as standard procedures for cleaning and lling. The nal result is a standard method for the initial design phase of channel panel at plate heat pipes.