Conference Dates

June 22-27, 2014


Heat and mass transfer inside the porous wick of a capillary evaporator is studied using a mixed porenetwork model. The impact of the thermal conductivity of the wick on the overheating limit (defined as the difference between the maximum temperature at the top of the metallic casing and the saturated temperature), breakthrough (which occurs when the vapor reaches the wick inlet) and the parasitic heat flux lost by conduction at the entrance of the wick (which decreases the efficiency of the evaporator) is investigated. The study suggests a bilayer wick as a possible better design to optimize the performance of the evaporator. With this design, the inlet layer is of low thermal conductivity with small pore size so as to reduce the parasitic heat flux. The inlet layer also plays a role of capillary lock limiting the risk of breakthrough. The second layer, right under the metallic casing, is more conductive with a high thermal conductivity and larger pores so as to .limit the risk of overheating. It is shown that this design increases the range of heat loads which can be applied to the evaporator.