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Heat Pipe Cooling Technology and Its Potential Benefits to the LED Industry
Keywords: heat pipe, LED, vapor chamber
Two phase cooling technologies have found widespread application in the electronics industry. Heat pipes and vapor chambers have been employed for individual electronics component cooling. Components that have been cooled, but are not limited to, are CPUs, GPUs and Northbridge chips. Heat pipes and vapor chambers have successful heritage in cooling semiconductors. Most electronics industries have an implicit working knowledge of heat pipe operating principles and potential applications. This paper will supply the LED community with a thorough account on heat pipe principles. This will comprise of various aspects of heat pipe theory, structure, design, and applications. A comprehensive tutorial of heat pipes will render why they are one of the most satisfactory means of transferring heat. This paper includes a brief chronology of the heat pipes evolution. An explanation on working fluids and those fluid properties influential in heat pipe operation such as latent heat of vaporization, boiling temperatures, surface tensions, boiling point temperature and thermal conductivity will be presented along with wick structures and their impact on capillary pumping and heat flow path. These fundamentals render a basic knowledge of heat pipe technology. The paper continues to explore advantages and limitations of heat pipes. Present applications of LED cooling with heat pipes are discussed; why the applications are successful, how the heat pipe surpassed more traditional cooling technologies. This discussion also includes the thermal limitations of the LEDs and how the heat pipe or vapor chamber may minimize or eliminate these thermal obstacles. Cooling the individual LED will be expanded to study how two phase cooling may be used in large LED assemblies or arrays and even more large scale as possible thermal solutions when multiple payloads must be managed.
Doreen M. Fulmer,
Advanced Cooling Tehnologies, Inc
Lancaster, PA

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