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Determination of Best Method for Conducting Heat: Heat Pipe vs. Solid High-Conductivity Rod
Keywords: heat pipes, heat conduction, heat pipe vs copper rod
When designing a new product, the need frequently arises to conduct heat from a high power component to an area of the unit that is cooler and can readily dissipate the heat. The question that comes up in the mind of the thermal design engineer is what technology is best for conducting the heat? The choice is usually between using a heat pipe or using a rod or bar of material made of a high conductivity metal. There are several trade-offs to consider but the most obvious ones are cost, weight and the length of the heat conduction path. This study looks at both methods of heat conduction and presents guidelines to help the thermal design engineer determine the best method of transporting heat between two points. The study shows the temperature drop results from CFD simulations for the two methods of heat conduction. The parameters that are explored are length, diameter, material conductivity and weight. Charts are presented showing the crossover points where one conduction technology outperforms the other.
Guy Wagner, Director
Electronic Cooling Solutions Inc.
Santa Clara, CA
United States


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