Tubular and sector heat pipes with interconnected branches for gas turbine and/or compressor cooling

Brian D. Reding, Florida International University


Designing turbines for either aerospace or power production is a daunting task for any heat transfer scientist or engineer. Turbine designers are continuously pursuing better ways to convert the stored chemical energy in the fuel into useful work with maximum efficiency. Based on thermodynamic principles, one way to improve thermal efficiency is to increase the turbine inlet pressure and temperature. Generally, the inlet temperature may exceed the capabilities of standard materials for safe and long-life operation of the turbine. Next generation propulsion systems, whether for new supersonic transport or for improving existing aviation transport, will require more aggressive cooling system for many hot-gas-path components of the turbine. Heat pipe technology offers a possible cooling technique for the structures exposed to the high heat fluxes. Hence, the objective of this dissertation is to develop new radially rotating heat pipe systems that integrate multiple rotating miniature heat pipes with a common reservoir for a more effective and practical solution to turbine or compressor cooling. In this dissertation, two radially rotating miniature heat pipes and two sector heat pipes are analyzed and studied by utilizing suitable fluid flow and heat transfer modeling along with experimental tests. Analytical solutions for the film thickness and the lengthwise vapor temperature distribution for a single heat pipe are derived. Experimental tests on single radially rotating miniature heat pipes and sector heat pipes are undertaken with different important parameters and the manner in which these parameters affect heat pipe operation. Analytical and experimental studies have proven that the radially rotating miniature heat pipes have an incredibly high effective thermal conductance and an enormous heat transfer capability. Concurrently, the heat pipe has an uncomplicated structure and relatively low manufacturing costs. The heat pipe can also resist strong vibrations and is well suited for a high temperature environment. Hence, the heat pipes with a common reservoir make incorporation of heat pipes into turbo-machinery much more feasible and cost effective.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering

Recommended Citation

Reding, Brian D., "Tubular and sector heat pipes with interconnected branches for gas turbine and/or compressor cooling" (2013). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3608777.