Renewable Energy, Vol.146, 2234-2242, 2020
Thermal performance enhancement of micro-grooved aluminum flat plate heat pipes applied in solar collectors
Micro-grooved aluminum flat plate heat pipes (MFPHPs), fabricated by hot extrusion and subsequent inner surface treatment via chemical corrosion, were developed to improve the thermal efficiency and reduce the costs of solar collectors. Thermal performances of MFPHPs, including temperature distribution, maximum heat transfer capability, and thermal resistance, were experimentally conducted. The effects of treatment time and solution concentration on the thermal performance enhancement of MFPHPs were also investigated. The experimental results show that inner surface treatment can substantially enhance the thermal performance of MFPHPs, and different treatment morphologies of inner surfaces result in differences in thermal performance enhancement. The optimal treatment parameters were determined to be a treatment time of 10 min with a solution concentration of 1.5 moL/l. This resulted in the optimal thermal performance enhancement: an increase of approximately 80% in heat transfer capability and a decrease of more than 44% in thermal resistance, compared to the untreated MFPHP. This study provides a convenient, effective, and low-cost method to enhance the thermal performance of MFPHPs applied in solar collectors. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.