Journal of Thermal Science

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 72–81 | Cite as

Testing and Modeling of the Dynamic Response Characteristics of Pulsating Heat Pipes during the Start-up Process

  • Rongji XuEmail author
  • Hao Chen
  • Qingping Wu
  • Shuhui Xu
  • Ruixiang Wang


Pulsating heat pipes (PHPs) are two-phase heat transfer heat pipes with high heat transfer capability and simple structure. Heating power is an important factor that affects the start-up response characteristics of PHPs. The operational characteristics during the start-up and stable operating stages were studied through experiments, and the corresponding dynamic response model under a specified heating power was established based on experimental data and flow pattern in the tube. The starting time, starting temperature, and dynamic response characteristic parameters at a certain heating power were calculated by the dynamic response model. The response characteristics of working fluid during the stable operation of PHPs were deduced based on the dynamic response curve of PHPs during the non-operational and stable operation stages. The response characteristics of PHPs for the step effect (given heating power) were quantitatively described by amplification factor K and time constant τ, thereby presenting the basis for the study on heat and mass transfer mechanisms of PHPs from non-operational to steady operation stage. Results showed that the minimum thermal resistance and the minimum time constant of the PHP are approximately 0.28 °C/W and 75, respectively, obtained at a heating power of 160 W. Moreover, these results indicated that the dynamic response of PHPs demonstrates a favourable performance and rapidly reaches another stable working state when their heat transfer performance is stable. However, the dynamic response time constant of pure fluids decreases when the quantity of the liquid working fluid in the PHP decreases with the increase in heating power.


pulsating heat pipe heating power dynamic response characteristic time constant amplification factor 


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This study is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51506004), Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 3162009), Scientific Research Project of Beijing Educational Committee (Grant No. KM201410016001), Beijing Youth Top-notch Talent Support Program, Science and Technology Project of Beijing (Grant No. Z171100000517007) and Fundamental Research Fund of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (X18101).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rongji Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hao Chen
    • 1
  • Qingping Wu
    • 2
  • Shuhui Xu
    • 1
  • Ruixiang Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Beijing Engineering Research Center of Sustainable Energy and BuildingsBeijing University of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Energy and Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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