Title:
Heat pipe and heat pipe structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heat pipe structure may include a plurality of heat pipes. Each heat pipe may include at least one ring arranged to form a passage through which a gas flows, and at least one globe arranged to form a wick, or capillary structure through which a fluid may flow. The at least one ring and the at least one globe may be arranged in a tube, which may connect a heat source and a heat dissipation part, and the fluid may be a working fluid for transferring heat.



Inventors:
Park, Sang-wook (Seongnam-si, KR)
Lee, Dong-ho (Seongnam-si, KR)
Baek, Joong-hyun (Suwon-si, KR)
Application Number:
11/262837
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
11/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F28D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROSATI, BRANDON MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heat pipe comprising: at least one ring forming a passage through which a gas flows; and at least one globe forming a capillary structure through which a fluid in a liquid state flows.

2. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one ring and the at least one globe are arranged in a tube, which connects a heat source and a heat dissipation part.

3. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the fluid is a working fluid for transferring heat.

4. The heat pipe of claim 2, wherein the tube is a polymer tube.

5. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein a plurality of globes are arranged to be in contact with at least one of an upper part and a lower part of the at least one ring.

6. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein a plurality of rings are arranged to at least one of continuously and laterally contact one another.

7. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the heat pipe includes a plurality of globes, which vary in diameter.

8. The heat pipe of claim 7, wherein the plurality of globes are arranged to be in contact with at least one of an upper part and a lower part of the at least one ring.

9. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one globe has a diameter of approximately 0.3 to 1, inclusive, times a diameter of the at least one ring.

10. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one ring is an oval shaped ring having a circular surface or an oval surface.

11. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one ring has a saw-like surface.

12. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one globe has a saw-like surface.

13. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the at least one globe is made of metal or polymer materials.

14. The heat pipe of claim 1, wherein the tube is laterally attached to another tube.

15. The heat pipe of claim 2, wherein the tube is sealed and decompressed.

16. A heat pipe structure comprising: a plurality of heat pipes, each of the heat pipes including, at least one ring forming a passage through which a gas flows; and at least one globe forming a capillary structure through which a fluid in a liquid state flows.

17. The heat pipe structure of claim 16, wherein the at least one ring and the the at least one globe are arranged in a tube.

18. The heat pipe structure of claim 16, wherein the fluid is a working fluid for transferring heat.

19. The heat pipe structure of claim 16, wherein, in at least one of the plurality of heat pipes, a plurality of globes are arranged to be in contact with at least one of an upper part and a lower part of the at least one ring.

20. A heat pipe structure including the heat pipe of claim 1.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This application claims the priority of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2004-0088170, filed on Nov. 2, 2004, in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Example embodiments of the present invention relate to a heat pipe and heat pipe structure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CONVENTIONAL ART

A conventional heat pipe may be used to transfer and/or dissipate heat, and may include a copper based tube or plate. A conventional heat pipe may include an evaporator, a condenser, and a heat movement part connecting the evaporator and the condenser.

The heat pipe may transfer heat by evaporation or gasification and condensation of a working fluid. As the evaporated or liquefied working fluid may be transferred through a capillary structure by, for example, capillary action, the heat may be transferred from one end of the heat pipe to the other end of the heat pipe.

A heat dissipation device or a heat sink device may be used in electronic elements generating heat such as the central processing unit (CPU) of a personal computer, using the operational principles of the heat pipe.

FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating a conventional heat pipe. Referring to FIG. 1, the conventional heat pipe may have fluid 20 sealed in a tube 10, which may be made of a metal material, such as copper. Heat may be absorbed at one end of the tube 10 and may be dissipated at the opposite end. The two ends may be separated by a partition. The heat absorption and dissipation may be performed by the process of gasification (or vaporization) and condensation of the working fluid 20, respectively. That is, the fluid 20 may be evaporated by heat and may be gathered through a wick of a capillary structure in a heat source part where the heat may be absorbed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Example embodiments of the present invention provide a heat pipe and a heat pipe structure.

In an example embodiment of the present invention, a heat pipe may include at least one ring and at least one globe. The at least one ring may form a passage through which a gas may flow, and the at least one globe may form a wick structure through which a fluid in a liquid state may flow.

In another example embodiment of the present invention, a heat pipe structure may include a heat pipe, which may further include at least one ring and at least one globe. The at least one ring may form a passage through which a gas may flow, and the at least one globe may form a wick or capillary structure through which a fluid in a liquid state may flow.

In example embodiments of the present invention, the at least one ring and the at least one globe may be arranged in a tube, which may connect a heat source and a heat dissipation part. The tube may be a polymer tube.

In example embodiments of the present invention, the fluid may be a working fluid, which may transfer heat.

In example embodiments of the present invention, a plurality of globes may be arranged to be in contact with at least one of an upper part and a lower part of the at least one ring.

In example embodiments of the present invention, a plurality of rings may be arranged to continuously and/or laterally contact one another and/or may be an oval shaped ring, which may have a circular or oval surface. The globes may have a diameter of approximately 0.3 to 1, inclusive, times the diameter of the ring, may vary in diameter, and/or may be made of metal or polymer materials. The at least one of ring and/or globe may have a harsh surface.

In example embodiments of the present invention, the tube may be laterally attached to another tube, and/or the tube may be sealed and/or decompressed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail example embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating a conventional heat pipe;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a heat pipe structure according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic cross sectional view illustrating an example embodiment of a heat pipe structure of FIG. 2 according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view illustrating a section of an example embodiment of a heat pipe structure normal to the cross section of FIG. 3 according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating an example operation of an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating an example wick or capillary structure in an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a schematic side view illustrating an example of the shape of a ring in an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a schematic perspective view illustrating an example of the shape of a ring in an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a schematic cross sectional view illustrating structures of a ring surface and a globe surface in an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention; and

FIGS. 10 through 12 are schematic views illustrating example embodiments of heat pipes according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

Example embodiments of the present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which example embodiments of the present invention are shown. Example embodiments of the present invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the example embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these example embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the specification.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a heat pipe structure 101 according to an example embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 2, in an example embodiment of the present invention, individual heat pipes 100 may be attached (e.g., laterally attached) to one another to form the heat pipe structure 101.

The heat pipe 100 may include an evaporator and a condenser. The evaporator and condenser may be similar, or substantially similar, as in the conventional heat pipe as illustrated in FIG. 1. Heat may be transferred between the evaporator and the condenser in, for example, a region such as a capsule, sealed tube, sealed container (e.g., a polymer base capsule), or any other suitable container. The heat pipe structure 101 may be, for example, a bundle of cables.

A contact part 103 may be at one end of the heat pipe structure 101, and may contact a heat source 201. The other end of the heat pipe structure 101 may be a contact part 105, which may contact a heat dissipation part 205 for dissipating heat. The heat dissipation part 205 may be, for example, a heat sink; however, the heat dissipation part 205 may be any suitable apparatus or device for dissipating heat (e.g., a computer case, a pan, or any other suitable device). The heat source 201 may be cooled by transferring heat generated at the heat source 201 to the heat dissipation part 205 through the heat pipe structure 101. The heat source 201 may be, for example, a central processing unit (CPU), however, the heat source 201 may be any device, which may produce heat, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cellular phone, etc.

The heat pipe structure 101 may be varied in shape and/or bent, for example, such that the heat pipe structure 101 may be installed in, for example, a personal computer.

The contact parts 103 and 105 may be similar, or substantially similar, to those, which may be included in a conventional heat pipe as illustrated in FIG. 1. The contact parts 103 and 105 may be comprised of conductive materials, for example, copper or a copper alloy, however, any suitable conductive material or alloy may be used. The contact parts 103 and 105 may connect a heat pipe 100 with the heat source 201 and the heat dissipation part 205, respectively.

FIG. 3 is a schematic cross sectional view illustrating an example embodiment of the heat pipe structure 101, according to the present invention. FIG. 4 is a schematic sectional view illustrating an example embodiment of the heat pipe structure 101 normal to the section of FIG. 3. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a heat pipe 100 may include capsule or tube 110 comprised of, for example, polymer materials. Rings 120 (e.g., oval shaped metallic rings), may be provided within the tube 110, and globes 130 (i.e., balls or spheres) may be provided above and/or below the rings 120. In regions where the rings 120 and the globes 130 contact one another, the contact of the rings 120 and/or globes 130 may create a wick or capillary structure in which fluid (e.g., working fluid) in a liquid state may travel. Fluid in a liquid state may travel through the wick or capillary structure, and vapor may move through inner holes 121 of the rings 120, which may result in heat transfer.

As discussed above, the heat pipe 100 may include a tube (e.g., a flexible polymer tube) 110, which may be sealed in, for example, a decompression state to form a vacuum. One or more rings 120 and one or more globes 130 may be disposed in the tube 110 and the tubes 110 may be connected, for example, as a bundle by a joint or joints 150.

The rings 120 and the globes 130 may be sealed in, for example, an enveloped state, similar to a capsule or sealed container. The rings 120 may be formed in, for example, an oval shape, may be comprised of a metallic material, and may be arranged inside the tube 110. The globes 130 (i.e., spheres or balls) may be arranged, for example, above and/or below the rings 120, and may be comprised of, for example, a metallic material. A plurality of rings 120 may be arranged, along the tube 110 such that the rings 120 may be in contact with one another. Inner holes 121 of the rings 120 may be positioned to form an inner passage. In one or more regions, globes 130 may be in contact with rings 120, globes 130 may be in contact with the globes 130, and/or rings 120 may be in contact with rings 130. As discussed above, any or all of the combinations of rings 120 and globes 130 may create, for example, a wick or capillary structure, and the wick or capillary structure may provide a capillary action. Fluid in a liquid state may travel through the wick or capillary structure, and vapor or gas may travel (e.g., freely move) through the inner holes 121 of the rings 120. The fluid and/or gas movement may result in heat transfer.

A fluid, which may be a working fluid (e.g., water, alcohol, or a combination thereof), may be injected into the tube 110. As discussed above, the tube 100 may be sealed in a decompression state, and the fluid may evaporate or gasify at a lower temperature.

Rings 120 may be arranged to contact one another (e.g., continuously and/or laterally) as shown in FIG. 3. Again, referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, globes 130 may be arranged inside the tube 110 to be in contact with the rings 120 to form the wick or capillary structure such that the fluid (e.g., working fluid) may flow in a liquid state. The globes 130 may be in contact with globes 130 and/or the rings 120 and the capillary structure may be formed in one or more contact regions to form the capillary action. The fluid (e.g., working fluid) in a liquid state may flow in the tube 110 by the force resulting from the capillary action. The globes 130 may contact the rings 120 and/or other globes 130, and the tube 110 may be varied in size, shape and/or bent.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating the operation of an example embodiment of a heat pipe according to the present invention. FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating a wick or capillary structure of an example embodiment of the heat pipe according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 5, a channel 530 of gas or vapor may be formed along the inner passage. As discussed above, the inner passage may be formed by the inner holes 121 of the rings 120, and the rings 120 may be comprised of, for example, metal. The channel 510 in which the fluid may flow may be formed by the wick or capillary structure in the contact regions among the globes 130. As shown in FIG. 6, in the regions (301 in FIG. 6) where the globes 130 contact one another, and/or where the globes 130 contact rings 120, the capillary or wick structure may be formed such that fluid 300 in a liquid state may travel via movement caused by the capillary or wick action. The inner holes 121 of the metal rings 120 may form the passage through which vapors formed by, for example, the peripheral heat source, may pass.

The rings 120 may be in contact with one another, and there may be little, or no, space between the wick or capillary structure and the passage of the vapor 530. The fluid in a liquid state may be evaporated during movement, the vapor may be absorbed into the rings 120, and the vapor may travel through the vapor channel 530.

The flow toward the heat dissipation part 205 (e.g., FIG. 2) may be within the vapor channel 530, and the fluid (e.g., in a liquid state) condensed and/or cooled in the heat dissipation part 205 may flow toward to the heat source 201, through the channel 510. The heat pipe 100 may operate in accordance with, for example, the gasification, condensation, and flow of the fluid.

Referring to FIG. 6, one or more globes 130 may be arranged at the lower side and/or the upper side of the ring 120. In example embodiments of the present invention, the globes 130 may be vertically arranged in a straight line relative to the ring 120, however, the globes may also be arranged disorderly and/or in any other suitable manner.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the rings 120 may have, for example, a donut-like oval shape, which may be solid, hollow, or a combination thereof. FIG. 7 is a schematic side view illustrating an example shape of one of the rings 120, which may be included in example embodiments of the heat pipe 100, according to the present invention. FIG. 8 is a schematic perspective view illustrating an example of the shape of one of the rings 120, which may be included in example embodiments of the heat pipe 100 according to the present invention.

The rings 120 may be comprised of any suitable thermal conductive material. Rings 120 may be arranged to contact (e.g., continuously and/or laterally) contact) one another such that the inner holes 121 of the rings 120 may form an inner passage. The inner passage formed by the inner holes 121 may be used as a passage or channel through which the gas or vapor of the fluid (e.g., working fluid) may travel.

As discussed above, the body of the ring 120 may have an oval shape having, for example, a spherical or oval surface 123 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The shape of the rings 120 may enable the rings 120 to slide (e.g., freely slide) relative to one another, maintaining contact with one another as the tube 110 may be varied in size and/or shape and/or bent. The tube 110 may be varied in size and/or shape and/or bent and the gas or vapor passage formed by the inner holes 121 may remain, for example, functional and/or continuous. The globes 130 may also be made of any suitable thermal conductive materials.

FIG. 9 is a schematic cross sectional view illustrating the surface structure of one of the rings 120 and one of the globes 130 in an example embodiment of a heat pipe 100, according to the present invention. As illustrated in FIG. 9, the surface of the globes 130 and/or the rings 120 may be harsh (e.g., serrated, jagged, notched, and/or saw-like). That is, the surface of the ring 120 and/or the globe 130 may have teeth, which, when in contact, may be interposed between one another, for example, in a complementary manner. The harsh or saw-like surface of the globe 130 and/or the ring 120 may enhance the capillary action of the wick or capillary structure, and enhance the movement of the fluid in a liquid state.

Referring to FIG. 9, in case where the surfaces 125 and 135 of the globe 130 and the ring 120, respectively, may be harsh or toothed, and the capillary structure in the contact regions may be developed. As the wick or capillary structure may develop, the fluid in a liquid state may be moved by the capillary action. The harsh or toothed surfaces 125 and 135 of the globe 130 and the ring 120, respectively, may be formed for example, using metallurgy (e.g., powder metallurgy), sintering (e.g., powder sintering), or any other suitable process.

As described above, example embodiments of the heat pipe 100 according to the present invention may be varied in shape and/or size by changing the position and/or size of the rings 120 and/or the globes 130, and/or by changing the coupling position of the heat pipes 100. FIGS. 10, 11, and 12 are schematic views illustrating example embodiments of the heat pipe 100 according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 10, example embodiments of the heat pipe 100 may include one or more rings 120 inside the tube 110 and arranging, for example, one or more globes 130 at the upper and/or lower parts of the ring 120.

Referring to FIG. 11, example embodiments of the heat pipe 100 may include one or more rings 120 in the tube 110 and a plurality of globes 131, which may vary in diameter, at the upper and/or lower parts of the rings 120. The diameter of the globes 131 may be determined based on the one or more rings 120. For example, the diameter of the globe 131 may be approximately 0.3 to 1, inclusive, times the diameter of the one or more rings 120.

Referring to FIG. 12, in another example embodiment of the heat pipe 100, a tube 111 may be attached, for example, laterally, to another tube 113. However, the tubes 111 and 113 may also be attached longitudinally or in any other suitable manner. The tubes 111 and 113 may be the same, or substantially the same, as the tube 110. Example embodiments of the heat pipe 100, as described in FIGS. 10-12, may enhance the heat transfer in the heat pipe 100 or heat pipe structure 101.

The heat pipe according to example embodiments of the present invention may transfer heat, and may be varied in, for example, size and/or shape, and/or bent. The heat pipe may comprise the globes and/or the rings, which may be in contact with one another and the tube may have a softer outside.

In example embodiments of the present invention, several heat pipes may be connected in, for example, series creating a heat pipe structure (e.g., a cable-type heat pipe structure). Example embodiments of the present invention may allow an end user to more easily install and use the heat pipe as needed. Individual heat pipes may be connected by a connection joint, although any other suitable connection may be used.

In example embodiments of the present invention, a tube may envelope or seal a heat movement part of the heat pipe in, for example, a capsule (or sealed tube) type enclosure. One or more rings may be arranged to contact with one another, one or more globes may be arranged to contact with the outside of the rings, and the heat pipe may have increased flexibility.

The passage or channel through which the vapor and/or gas flows may be formed by the arrangement of the inner holes of, for example, rings, which may be in contact (e.g., continuously contact) with one another. Globes may be may be used to produce a wick or capillary structure for the movement of the fluid in a liquid state, and the flexibility of the heat pipe may depend on the flexibility of the wick or capillary structure and/or the inner passage. Arrangements of the globes and rings, according to example embodiments of the present invention, may enhance variability in size and/or shape, and or enhanced flexibility.

In example embodiments of the present invention, the oval or egg shape, and/or the oval surfaces may allow the rings to move more freely relative to one another, and/or may enhance the wick or capillary structure.

According to example embodiments of the present invention as described above, there may be provided a heat pipe structure in, for example, a cable form which may be varied in size and/or shape, and/or bent more freely. An end user may be able to more easily install the heat pipe, for example, with less spatial restriction. This may enhance the ease of mounting the heat pipe and may more efficiently utilize the space, and the heat dissipation may also improve. The structure of the heat pipe in which the globes and the rings may be sealed by, for example, a tube may also be more easily manufactured. The heat may be dissipated through the joining of the heat source and the heat dissipation part, and the re-productivity may also be improved.

Although example embodiments of the present invention have been described with respect to a polymer capsule or tube, it will be understood that the capsule may be comprised of any suitable material.

Although example embodiments of the present invention have been described with respect to oval shaped metallic rings, it will be understood that the rings may be formed in any suitable shape and be comprised of any suitable material. For example, the rings may also be comprised of any suitable metal, polymer, or combination metal and polymer materials, and may be formed in any suitable shape, such that when the heat pipe and/or heat pipe structure may be varied in size, shape and/or bent, the inner passage may remain continuous and the globes and rings may remain in contact with one another.

Although example embodiments of the present invention have been described with respect to globes comprised of a metallic material or alloy, it will be understood that the globes may be comprised of any suitable material. For example, the globes may also be comprised of any suitable metal, polymer, or combination metal and polymer material, and may be formed in any suitable shape, such that when the heat pipe and/or heat pipe structure may be varied in size, shape and/or bent, the globes and rings may remain in contact with one another.

Although the example embodiments as described herein may illustrate various examples of structures and/or operations, it will be understood that any or all of these structures and/or operations may used alone or in combination with one another.

While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.