Wickless Pulsating Heatpipe Systems

REXUS Pulsating Heatpipe System developed by Aavid Thermalloy’s Italian Design Center in conjunction with the European Space Agency has been launched from the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, North Sweden. It’s one of two prototypes manufactured for the INWIP Project (Innovative Wickless Heat Pipe Systems) in order to study the behaviour of a Pulsating Heatpipe System in micro-gravity conditions.


REXUS consists of a bended aluminium tube surrounded by metal foam and inserted into a metal box filled with paraffin wax. The heat, carried by vapour bullets, flows into the metal foam, melting the paraffin wax. Tests have been carried out by installing the device on the REXUS 22 rocket which followed a parabolic trajectory up to an altitude of 90 km.

The second prototype designed and manufactured by AAVID for the INWIP Project is the ISS: a Pulsating Heatpipe System connected to 8 Peltier cells. The heat carried by vapour bullets flows inside the aluminium tube warming one side of the Peltier cells while a liquid cold plate cools the other side. The cooling system will be installed on Zero Gravity Flight, where the plane will run along 32 parables. In correspondence to each peak of each parable, the force of gravity will be balanced by the vertical traction, creating a transient state of 22 seconds of micro-gravity. During this time, the behaviour of the pulsating heatpipe will be observed.
A further aim of the research is the preparation of systematic experimentation on the Thermal Platform1 (TP1) onboard the International Space Station, investigating the performances of cooling systems with ordinary and innovative working fluids.

For further information on this exciting project or for assistance with your more down-to-earth industrial projects, contact Aavid’s Design Center at Bologna, Italy : [email protected]

About Aavid

With 50 years of product development, engineering innovation and manufacturing expertise, Aavid Thermalloy is the thermal management provider chosen by today’s leading technology companies who want to profit from Aavid’s unique capability to supply a full range of advanced thermal technologies, all supported by local design centres, global manufacturing facilities and professional sales support.Aavid provides the industry’s broadest product offering, ranging from the smallest board level cooling solution to several thousand kilowatt industrial applications. Aavid’s products are used in a wide variety of applications from personal computers to servers, broadcasting, instrumentation, medical devices, UPS, transportation, industrial applications, renewable energy to name but a few.

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