Parametric studies on pulsating heat pipe

K. Rama Narasimha (Centre for Emerging Technologies, Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College of Engineering, Bangalore, India)
S.N. Sridhara (Department of Mechanical Engineering, M.S. Ramaiah School of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India)
M.S. Rajagopal (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Oxford College of Engineering, Bangalore, India)
K.N. Seetharamu (Department of Mechanical Engineering, PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Publication date: 18 May 2010



The purpose of this paper is to present a numerical investigation on pulsating heat pipe (PHP) to study the slug velocities as a function of various parameters.


The governing equation of PHP is solved using explicit embedded Runge‐Kutta method, the Dormand–Prince pair in conjunction with MATLAB with the nomenclature 45 for the determination of displacement and the velocity of the slug.


The results show that lower fill ratio, higher diameter, higher operating temperature and higher temperature difference between evaporator and condenser for a given working fluid results in higher slug velocities, indicating higher momentum transfer and hence better heat transport.

Research limitations/implications

Under steady state conditions, the design of a PHP is facilitated through the introduction of non‐dimensional numbers.


The displacement and slug velocities for additional working fluids, namely ethanol and methanol, are determined for the first time. The behaviour of non‐dimensional numbers, i.e. Poiseuille number, capillary number and Eckert number in a PHP as a function of various parameters have been studied for the first time.



Rama Narasimha, K., Sridhara, S., Rajagopal, M. and Seetharamu, K. (2010), "Parametric studies on pulsating heat pipe", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 392-415.

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