Experimental study on the supercritical startup of cryogenic loop heat pipes with redundancy design

Yuandong Guo, Guiping Lin, Lizhan Bai, Xueqin Bu, Hongxing Zhang, Jiang He, Jianyin Miao, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Cryogenic loop heat pipe (CLHP) is one of the key components in the future space infrared exploration system, which enables effective and efficient cryogenic heat transport over a long distance with a flexible thermal link. To realize reliable and long life operation, a CLHP-based thermal control system with redundancy design was proposed in this work, where two nitrogen-charged CLHPs were employed to provide cryocooling at 80-100 K. This study focused on the supercritical startup of the CLHPs with redundancy design, and an extensive experimental study under four possible working modes was conducted. Experimental results showed that with 2.5 W applied to the secondary evaporator, each CLHP could realize the supercritical startup successfully in the normal working mode; however, the required time differed a lot because the difference in the transport line diameter significantly affected the cryocooling capacity to the primary evaporator. In the backup conversion mode, instant switch of the two primary evaporators may cause an operation failure, and an auxiliary operation of the secondary evaporator in advance was necessary to make the primary liquid line filled with liquid. In the malfunction conversion mode, the simulated infrared detector had to be first shut down, but the time needed for the backup CLHP to realize the supercritical startup became obviously shorter than that in the normal working mode, because the primary evaporator of the backup CLHP was always in a cryogenic state. In the dual operation mode, the two CLHPs could realize the supercritical startup simultaneously, but a temperature oscillation phenomenon was observed, which can be eliminated by increasing the heat load applied to the secondary evaporator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-363
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryogenic
  • Experiment
  • Loop heat pipe
  • Supercritical startup
  • Working mode


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental study on the supercritical startup of cryogenic loop heat pipes with redundancy design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this