August 8, 2019

What is Heat Pipe Technology and How Does It Work?

The use of heat pipe technology for heat dissipation in electronic devices is an effective method when air and liquid cool thermal management solutions are not viable or effective enough.

Examples of Heat Pipe Technology

Most of the time, because of the higher cost of using heat pipe technology to cool electronic devices, heat pipes were only used in special situations such as aerospace, aviation, in audio amplification, and in situations where cooling needs to happen in a closed cabinet because of harsh environmental conditions. But in recent years, heat pipe technology has become more common in laptop computers as well as high power servers and large computers such as super computers which generate a lot of heat.

Example of heat pipe technology

How Does Heat Pipe Technology Work?

Without getting too in-depth with the math and physics involved in this process, a heat pipe is a sealed system that uses a fluid, typically water, to conduct heat from one area to another. As heat is applied to one end of the heat pipe the liquid vaporizes, which creates pressure within the pipe that pushes the vapor to a cooler section of the pipe where the heat dissipates and the liquid condenses and is pushed back again to the hot side of the pipe where the process starts all over again.

Why Heat Pipe Technology is in High Demand

Heat pipe technology is used because it is a passive means of transferring the heat generated by electronics that can be anywhere from 100 to several thousand times more efficient than using a piece of copper of the same size. In today’s world where there is a demand for lighter electronics, you can see why this cooling method has great appeal to engineers.

The area of highest demand for heat pipe technology for heat dissipation in electronics right now is in the use of notebook computers. When you combine the demand for higher processing power, longer battery life, and lighter weight notebooks, it is easy to see why heat pipe technology is the best solution. The tight spaces within the case of a typical high-end notebook computer cannot fit a standard metal heat sink that is effective enough to dissipate the heat generated by these speedy processors, and smaller, fan-cooled heat sinks requires more power and drains the battery faster. Because heat pipe technology can transfer this heat far more effectively to a larger area–in most cases this is the notebook case where the ambient air cools it.

Ready to Apply the Fantastic Efficiency of Heat Pipe Technology to Your Electronics?

When a standard heat sink design just won’t cut it, why not look into heat pipe technology? Give us a call at 888-999-8499, contact us online, or send us an email at and talk to one of our thermal management solutions specialists who will work with you to come up with the thermal management technology that will work best for your application.