How effective are heat pipes?


I see that most heat pipes use water inside, but water boils at 100C. Suppose the heat source generates 60C heat. How effective would heat pipes be? Water vapour won't come in play for heat transfer - right? Will it mostly be the copper tube that's transferring the heat (rather than hot water vapour)?

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More about effective heat pipes
  1. i believe the water/liquid in there is put in under low pressure so the boiling point comes down
  2. and the inside of the heat pipes are sintered to give a wick effect so you vapourise the liquid and it condenses and gets drawn back by capillary action
  3. there is a liquid with a very low boiling point, it boils and cools the cpu, the vapor goes to the far end and condenses and the liquid goes to the other end, rinse, repeat. the pressure of the liquid expanding and contracting is what drives the circulation. like mcnumpty said in science talk
  4. Best answer
    its actually a very efficient non mechanical heat pump even though only a tiny amount of liquid is used

    the low pressure boiling is common knowledge to mountaineers--its hard to make a decent cup of tea at high altitude because the water boils at too low a temperature

    some foods have specific cooking instructions for mountaineers because of this
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