Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Yitung Chen

Second Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Third Committee Member

Hui Zhao

Fourth Committee Member

Yingtao Jiang

Fifth Committee Member

Jian Ma

Number of Pages



A heat-pipe radiator element has been designed and modeled to study the efficiency of heat transfer for low and no gravity environments, like in lunar environments. The advantages of using heat pipe includes the significant weight reducing and heat transfer efficiency. The heat transfer can be enhanced by the use of condenser sections with attached fins.

A series of various geometries of solid fins and heat pipes with and without fins were modeled using FLUENT®. This was done to determine the validity of using a heat pipe in lieu of a solid fin projection. A heat pipe had a 25 mm outer diameter, 23 mm inner diameter, 25 mm wide fin. The heat pipe with fin was 300 mm in length. Using the power output per unit area and power output per unit mass, to verify that a design heat pipe was the best selection for a lunar radiator system. Then, heat pipes with various fin widths were modeled using FLUENT® and their power outputs were analyzed as a function of radiation surface area and mass.

The parametric study returned the expected results that the heat pipe provided the highest power output for both the mass and radiation area. The fin width study was used to determine the fin size that provided the most power output per unit mass. This showed an optimum fin width of 12.5 mm.


Energy consumption; Heat – Transmission; Heating-pipes; Lunar Heat Transfer; Radiation Heat Transfer; Reduced gravity environments


Energy Systems | Engineering | Heat Transfer, Combustion

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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