SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Heat Pipes Explained

Article by Lauren McGarry on Feb 01, 2023

Heat Pipe is a feature available in the SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Electronic Cooling module that, as its name suggests, simulates heat pipes. Heat pipes efficiently transfer heat from a hotter surface to a colder surface using the principles of phase transition and conductivity. 

Solid Heat Pipe Part in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Figure 1: Solid heat pipe part

In SOLIDWORKS, heat pipes, as defined by the Heat Pipe feature, are solid components for which the heat conduction through them is determined by an Effect Thermal Resistance value set by the analyst. 

GoEngineer YouTube Video SOLIDWORKS - Flow Simulation, Using Heat Pipes This article is a companion to this SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial video.

Adding a Heat Pipe to your Flow Simulation Study

In order to define a heat pipe in a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation project, check the box for Conduction in the Analysis Type tab of the General Settings dialog. 

Analysis Type Tab of General Settings Dialog in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Figure 2: Analysis type tab of General Settings dialog

To insert a heat pipe, go to Tools Flow Simulation > Insert Heat Pipe. You can also find Heat Pipes listed under the Sources button in your Flow Simulation CommandManager tab.

Sources Dropdown in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation CommandManager Tab with Heat Pipe Selected

Figure 3: Sources dropdown in Flow Simulation CommandManager tab

If you’re planning to use the Heat Pipe feature frequently, you may want to add it as a line item to your Flow Simulation tree. To do this, right-click the name of your project and select Customize Tree. A list will appear from which you can toggle on and off different line items. With Heat Pipes listed in your tree, right-click it and select Insert Heat Pipe to create one.   

In the first selection box in the Heat Pipe PropertyManager, select the component that will be acting as a heat pipe. 

The next selection box is for the Heat In in faces. 

In the third selection box, specify Heat Out faces.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Heat Pipe PropertyManager

Figure 4: Heat Pipe PropertyManager

The final step is to enter the Effective Thermal Resistance factor - something that the analyst setting up the project needs to bring to the table. You can typically obtain this value from the manufacturer of your heat pipe or through experimentation. With your heat pipe defined, continue with setting up and running your study.

Flow Simulation Training 

Want to become an expert? Consider sharpening your skills by taking the official SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Training course. Both in-person and online options are available. 

Take the Official SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Training Course from GoEngineer

More SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Tutorials

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SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation FEA Load Transfer: Setup, Results, & Static Study

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Recirculating System Scenario

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Design of Experiments and Optimization Study

Fastest Way to Cool a Hot Dog: SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Study



About Lauren McGarry

Lauren McGarry is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert based out of San Diego, California. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University and has been with GoEngineer as a Technical Support Engineer since 2016.

View all posts by Lauren McGarry