Heat pipe.. DIY

I am trying to wrap my brain around why does a heat pipe not explode? I mean you are making steam inside a in closed pipe, the steam created should destroy the pipe…

I want to make a heat pipe, but I don’t want to blow myself up… I want my experiments to be fun, not hospital visits…

Demonstration of heat pipe verses standard copper pipe.


Unless you are going to experiment with high temperatures, you need not to care about bursting the pipe. Copper pipes have enough pressure margin for purpose of heat pipe in common temeprature range between 0 and 100°C. The key fact for water heat pipe is that the pressure inside heat pipe is far bellow 1 bar, so no bursting may happen unless some fool throws the pipe into flames.


Another thing for consideration is a whole system you want to build with heat pipes. For some systems, heat pipes might be the least expensive part of the whole.
For example, Allegro e-shop sell solar colector heatpipes for $10. Schlieger company, expert in heating systems sell complete solar collector system with 75 such heatpipes for $10.000. Copper tubes needed to create such a heat pipe cost on the market almost the cost of the finished pipe. So there is really narrow gap which might be fulfilled by DIY. Unless you are going to build your own specific design unavailable on the market, there is only a little justification to do this.


do you have a project for this heat pipe?

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Yeah I have a project in mind… I wanted to use the heat of diodes to transfer into a thermos. I was thinking of construing a lid with a heat pipe with the diodes all around the heat pipe to heat the water in the thermos…

I have other options, but my danger danger will Robinson signal went off in my brain because I had not traveled down this road before. When I hear that I slow down and start asking more questions of those who have been down this road.

The heat pipes in computers only have like 30 - 60 watts of heat, I don’t want to exceed what a heat pipe can do, as I don’t know that limit I don’t really want to find out the hard way.


You might try soldering up the string of diodes, cover with heat shrink tubing, and pull them through a hair pin of copper tubing. Put the tubing in the thermos bottle.

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Thanks Kent,

I have had a few ideas:

  1. Use a test tube with bora silica glass with the diodes in to transfer the heat…

  2. Put in an inner container of stainless steel and have the diodes on the outside of that held in place with thermo conductive adheisive…

3( Use a fish heater take it apart and put the diodes in side of that for the heater.

  1. put the diodes into modeling clay with silicone wire doing down to the bottome of the container with silicone wire powering them.

  2. Use a sheet of silicone and create a shroud around the container that would be pulled with small springs that would hold the diodes against the container. and then could be easily removed.

  3. Drilling out an aluminum puck in which the didoes would be inserted which the inner container could be in contact with…

This is not a high priority project, but I was just curious what is possible. with low watts and vacuum thermos.

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What kind of diodes you are talking about?
What device they are part of? Some invertor or similar?

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This paper was developed for helping people in 3rd world countries cook food.

I started searching on youtube to see if someone did it and I ran into this guy.

So, after seeing that it works 10 - 30 % better than hooking up to just a resistive wire I decided to trying it out myself… I have the diodes ordered …

Here is another video where he was doing his first tests.

These are the diodes he tested, these should get to me this week from the slow boat from China.

Bridgold 20pcs 20A10 A10 Direct Insert Silicon Diodes 20A 1000V Rectifier Diodes.


OK. Thats a plan :nerd_face:

I suppose that you aim to build cooker or hot water boiler based on that idea. For such purpose heat pipe might be very good heat transmission device, because surface ofnthe diode is quite small and you need high heat transfer.

I would try to make a prototype like this

You may solder thin copper pipe, with diameter just equal to the one of the diode, inside the bigger pipe of diameter equal little bit more than length of the diode. Fill water just above the inner pipe, heat it up to start steaming from the top and seal it. Insert diode lubricated with thermo grease and test it. It shoud work up to max temp for the diode around 200°C