Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cho, Heejin

Committee Member

Thompson, Scott M.

Committee Member

Mago, Pedro J.

Committee Member

Luck, Rogelio

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


The development and implementation of technologies that improves Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system efficiency, including unique waste heat recovery methods, are sought while considering financial constraints and benefits. Recent studies have found that through the use of advanced waste heat recovery systems, it is possible to reduce building’s energy consumption by 30%. Oscillating heat pipes (OHP) exists as a serpentine-arranged capillary tube, possesses a desirable aerodynamic form factor, and provides for relatively high heat transfer rates via cyclic evaporation and condensation of an encapsulated working fluid with no internal wicking structure required. In last two decade, it has been extensively investigated for its potential application in thermal management of electronic devices. This dissertation focuses on the application of OHP in waste heat recovery systems. To achieve the goal, first a feasibility study is conducted by experimentally assessing a nine turn copper-made bare tube OHP in a typical HVAC ducting system with adjacent air streams at different temperatures. Second, for a prescribed temperature difference and volumetric flow rate of air, a multi-row finned OHP based Heat Recovery Ventilator (OHP-HRV) is designed and analyzed for the task of pre-conditioning the intake air. Additionally, the energy and cost savings analysis is performed specifically for the designed OHP-HRV system and potential cost benefits are demonstrated for various geographical regions within the United States. Finally, an atypically long finned OHP is experimentally investigated (F-OHP) under above prescribed operating condition. Helical fins are added to capillary size OHP tubes at a rate of 12 fins per inch (12 FPI), thereby increasing the heat transfer area by 433%. The coupled effect of fins and oscillation on the thermal performance of F-OHP is examined. Also, F-OHP’s thermal performance is compared with that of bare tube OHP of similar dimension and operating under similar condition. It was determined that OHP can be an effective waste heat recovery device in terms of operational cost, manufacturability, thermal and aerodynamic performance. Moreover, it was also determined that OHP-HRV can significantly reduce energy consumption of a commercial building, especially in the winter operation.