An experimental system of flat plate pulsating heat pipe was established and experimental research was carried out in this system to know the mechanism of heat transfer, start-up and operating characteristics. The factors, such as filling rate, heating power, heating method etc, which have great influence on the thermal performance of the plate pulsating heat pipe were discussed. The results indicate that heating power and filling rate are the important factors for the start-up of the plate pulsating heat pipe. Different filling rate needs different start-up power, and the start-up of the heat pipe in case of bottom heated is much easier than that of top heated. Increasing the heating power and enlarging the heating area can make the start-up easier. Heating power can also affect the start-up time of heat pipe under the condition of bottom heated, while it does not have some influence to the heat pipe of top heated. The thermal resistances of plate pulsating heat pipe are related with the heating power, and the higher the heating power is, the smaller the thermal resistances are. But the best filling rate which the heat pipe needs is different with different heating methods, and the performance of the heat pipe in the case of the bottom heated is better than the other.

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