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Research Papers

A Numerical Study of Flow and Temperature Maldistribution in a Parallel Microchannel System for Heat Removal in Microelectronic Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Arvind Pattamatta

e-mail: arvindp@iitm.ac.in

Sarit Kumar Das

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Madras,
Chennai 600036, India

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 29, 2012; final manuscript received May 29, 2013; published online October 3, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Mark North.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 5(4), 041008 (Oct 03, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-12-1119; doi: 10.1115/1.4024700 History: Received July 29, 2012; Revised May 29, 2013

A common assumption in basic heat exchanger design theory is that fluid is distributed uniformly at the inlet of the exchanger on each fluid side and throughout the core. However, in reality, uniform flow distribution is never achieved in a heat exchanger and is referred to as flow maldistribution. Flow maldistribution is generally well understood for the macrochannel system. But it is still unclear whether the assumptions underlying the flow distribution in conventional macrochannel heat exchangers hold good for microchannel system. In this regard, extensive numerical simulations are carried out in a “U” type parallel microchannel system in order to study flow and heat transfer maldistribution and validated with in-house experimental data. A detailed parametric analysis is carried out to characterize flow maldistribution in a microchannel system and to study the effect of geometrical factors such as number of channels, n, Area of cross section of the channel Ac, manifold cross section area Ap, and flow parameter such as Reynolds number, Re, on the pressure and temperature distribution. In order to minimize the variation in pressure and to reduce temperature hot spots in the microchannel, a response surface based surrogate approximation and a gradient based search algorithm are used to arrive at the best configuration of microchannel cooling system. A three level factorial design involving three parameters namely Ac/Ap, Re, n are considered. The results from the optimization indicate that the case of n = 7, Ac/Ap = 0.69, and Re = 100 is the best possible configuration to alleviate flow maldistribution and hotspot formation in microchannel cooling system.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

U, Z, and I flow configuration

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Fig. 2

A U-type of microchannel cooling system

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Fig. 3

Schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus

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Fig. 4

Validation of the numerical simulation (a) d = 88 μm, n = 10, Ac/Ap = 0.12, Re = 70 and (b) d = 176 μm, n = 5, Ac/Ap = 0.48, Re = 100

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Fig. 5

Comparison of local variation of pressure drop with the theoretical model (a) d = 352 μm, n = 10, Re = 100 and (b) d = 88 μm, n = 10, Re = 100

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Fig. 6

Variation of maldistribution parameter with channel size for different cases of number of channels Re = 100

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Fig. 7

Variation of maldistribution parameter with number of channels Re = 100

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Fig. 8

Variation of maldistribution parameter with Reynolds number, n = 10

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Fig. 9

Variation of Maximum temperature of the heater surface with Reynolds number

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Fig. 10

Flowchart describing the optimization methodology

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Fig. 11

Chart of Pareto optimal solutions

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Fig. 12

Comparison of x velocity contours (m/s) in the manifold between (a) reference case and (b) optimized case

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Fig. 13

Comparison of y-velocity contour (m/s) in the channels between (a) reference case and (b) optimized case

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Fig. 14

Comparison of temperature contours (K) in the channels between (a) reference case and (b) optimized case

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Fig. 15

Comparison of heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K) in the channels between (a) reference case and (b) optimized case

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