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Research Papers

Compact Gravity Driven and Capillary-Sized Thermosyphon Loop for Power Electronics Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
Francesco Agostini

ABB Switzerland Ltd.,
Corporate Research,
Baden-Dättwil CH-5405, Switzerland
e-mail: francesco.agostini@ch.abb.com

Thomas Gradinger, Didier Cottet

ABB Switzerland Ltd.,
Corporate Research,
Baden-Dättwil CH-5405, Switzerland

Manuscript received July 24, 2013; final manuscript received November 25, 2013; published online January 31, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Mehmet Arik.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(3), 031003 (Jan 31, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1121; doi: 10.1115/1.4026184 History: Received July 24, 2013; Revised November 25, 2013

A novel two-phase thermosyphon based on automotive technology is presented as a valid solution for the cooling of power-electronic semiconductor modules. A horizontal evaporator configuration is investigated. This solution is based on a 90 deg-shaped thermosyphon that allows an optimal geometrical arrangement of the cooler with limited volume occupancy, reduced air pressure drop, and weight as well as optimal thermal performance compared with standard heat-sink technology. The 90 deg-shape refers to the mutual arrangement of the evaporator body and the condenser, which are in a horizontal and vertical position, respectively. The evaporator cools three power modules with a total power loss between 500 and 1500 W. Experimental results are presented for inlet air temperatures ranging from 20 to 50 °C and for different air volume flow rates between 200 and 400 m3/h. The working fluid is refrigerant R245fa. The maximum thermal resistance (cooler base to air) attained values between 40 and 50 K/kW.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Thermosyphon assembly

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Fig. 3

Experimental set-up and probes

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Fig. 4

R245fa saturation curve [21]

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Fig. 5

Base thermocouples

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Fig. 6

Thermal resistance: filling level

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Fig. 7

Thermal resistance, Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 8

Thermal resistance breakdown, Q=666Wand Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 9

Thermal resistance breakdown, V=250m3/h and Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 10

Thermal resistance: air temperature, V = 250 m3/h and Q = 666 W

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Fig. 11

Junction temperature, Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 12

Base plate temperature, Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 13

Base temperature distribution, Fig. 5, V = 250 m3/h

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Fig. 14

Base plate differences, Tair,i=42°C

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Fig. 15

Air pressure drop, Tair,i=42°C

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