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Research Papers

Assessment of Two-Phase Cooling of Power Electronics Using Roll-Bonded Condensers

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas B. Gradinger

ABB Switzerland, Ltd.,
Corporate Research,
Segelhofstrasse 1K,
Baden-Daettwil 5405, Switzerland
e-mail: thomas.gradinger@ch.abb.com

Francesco Agostini

ABB Switzerland, Ltd.,
Corporate Research,
Segelhofstrasse 1K,
Baden-Daettwil 5405, Switzerland
e-mail: francesco.agostini@ch.abb.com

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received March 25, 2014; final manuscript received July 30, 2014; published online September 16, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Hongbin Ma.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 7(1), 011002 (Sep 16, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1060; doi: 10.1115/1.4028346 History: Received March 25, 2014; Revised July 30, 2014

Two-phase thermosyphons with condensers from roll-bonded panels, short “roll-bond thermosiphons,” are attractive for power-electronics cooling. Using simulations, the performance of roll-bond thermosyphons and classical heat sinks is compared. The roll-bond thermosyphons are advantageous in terms of trade-off between thermal resistance, cooler volume or mass, and sound-power level. Under forced convection, where air-side heat-transfer coefficients are comparatively high, the classical heat sink suffers from low fin efficiency and limited heat spreading. By increasing the number of panels, the roll-bond thermosyphon enables low thermal resistances that cannot be practically reached with classical heat sinks. For free air convection, the roll-bond thermosyphon allows a significant reduction of thermal resistance and cooler mass.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Classical heat sink with semiconductor module attached. Corrugated fin (right).

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Fig. 2

Thermosyphon with roll-bonded condenser, with separate evaporator (adapted from Ref. [9])

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Fig. 3

Roll-bonded condenser panel used in design with separate evaporator. Bottom: channel cross section [9].

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Fig. 4

Thermosyphon with roll-bonded condenser, with integrated evaporator [11]. (Not analyzed in the present study.)

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Fig. 5

Example of simulation of classical heat sink. Heat-sink temperature (°C) for IGBT losses of 1.5 kW per heat sink. W = 300 mm.

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Fig. 6

Rth(s,max-p) of roll-bond thermosyphon as function of cooling power, for forced and natural convection

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Fig. 7

Isolines of Rth(s,max-a) of classical heat sink and roll-bond thermosyphon for forced convection. Rth(s,max-a)-values are annotated in K/kW.

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Fig. 8

Comparison of classical heat sink and roll-bond thermosyphon in terms of volume per conductance and specific sound-power level. For forced convection.

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Fig. 9

Fin efficiencies for forced and free convection as a function of Rth(s,max-a)

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Fig. 10

Comparison of classical heat sink and roll-bond thermosyphon in terms of Rth(s,max-a) and volume. Solid lines: classical heat sink. Dashed lines: roll-bond thermosyphon. For free convection.

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Fig. 11

Comparison of classical heat sink and roll-bond thermosyphon in terms of Ts,max and volume. Solid lines: classical heat sink. Dashed lines: roll-bond thermosyphon. For free convection.

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Fig. 12

Comparison of classical heat sink and roll-bond thermosyphon in terms of Rth(s,max-a) and volume. Solid lines: classical heat sink. Dashed lines: roll-bond thermosyphon. For free convection.

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