Research Papers

Vapor Chamber Acting as a Heat Spreader for Power Module Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. P. Zhang

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049, China; School of Energy, Xi’an University of Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China

X. L. Yu, Q. K. Feng, L. H. Zhang

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710049, China

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 1(2), 021003 (Nov 04, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000285 History: Received November 27, 2008; Revised September 07, 2009; Published November 04, 2009; Online November 04, 2009

This paper presents an integrated power electronics module with a vapor chamber (VC) acting as a heat spreader to transfer the heat from the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) module to the base of the heat-sink. The novel VC integrated in a power module instead of a metal substrate is proposed. Compared with a conventional metal heat spreader, the VC significantly diffuses the concentrated heat source to a larger condensing area. The experimental results indicate that the VC based heat-sink will maintain the IGBT junction temperature 20°C cooler than a non-VC based heat-sink with high power density. The junction-to-case thermal resistance of the power module based on the VC is about 50% less than that of the power module based on a copper substrate with the same weight. The chip overshooting temperature of the copper substrate module with the same weight goes beyond 10°C against the junction temperature of the VC module at a given impulse power of 225 W. Consequently, thanks to a longer time duration to reach the same temperature, a power surge for the chip can be avoided and the ability to resist thermal impact during the VC module startup can be improved as well. The investigation shows that the VC power module is an excellent candidate for the original metal substrate, especially for an integrated power module with high power density.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Geometry of the module: (a) layout of chips; (b) cross section of the module

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Figure 2

Structure of a module based on a VC

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Figure 3

VC configuration dimension (mm): (a) bottom view of the VC; (b) cross section of the VC

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Figure 4

Experimental device

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Figure 5

Thermocouples distribution: (a) condensation side; (b) evaporation side

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Figure 6

Temperature on the condensation section

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Figure 7

VC Module temperature rise

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Figure 8

Heat flow passage

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Figure 9

Comparison of junction-to-case thermal resistance

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Figure 10

Measure point temperature variety: (a) measure point 1; (b) measure points 1, 4, 8, and 12

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Figure 11

Transient state temperature rise

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Figure 12

Temperature rise of the power module



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