Research Papers

Modular Design for a Single-Phase Manifold Mini/Microchannel Cold Plate

[+] Author and Article Information
Feng Zhou, Shailesh N. Joshi, Ercan M. Dede

Toyota Research Institute North of America,
1555 Woodridge Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Yan Liu

Toyota Technical Center,
1555 Woodridge Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Yanghe Liu

Toyota Research Institute North of America,
1555 Woodridge Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
e-mail: yanghe.liu@tema.toyota.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received June 8, 2015; final manuscript received October 20, 2015; published online December 8, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Gamal Refaie-Ahmed.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 8(2), 021010 (Dec 08, 2015) (13 pages) Paper No: TSEA-15-1162; doi: 10.1115/1.4031932 History: Received June 08, 2015; Revised October 20, 2015

The present work is related to the design of a manifold mini/microchannel heat sink with high modularity and performance for electronics cooling, utilizing two well established (i.e., jet impingement and channel flow) cooling technologies. A manifold system with cylindrical connection tubes and tapered inserts is designed for uniform coolant distribution among different channels and easy manufacturing of the whole cooling device. The design of the insert provides freedom to manipulate the flow structure within each manifold section and balance the cooling performance and required pumping power for the cold plate. Due to the optimized tapered shape of the insert inlet branches, fluid flows more uniformly through the entire heat sink fin region leading to uniform heat sink base temperatures. Extending the design of the heat sink fin structure from the mini to microscale, and doubling of the number of insert inlet/outlet branches, results in an 80% increase in the cooling performance, from 30 kW/(m2 · K) to 54 kW/(m2 · K), with only a 0.94 kPa added pressure drop penalty. The present cold plate design also provides flexibility to assemble manifold sections in different configurations to reach different flow structures, and thus different cooling performance, without redesign. The details of the modular manifold and possible configurations of a cold plate comprising three manifold sections are shown herein. A conjugate flow and heat transfer three-dimensional (3D) numerical model is developed for each configuration of the cold plate to demonstrate the merits of each modular design. Parallel flow configurations are used to satisfy a uniform cooling requirement from each module, and it is shown that “U-shape” parallel flow “base” configuration cools the modules more uniformly than a “Z-shape” flow pattern due to intrinsic pressure distribution characteristics. A serial fluid flow configuration requires the minimum coolant flow rate with a gradually increasing device temperature along the flow direction. Two mixed (i.e., parallel + serial flow) configurations achieve either cooling performance similar to the U-shape configuration with slightly more than half of the coolant flow rate, or cooling of a specific module to a much lower temperature level. Generally speaking, the current cold plate design significantly extends its application to different situations with distinct cooling requirements.

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Fig. 1

(a) TMC cold plate and (b) MMC cold plate

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Fig. 2

Exploded view of a SiC/GaN wide bandgap inverter for under-the-hood electric vehicle traction drive

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Fig. 3

(a) A reconfigurable, single module manifold section with microchannel heat sink. (b) Manifold section for single module showing internal insert, O-ring, and plug.

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Fig. 4

Flow path through the manifold. (a) Top view of the flow path through the manifold system. (b) Side view of the flow path through the connection tubes and inlet/outlet branches. (c) Schematic of the insert which functions as the manifold divider and sits on top of the fin tips of the heat sink.

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Fig. 5

A cold plate comprising three modular manifold sections arranged to cool three electronic power modules

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Fig. 6

(a) Streamlines for cold plate with straight inserts and minifin heat sink geometry; (b) streamlines for cold plate with tapered inserts and minifin heat sink geometry

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Fig. 7

(a) Isoview of the insert sitting on the heat sink fin tips with arrows showing the flow path. (b) Side-view of the insert showing the angles of the tapered branch channels.

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Fig. 8

Inserts with two pairs of inlet/outlet branches (insert 1) and four pairs of inlet/outlet branches (insert 2)

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Fig. 9

Cold plate configurations with three modular manifolds. The arrows indicate the overall fluid flow path.

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Fig. 10

Temperature distribution on the backside of the heat sinks for the base configuration

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Fig. 11

Temperature distribution on the backside of the heat sinks for configuration 1

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Fig. 12

Pressure distribution through the cold plate. (a) Base configuration—U shape and (b) configuration 1—Z shape.

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Fig. 13

Schematics of pressure distribution. (a) Base configuration and (b) configuration 1.

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Fig. 14

Temperature distribution on the backside of the heat sinks for configuration 2 with a fixed pressure inlet boundary condition, pin = Δpmax

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Fig. 15

Temperature distribution on the backside of the heat sinks for configuration 3 with a fixed pressure inlet boundary condition, pin = Δpmax

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Fig. 16

Temperature distribution on the backside of the heat sinks for configuration 4 with a fixed pressure inlet boundary condition, pin = Δpmax

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Fig. 17

Representative polymer rapid prototype manifold sections with snap-fit connections



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