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FLUID-COOLED HEAT SINK WITH IMPROVED FIN AREAS AND EFFICENCIES FOR USE IN COOLING VARIOUS DEVICES

DOE Grant Recipients

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Contact GRANT About This Technology


Technology Marketing Summary

A heat transfer device utilizing a central fluid channel to service multiple heat loads in a manner maximizing heat transfer fin efficiency. Heat transfer pins are arranged around the central fluid channel with a flow space provided between adjacent pins, allowing for some portion of cooling flow to divert through the flow space. The arrangement reduces the pressure drop of the flow through the fins, optimizes average heat transfer coefficients, reduces contact and fin-pin resistances, and reduces the physical footprint of the heat sink in an operating environment. The heat transfer apparatus is particularly useful for systems inherently containing multiple heat loads, such as three-phase power systems and may be constructed as a stacked heat exchanger, providing for ease of fabrication

Description

The fluid-cooled heat sink includes multiple heat transfer bases for receiving heat generated by multiple heat sources, with heat transfer fins in thermal communication with and connecting the heat transfer bases. The heat transfer bases and the heat transfer fins form a central fluid channel through which a cooling fluid may flow.  The heat transfer fins are arranged around the central fluid channel with a flow space provided between adjacent fins, allowing for some portion of the central fluid channel flow to divert through the flow space, or allowing for fluid flowing through the flow space to converge in the central fluid channel.  Flow passages between adjacent fins are provided throughout the longitudinal length of the fluid-cooled heat sink. The central fluid channel with a periphery comprised of the heat transfer base such and a plurality of heat transfer fins allows for optimized thermal contact between the plurality of fins and the heat transfer base and greatly improves overall thermal performance.

The fluid-cooled heat sink of this disclosure generates significant advantages. By providing a fluid-cooled heat sink with a central fluid channel providing diverted or diverting flow through the heat transfer fins, the number of rows in the flow direction of an embodiment may be reduced in a given fin density. This reduces the pressure drop of the flow through the fins below that which would be experienced if the flow was arranged in a typical side-inlet, side-exit configuration, where a single flow would encounter all rows of fins in a sequential order. Further, the arrangement of the central fluid channel relative to the flow passages between fins optimizes the overall heat transfer of the fluid-cooled heat sink, since maximum heat transfer coefficients generally arise in the first-row of fins encountered by a flow. Further, the arrangement of the central fluid channel relative to the flow passages allows the base conduction area of a heat transfer fin to provide optimized thermal contact between the heat fins and a base section, so that the base conduction area may more closely approximate the contact area between the base section and serviced heat source. Further, the flow geometry provided by the fluid-cooled heat sink of this disclosure allows a heat sink having a central fluid channel to service a plurality of heat sources, reducing the physical footprint in an operating environment. 

The fluid-cooled heat sink may be fabricated as a series of individual and discrete longitudinal sections and assembled by layering the longitudinal sections. The sections may be interleaved such that thermal communication is established at the base sections of adjacent longitudinal sections, and such that a longitudinal axis extends through the bounded peripheries of all longitudinal sections. In the composite unit so fabricated, the fluid sections within the bounded periphery of each longitudinal section comprise the central fluid channel of the fluid-cooled heat sink. It can be appreciated that individual longitudinal sections as described may be fabricated with any dimensions and through a variety of means, and with a variety of materials to optimize heat sink performance under applicable operating conditions.

Benefits

-          Service of multiple heat loads.

-          Reduced fin density and increased overall heat transfer

-          Reduced physical footprint

-          Ease of fabrication

Applications and Industries

-          Power generation

-          Heat transfer devices 

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 9,010,405
Patent
9,010,405
Fluid-cooled heat sink with improved fin areas and efficiencies for use in cooling various devices
The disclosure provides a fluid-cooled heat sink having a heat transfer base and a plurality of heat transfer fins in thermal communication with the heat transfer base, where the heat transfer base and the heat transfer fins form a central fluid channel through which a forced or free cooling fluid may flow. The heat transfer pins are arranged around the central fluid channel with a flow space provided between adjacent pins, allowing for some portion of the central fluid channel flow to divert through the flow space. The arrangement reduces the pressure drop of the flow through the fins, optimizes average heat transfer coefficients, reduces contact and fin-pin resistances, and reduces the physical footprint of the heat sink in an operating environment.
04/21/2015
Issued
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
S-117,593DevelopmentAvailable04/27/201504/27/2015

Contact GRANT About This Technology

To: Mike Dobbs<Mike.Dobbs@science.doe.gov>