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The Impact of Area Contact Between Sensor Bulb and Evaporator Return Line in a Modular Refrigeration Unit: Part I — Computational Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Nikhil Lakhkar, Saket Karajgikar, Dereje Agonafer

University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

Roger Schmidt

IBM Corporation, Poughkeepsie, NY

Paper No. IMECE2003-42254, pp. 651-656; 6 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Electronic and Photonic Packaging, Electrical Systems and Photonic Design, and Nanotechnology
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3714-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The combination of increased power dissipation and increased packaging density has led to substantial increase in junction temperature, at both the chip and module level in computers and especially at the high-end. In the past, virtually all-commercial computers were designed to operate at temperatures above the ambient and were primarily air-cooled. However, researchers have always known the advantages of operating electronics at low temperatures. This facilitates faster switching time of semiconductor devices, increased circuit speeds due to lower electrical resistance of interconnecting materials and reduction in thermally induced failures of devices and components. Depending on the doping characteristics of the chip, performance improvement ranges from 1 to 3% for every 10°C lower transistor temperature can be realized. The paper addresses improving the cooling of IBM’s high-end server unit, which uses a conventional refrigeration system to maintain the chip temperatures below that of comparable air-cooled systems, but well above cryogenic temperature. The IBM S/390 high-end server system is the first IBM design that employed refrigeration cooling. Advantage of using refrigeration unit is improvement in reliability, and performance improvements related to the lower operating temperature. In previous work, the focus was to study the effect of variation of evaporator outlet superheat on the flow through the thermostatic expansion valve at varying evaporator temperature. Also the effect of change in bulb location and effect of bulb time constant on the hunting at the evaporator has been reported. Currently, the evaporator return line and the sensor bulb are simply attached with a clip, with no thermal consideration. In the present study, the performance that results from varying the area of contact between the evaporator return line and sensor bulb is discussed. Subsequently, the effect of various interface materials on the performance is examined.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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