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An Analytical Model of a Microscale Heat Exchanger: Ambient Interaction and General End-Wall Boundary Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Bryan Spann, Tim Ameel

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Paper No. IMECE2010-39445, pp. 405-413; 9 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Micro and Nano Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4447-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Developments in manufacturing have led to progressively smaller and more complex micro-elctro-mechanical systems (MEMS), many of which employ heat exchangers to enhance performance. Due to the size constraints on these devices, adiabatic surfaces are difficult to create, and thus, ambient thermal interaction becomes an import factor in heat exchanger performance. Similarly, end-wall boundary conditions also become a concern at this scale. A closed form mathematical solution is presented for single-pass, two-fluid, parallel and counter flow microscale heat exchangers. The model includes the effects of axial wall conduction, ambient thermal interaction at the axial exterior surface, and general end-wall boundary conditions. Heat exchanger effectiveness values above unity were found to be possible depending on the magnitude of the ambient thermal interaction and the objective of the heat exchanger. It was also found that heat flux and convection boundary conditions, can enhance heat exchanger performance. Furthermore, it was determined that the heat capacity rate ratio could be controlled to mitigate the effects of the ambient thermal interaction.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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