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An Experimental Investigation of the Miniature Loop Heat Pipe Cooling Systems for High Power Density Computer Chips

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeehoon Choi

Zalman Tech Co., Ltd., Seoul; Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea

Junghyun Yoo

Zalman Tech Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea

Byungho Sung, Chulju Kim

Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea

Diana-Andra Borca-Tasciuc

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Paper No. ICNMM2011-58218, pp. 421-426; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Volume 1
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 19–22, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4463-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The implementation of high power density, multi-core central and graphic processing units (CPUs and GPUs) coupled with higher clock rates of the high-end computing hardware requires enhanced cooling technologies able to attend high heat fluxes while meeting strict design constrains associated with system volume and weight. Miniature loop heat pipe (mLHP) systems emerge as one of the technologies best suited to meet all these demands. This paper investigates experimentally a mLHP system designed for workstation CPUs. The system incorporates a two-phase flow loop with capillary driving force. Since there is a strong demand for miniaturization in commercial applications, emphasize was also placed on physical size during the design stage of the new system. Hence system weight is reduced to around 450g, significantly smaller than that of commercial coolers consisting of copper heat sinks that weight around 782g. Experimental characterization shows that the system can reach a maximum heat transfer rate of 170W with an overall thermal resistance of 0.12 K/W. The heat flux is 18.9 W/cm2 , approximately 30% higher than that of larger size commercial systems. To further miniaturize the evaporator module while maintaining the same heat flux, a new structure for the porous evaporator is proposed, which consist of a porous bi-layer, with nanopores at the top surface. The role of the nanoporous layer is to provide a larger surface area for phase-change, enhancing the evaporation rate.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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