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An Experimental and Theoretical Study of Finned and Finless Heat Sinks for Low Profile Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Jason Stafford, Ed Walsh, Vanessa Egan, Pat Walsh

University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Yuri S. Muzychka

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Paper No. HT2009-88200, pp. 801-812; 12 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Thermophysical Properties; Heat Transfer Equipment; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4356-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper discusses the importance of developing cooling solutions for low profile devices. This is addressed with an experimental and theoretical study on forced convection cooling solution designs that could be implemented into such devices. Conventional finned and corresponding finless designs of equal exterior dimensions are considered for three different heat sink profiles ranging from 1mm to 4mm profile in combination with a commercially available radial blower. The results show that forced convection heat transfer rates can be enhanced by up to 55% using finless designs at low profiles with relatively small footprint areas. The advantages of both finned and finless geometries are presented along with the limitations of the customary finned heat sink design at low profile scales. The results also show large increases in heat transfer rates over that predicted which can be attained at the low profile scale based on geometry selection. Dimensionless comparisons are made between experimental results and combined hydrodynamic and thermally developing duct flow theory which is representative of the flow regime within both the finned and finless geometries. Overall, this paper provides optimization and geometry selection criteria which are relevant to designers of low profile cooling solutions.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Heat sinks



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