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Development and Testing of a Prototype Heat Sink Within a Wind Tunnel for Use in an Engineering Course

[+] Author Affiliations
Margarita L. Cortez, Amir Jokar

Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA

Paper No. IMECE2009-12084, pp. 983-989; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The purpose of this undergraduate research project was to develop a test section and prototype heat sinks that will be used in an existing electronics cooling wind tunnel for a project in a future Advanced Thermal Systems course. During the course, students will design and manufacture their own prototype heat sinks. Heat sinks are made of highly conductive materials with various geometries and are attached to computer chips to dissipate heat from them to the surroundings. The prototype heat sinks will be manufactured in the school’s facilities which will limit the complexity of the geometry. The purpose is not to design a commercial heat sink. The students will experimentally analyze and simulate the heat transfer that takes place between a computer chip and a heat sink. During the course project the students will also analyze the heat sinks using CFD and compare the results to the experimental data. In this study, an electronics cooling wind tunnel was used to simulate the flow conditions that normally exist in a personal computer. A test section was designed and built in order to measure temperatures at different locations on a prototype heat sink using 18 type-T thermocouples. A data acquisition unit was set up and a Labview program was developed to collect the temperature data as well as the air velocity of the wind tunnel. The recorded data were then transferred to an excel file for further analysis. The objectives of this summer internship project were achieved through testing and analyzing different prototype heat sinks.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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