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Evaluation of the Integration of Oscillating Heat Pipes in High Power DC-DC Converters for Pulsed Power Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
B. M. Huhman

US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC

A. Hathaway, H. B. Ma

University of Missouri - Columbia, Columbia, MO

Paper No. HT2013-17173, pp. V003T10A016; 8 pages
  • ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 3: Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Transport Phenomena in Materials Processing and Manufacturing; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment; Symposium in Honor of Professor Richard Goldstein; Symposium in Honor of Prof. Spalding; Symposium in Honor of Prof. Arthur E. Bergles
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 14–19, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5549-2
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The Pulsed Power Physics Branch at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is developing a battery-powered, rep-rate charger for a 60-kJ capacitor bank. The goal is to charge a 4800μF capacitor to 5kV in five seconds for a fifty shot burst. A bank of LiFePO4 batteries is used with a full H-bridge converter and transformer to elevate the 500V battery voltage to a 5kV secondary voltage. The operation of the Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) generates heat as a byproduct of the energy transfer from the batteries to the capacitor, which must be effectively removed. The traditional method of cooling the IGBTs involves a passive heat sink and forced air cooling, which can be quite large if the dissipated power load is high enough. This work investigates the replacement of the forced air cooling method with an oscillating heat pipe (OHP). The OHP investigated herein was made of aluminum with dimensions of 130.1 mm × 101.9 mm × 2.5 mm. The OHP channel dimension imbedded in the aluminum block is 1.0 mm by 1.0 mm. Utilizing high effective thermal conductivity, the integrated OHP has the potential to reduce the overall system volume and enable the design of a sealed converter package. Numerical analysis and experimental results demonstrate that the OHP can significantly increase the effective thermal conductivity and enable a fast time response of the pulsed power DC-DC converter. Comparison with the numerical analysis show that the heat transfer resistance occurring in the cooling block is the primary resistance for the investigated IGBT OHP cooling.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Heat pipes



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