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Passive Thermosyphon Cooling System for High Heat Flux Servers

[+] Author Affiliations
Sylwia Szczukiewicz, Nicolas Lamaison, Jackson B. Marcinichen, John R. Thome

EPFL STI IGM LTCM, Lausanne, Switzerland

Peter J. Beucher

MicroCool® Division of Wolverine Tube, Decatur, AL

Paper No. IPACK2015-48288, pp. V003T10A009; 12 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems collocated with the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 3: Advanced Fabrication and Manufacturing; Emerging Technology Frontiers; Energy, Health and Water- Applications of Nano-, Micro- and Mini-Scale Devices; MEMS and NEMS; Technology Update Talks; Thermal Management Using Micro Channels, Jets, Sprays
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 6–9, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5690-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


The main aim of the current paper is to demonstrate the capability of a two-phase closed thermosyphon loop system to cool down a contemporary datacenter rack, passively cooling the entire rack including its numerous servers. The effects on the performance of the entire cooling loop with respect to the server orientation, micro-evaporator design, riser and downcomer diameters, working fluid, and approach temperature difference at the condenser have been modeled and simulated. The influence of the thermosyphon height (here from 5 to 20 cm with a horizontally or vertically oriented server) on the driving force that guarantees the system operation whilst simultaneously fulfilling the critical heat flux (CHF) criterion also has been examined. In summary, the thermosyphon height was found to be the most significant design parameter. For the conditions simulated, in terms of CHF, the 10 cm-high thermosyphon was the most advantageous system design with a minimum safety factor of 1.6 relative to the imposed heat flux of 80 W cm−2. Additionally, a case study including an overhead water-cooled heat exchanger to extract heat from the thermosyphon loop has been developed and then the entire rack cooling system evaluated in terms of cost savings, payback period, and net benefit per year. This approximate study provides a general understanding of how the datacenter cooling infrastructure directly impacts the operating budget as well as influencing the thermal/hydraulic operation, performance, and reliability of the datacenter. Finally, the study shows that the passive two-phase closed loop thermosyphon cooling system is a potentially economically sound technology to cool high heat flux servers of datacenters.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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