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Two-Phase Mini-Thermosyphon for Cooling of Datacenters: Experiments, Modeling and Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Chin L. Ong, Raffaele L. Amalfi, Jackson B. Marcinichen, Nicolas Lamaison, John R. Thome

EPFL-STI-IGM-LTCM, Lausanne, Switzerland

Paper No. IPACK2017-74030, pp. V001T02A003; 12 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems collocated with the ASME 2017 Conference on Information Storage and Processing Systems
  • ASME 2017 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems
  • San Francisco, California, USA, August 29–September 1, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5809-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Nowadays, datacenters heat density dissipation follows an exponential increasing trend that is reaching the heat removal limits of the traditional air-cooling technology. Two-phase cooling implemented within a gravity-driven system represents a scalable and viable long-term solution for datacenter cooling in order to increase the heat density dissipation with larger energy efficiency and lower acoustic noise. The present article builds upon the 4-part set of papers presented at ITHERM 2016 for a 15-cm height thermosyphon to cool a contemporary datacenter cabinet, providing new test data over a wider range of heat fluxes and new validations of the thermal-hydrodynamics of our thermosyphon simulation code.

The thermosyphon consists of a microchannel evaporator connected via a riser and a downcomer to a liquid-cooled condenser for the cooling of a pseudo-chip to emulate an actual server. Test results demonstrated good thermal performance coupled with uniform flow distribution for the new larger range of operating test conditions. At the maximum imposed heat load of 158 W (corresponding to a heat flux of 70 W cm−2) with a water inlet coolant at 20 °C, water mass flow rate of 12 kg h−1 and thermosyphon filling ratio of 78%, the pseudo mean chip temperature was found to be 58 °C and is well below the normal thermal limits in datacenter cooling.

Finally, the in-house LTCM’s thermosyphon simulation code was validated against an expanded experimental database of about 262 data points, demonstrating very good agreement; in fact, the pseudo mean chip temperature was predicted with an error band of about 1 K.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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