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Comparison of the effect of five different entrance channel shapes of a micro-channel heat sink in forced convection with application to cooling a supercomputer circuit board


Alireza Moradikazerouni, Masoud Afrand, Jalal Alsarraf, Omid Mahian, Somchai Wongwises, Minh-Duc Tran*

Source title: 
Applied Thermal Engineering, 150: 1078-1089, 2019 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

The use of an air-cooled micro-channel heat sink is becoming increasingly widespread to cool supercomputers. Passing air through micro-channels, which acts as an absorber, is the main heat transfer mechanism for cooling the main board of supercomputers. The present study aims to investigate the 3D flow of air on the performance of micro-channel heat sinks in which the channels can have five different configurations (e.g., circular, hexagonal, rectangular, triangular and a straight slot). The effect of the flow rate (Reynolds number) and inlet temperature of air on the Nusselt number, heat transfer coefficient, pressure drop and required pumping power were investigated. The results showed that among the five channel configurations, the triangular shape provides the highest thermal performance for cooling a specific micro-channel heat sink. However, with respect to manufacturing cost, the straight slot configuration is recommended. In the next stage, the effect of the manufacturing material was considered with respect to aluminum, alumina (92%), cobalt, stainless steel, copper, and silver thermal conductivity. In the final stage, the effect of the air flow rate on the thermal stress and deformation of the geometry were studied, which provided that the coolant flow rate from 60 to 120 CFM prevents body failure. The results of this study could be helpful in the design of the cooling system of supercomputers.