Liquid cooling with phase change is a very attractive option for thermal management of electronics because of the very high heat transfer coefficients achievable. Two-phase liquid cooling can be implemented in a thermosyphon loop, which has an evaporator, where heat is absorbed from the source during boiling of the working fluid, and a condenser, where the absorbed heat is rejected. Water is a preferred working fluid for boiling heat transfer due to its excellent thermal properties. Using water at sub-atmospheric conditions helps in initiation of boiling at low temperatures, which is necessary for electronics cooling applications, often limiting the maximum temperature to 85°C for silicon devices. Past studies have also shown that using boiling enhancement structures improve heat transfer by lowering the incipience overshoot, increasing heat flux and reducing evaporator volume. However, detailed study on the effects of enhancement structures and sub-atmospheric saturation conditions on the boiling of water in a compact thermosyphon loop is lacking in the literature. The objective of this study is to understand the boiling phenomena under the above-mentioned conditions and to investigate their effectiveness in electronics cooling applications. Experiments were carried out in a thermosyphon setup at 9.7, 15 and 21 kPa saturation pressures for two different enhancement structure geometries at varying heat loads (1–170 W). The experimental investigation showed that very high heat fluxes (≥ 80 W/cm2) can be achieved by boiling at sub-atmospheric pressures with enhancement structures. It is observed that with decreasing system pressure, the surface temperature also decreased for all the heat loads. The surface temperatures attained were well below the acceptable value of 85° C for all the cases.

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