Rising thermal dissipation from modern electronics has increased the challenge of cooling using conventional heat sinks. In addition to fans and blowers, focus is turning to active cooling devices for augmenting performance. A piezoelectrically-actuated synthetic jet array is one under consideration. Synthetic jets are zero-net–mass-flow jets realized by a cavity with an oscillating diaphragm on one side and an orifice or multiple orifices on the other side. They generate highly unsteady jetting flows that can impinge upon heated surfaces and enhance cooling. However, the synthetic jet actuation components might interfere with other components of the electronics module, such as the fan, requiring a displacement of the cavity center from the jet array center. Herein, heat transfer enhancement by an inclined piezoelectrically-actuated synthetic jet arrangement in a heat sink for electronics cooling has been experimentally and numerically studied. A wedge-shaped platform is designed to introduce the jets with an inclined configuration into the finned channels of the heat sink. The unit is inclined to avoid interference with other components of the module. The penalty is described in terms of velocities of jets emerging from this wedge-shaped platform, compared to those from an aligned cavity-orifice design. Effects on heat transfer performance for the heat sink are documented. The jets are arranged as wall jets passing over heat sink fins. The experimental study is complemented with a numerical analysis of flow within the synthetic jet cavity. Optimization is done on the number of jets against the penalty on jet velocity for obtaining maximum cooling performance. The jets are driven by piezoelectric actuators operating at resonance frequencies of 700–800 Hz resulting in peak jet velocities of approximately 35m/s from 92, 0.9 mm × 0.9 mm orifices. The results give guidance to those who face a similar interference problem and are considering displacement of the synthetic jet assembly.

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