In moderate power electronics applications, the most preferred way of thermal management is natural convection to air with or without heat sinks. Though the use of heat sinks is fairly adequate for modest heat dissipation needs, it suffers from some serious performance limitations. Firstly, a large volume of the heat sink is required to keep the junction temperature at an allowable limit. This need arises because of the low convective film coefficients due to close spacing. In the present computational and experimental study, we propose a synthetic jet embedded heat sink to enhance the performance levels beyond two times within the same volume of a regular passive heat sink. Synthetic jets are meso-scale devices producing high velocity periodic jet streams at high velocities. As a result, by carefully positioning of these jets in the thermal real estate, the heat transfer over the surfaces can be dramatically augmented. This increase in the heat transfer rate is able to compensate for the loss of fin area happening due to the embedding of the jet within the heat sink volume, thus causing an overall increase in the heat dissipation. Heat transfer enhancements of 2.2 times over baseline natural convection cooled heat sinks are measured. Thermal resistances are compared for a range of jet operating conditions and found to be less than 0.9 K/W. Local temperatures obtained from experimental and computational agreed within ± 5%.

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