Air cooling of electronic equipment continues to hold many advantages over liquid cooling in terms of simplicity, reliability, cost, etc. Many active and passive air cooling techniques have been developed to meet the thermal challenges of modern, high-power electronics. Active cooling includes such features as piezoelectric flapping fans and synthetic jets that could directly break down and thin the thermal boundary layers on heated surfaces. A microchannel bank of fins, micro pin-fin surfaces, etc. are passive methods for increasing heat transfer area. In the current study, both active and passive methods, piezoelectric translational agitators and micro pin fin arrays, are employed to dramatically enhance convective heat transfer rates. A piezoelectric stack actuator coupled with an oval loop shell displacement amplifier was utilized to generate high-frequency and large-displacement translational agitation over the micro pin fin surface. Two different micro pin-fin surfaces were fabricated using copper and the LIGA process. Heat transfer experiments were performed in a single channel that houses a one-sided, heated surface with attached micro pin fins. The piezoelectric translational agitator oscillates at a high frequency of 596 Hz with a large displacement of up to 1.8 mm. The heat transfer coefficients on the micro pin-fin surface cooled by the agitator and various channel through-flows were compared with those of plain surfaces under the same channel flow rates. A maximum improvement of 222% in the heat transfer rate was achieved when the agitator was operated, the micro pin-fin surface was in place and the channel flow velocity was 11.6 m/sec, compared to that of a non-agitated plain surface case with the same flow rate.

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