Abstract

Phase change materials (PCMs) are some kind of energy storage systems which have widely been used in many industries such as electronic equipment, heat pumps, buildings, solar panels and spacecraft thermal control applications. Two main outstanding features of PCMs are having large amount of energy storage capacity at low temperature difference between heat source-sink pair and being remained at almost constant temperature during phase change process. In this study, thermal performance of PCMs for passive cooling of electronic modules with heating components is investigated numerically. A commercially available solid-solid PCM is employed. Effects of different packaging types for PCM on thermal performance of the electronics board are examined. Three different packaging types are considered; bulk PCM inside a rectangular enclosure, a rectangular enclosure having rectangular fins with PCM inside and a rectangular foam structure. All of the enclosures containing the PCM are made up of aluminum. All of the PCM packages are placed over the heating component of the electronics board in the same environmental condition. Computations are performed in three dimensions using a conduction based finite element method. Computational method is verified by time-dependent temperature measurements of the PCM modules. Results for different cases are presented comparatively.

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