Large pressure drops, and the associated pumping requirements, are often considered the most critical factor hindering widespread commercial use of microchannel heat sinks. Analytical methods are used in the present work to arrive at the pumping requirements for any given microchannel heat sink. A graphical method to check the suitability of a pump to a microchannel heat sink application has been devised. The size of the microchannels is also optimized so that for a specified heat removal rate, the pumping requirements are minimized. A number of commercially available pumps as well as several micropumps presented in the literature are compared based on their flow rate, pressure head and physical size to assess their suitability for a specific representative cooling application.

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