Classical refrigeration using vapor compression has been widely applied over the last decades to large-scale industrial systems, with few known applications to the microelectronics cooling field, due to the small size limitation. The present study proposes an efficient mechanical refrigeration system to actively cool the electronic components populating a Printed Circuit Board in High-Power Microelectronics System. The proposed system includes several miniaturized components — compressor, evaporator, condenser — part of a refrigeration system designed to fit the smaller scale power electronics. The system is thermally optimized to reach high COP (Coefficients of Performance). An array of micro-channels is used for the evaporator/condenser units. A previous study indicated that the R-134s refrigerant provides the best COP/feasibility ratio, while being the most suitable for microelectronics applications [1]. The present study develops an analytical model of the proposed small scale vapor compression refrigerator using the R-134a refrigerant. The refrigeration system is thermally optimized for cooling powers ranging from 20–100W, with the COP of the system reaching values up to 4.5. In the final section of the study, the efficiency of the proposed system is further compared to existing active cooling techniques using Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC). The advantages of the proposed system are highlighted, establishing a baseline performance vs. size relationship for vapor-compression refrigerators, to serve as the basis for comparison for future miniaturized refrigeration systems.

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