This paper presents an experimental study of the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of a single phase high heat flux microchannel cooling system with spiraling radial inflow. The heat sink provides enhanced heat transfer with a simple inlet and outlet design while providing uniform flow distribution. The system is heated from one conducting wall made of copper and uses water as a working fluid. The microchannel has a 1 cm radius and a 300 μm gap height. Experimental results show, on average, a 76% larger pressure drop compared to an analytic model for laminar flow in a parallel disk system with spiral radial inflow. The mean heat transfer coefficients measured are up to four times the heat transfer coefficient for unidirectional laminar fully developed flow between parallel plates with the same gap height. Flow visualization studies indicate the presence of secondary flows and the onset of turbulence at higher flow rates. Combined with the thermally developing nature of the flow, these characteristics lead to enhanced heat transfer coefficients relative to the laminar parallel plate values. Another beneficial feature of this device, for high heat flux cooling applications, is that the thermal gradients on the surface are small. The average variation in surface temperature is 18% of the total bulk fluid temperature gain across the device. The system showed promising cooling characteristics for electronics and concentrated photovoltaics applications with a heat flux of 113 W/cm2 at a surface temperature of 77 °C and a ratio of pumping power to heat rate of 0.03%.

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