Microchannels have been studied extensively for a variety of heat transfer applications including electronic cooling. Many configurations of microchannels have been studied and compared for their effectiveness in terms of heat removal. Recently, the use of staggered pins in microchannels has gained considerable traction, since they can promote internal flow fluctuations that enhance internal heat transfer. Furthermore, staggered pins in microchannels have shown higher heat removal characteristics because of the continuous breaking and formation of the heat transfer fluid boundary layer. However, they also exhibit higher pressure drop because the pins act as flow obstructions. This paper presents numerical results of two characteristic staggered 100-μm pins (square and circular) in microchannels. The heat transfer performance of a single phase fluid (SPF) in microchannels with staggered pins, and the corresponding pressure drop characteristics are presented. Furthermore, a phase change material (PCM, n-eicosane) fluid was also considered by implementing the effective specific heat capacity model approach to account for the corresponding phase change process of PCM fluid. Comparisons of the heat transfer characteristics of single phase fluid and PCM fluid are presented for two different pin geometries and three different Reynolds numbers. Circular pins were found to be more effective in terms of heat transfer by exhibiting higher Nusselt number. Microchannels with circular pins were also found to have lower pressure drop compared to the square-pin microchannels.

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