The problem involved in the increase of the chip output power of high-performance integrated electronic devices is the failure of reliability because of excessive thermal loads. This requires advanced cooling methods to be incorporated to manage the increase of the dissipated heat. The traditional air-cooling can not meet the requirements of cooling heat fluxes as high as 100 W/cm2, or even higher, and the traditional liquid cooling is not sufficient either in cooling very high heat fluxes although the pressure drop is small. Therefore, a new generation of liquid cooling technology becomes necessary. Various microchannels are widely used to cool the electronic chips by a gas or liquid removing the heat, but these microchannels are often designed to be single-layer channels with high pressure drop. In this paper, the laminar heat transfer and pressure loss of a kind of double-layer microchannel have been investigated numerically. The layouts of parallel-flow and counter-flow for inlet/outlet flow directions are designed and then several sets of inlet flow rates are considered. The simulations show that such a double-layer microchannel can not only reduce the pressure drop effectively but also exhibits better thermal characteristics. Due to the negative heat flux effect, the parallel-flow layout is found to be better for heat dissipation when the flow rate is limited to a low value while the counter-flow layout is better when a high flow rate can be provided. In addition, the thermal performance of the single-layer microchannel is between those of parallel-flow layout and counter-flow layout of the double-layer microchannel at low flow rates. At last, the optimizations of geometry parameters of double-layer microchannel are carried out through changing the height of the upper-branch and lower-branch channels to investigate the influence on the thermal performance.

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