Numerical methods in thermal management of electronic systems
This special issue brings together a number of papers dealing with the topic of heat
and fluid flow, which are important in the thermal management of electronic systems.
As the miniaturization of the electronic systems is proceeding at a rapid rate, the
thermal problems are becoming more acute as they affect the performance and the
reliability of the product. The experimentation is not only very costly but also time
consuming. In addition the system is not available when decisions have to be made
regarding thermal management. Thus, simulation plays a major role. The simulation
of these systems presents a number of numerical challenges.
A number of papers are presented covering the issues summarized in the preceding
paragraph. The potential for handling ultra-high heat fluxes has spurred intensive
research into micro-channel heat sinks. This issue has three papers dealing with the
micro-channel heat sinks. The first paper by Liu and Garimella describes their current
work on micro-channel heat sinks. A detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
model is used to obtain base line results against which a number of modeling
approaches of increasing levels of complexity for the analysis of micro-channel heat
sinks are compared. The results of the CFD model compared well with the
experimental values. Practical optimization procedures are developed to minimize the
overall thermal resistance of the micro-channel heat sinks based on the analytical
models. The second paper is by Jeevan et al. in which they explore the thermal
resistance of a stacked micro-channel heat sink. The thermal resistance is determined
by one- and two-dimensional FEM approach. The minimum thermal resistance of
stacked micro-channel is achieved by optimizing the channel configuration by using
genetic algorithms. The third paper by Hegde et al. deals with the micro-channel heat
sink in which boiling flow takes place. The disadvantage of the increase in the liquid
temperature along the micro-channel is avoided when the two-phase flow takes place.
It is observed that the thermal resistance of the micro-channel heat sink with boiling
flows reduces considerably at the expense of the pressure drop. Thermal resistance
reduces with increasing wall heat flux. These papers focus on the methods of
determining the thermal resistance of micro-channel heat sinks for both single- and
two-phase flows in addition to determine the optimum dimensions of the micro-channel
heat sink for minimum thermal resistance.
The fourth paper by Ravi and Suresh deals with the application of CFD software
FLUENTefor determining the thermal performance of a non-standard plastic quad flat
package (PQFP) under natural convection environment. The simulated results compare
well with the experimental data obtained in accordance with JEDEC Standards.
This paper illustrates the way commercial software is used in an industrial environment
before the product is finalized.
The fifth paper by Nithiarasu and Massarotti deal with the forced convection heat
transfer from solder balls attached to a printed circuit board using the characteristic
based split scheme (CBS) for both inline and staggered arrangements. They provide
not only the results of the analysis against the angle of attack but also the details of the
CBS scheme including the verification of a flow over a single sphere.
This special issue is concluded by a paper by Beh et al. in which the authors deal
with the thermal performance of a triple stack cold plate used for cooling of electronic
components. The paper highlights how a simple one-dimensional fin theory is applied
to the stack to determine its performance under different operating conditions. A fast
local transient method i.e. asymptotic waveform evaluation method is used here to
predict the transient behaviour of the stack. The data provided in the paper will be
helpful in the design of cold plates.
All of these papers highlight the application of heat and fluid flow in the cooling of
electronic components and systems. This special issue brings together some of the
most recent work addressing the details that are important in the thermal management
of electronic systems.
Previously published in: Personnel Review, Volume: 15, Number 1, 2005