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High Efficiency Compact Air to Air Heat Exchanger with Integrated Fan
Keywords: Heat Sink, Fan, Efficiency
An application for an air cooled heat exchanger requires the removal of heat from a highly sensitive electronics compartment without exchanging any air between the compartment and outside environment. Because the electronics involved are highly temperature sensitive, a low temperature rise is allowed across the heat exchanger. The space envelope available is both small and complex considering the thermal requirements. Additionally, a strict fan power budget limits the available amount of cooling airflow and pressure drop. To solve the combination of application challenges a custom integrated fan/heat sink air to air heat exchanger has been developed. Both airflow and heat transfer characteristics have been highly customized through the use of extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses. Excellent correlation between CFD and experimental data was obtained first for an older existing pin fin heat exchanger, results of which will be presented. CFD was then utilized in the development of the new heat exchanger design, which is predicted to provide over double the heat transfer from the original design (at the same temperature delta). As a result of optimizing the coupled flow / heat transfer problem, high efficiencies have been achieved in the small and complex size envelope allowed. We expect to have experimental test results from a prototype of the new heat exchanger for comparison and validation of the computational design/analysis.
Nicholas Herrick-Kaiser, Project Engineer, Aerodynamic/Mechanical
Woodstock, NY

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