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An Integrated Centrifugal Blower Design for High Performance Air-Cooled Heat Sinks
Keywords: heat sink, blower, integrated design
Conventional air-cooled heat sinks are often inadequate to meet the high thermal loads and heat fluxes of many modern electronics systems while still maintaining required component temperature limits. Given a fixed available temperature difference, the fan input power necessary to provide airflow increases exponentially as the required cooling capacity increases and quickly become prohibitive. An integrated blower and heat sink design that provides a greater than 10X reduction in the fan input power required to achieve a given thermal resistance has been developed and will be presented. A prototype of the integrated blower and heat sink has been fabricated with a 10 cm X 10 cm base area and has achieved a thermal resistance of 0.042 C/W at a 1.2 kW cooling capacity with less than 33 W of blower input power. The prototype design and the results of performance testing will be presented and compared to performance test results for a conventional heat sink and blower design. The reduction in power requirement is achieved through significant increases in blower efficiency due to the integrated design. The dominant source of losses in a conventional electronics cooling fan is associated with poor recovery of dynamic head at the exit of the rotating fan blades as static pressure. A method for integrating a centrifugal blower within a radial heat sink will be presented that achieves full recovery of the dynamic head at the blower exit to drive flow through the heat sink. The resulting thermodynamic efficiency of the integrated blower exceeds 80%. This compares favorably to conventional electronics cooling fans with thermodynamic efficiencies of 15-40% depending on scale. The features of a radial heat sink that are required to minimize thermal resistance of the integrated design will be described. CFD results illustrating the operation of the device will be presented along with experimental validation.
Scott Kaslusky,
United Technologies Research Center
East Hartford, CT
USA


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