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Phase Change Enhanced Liquid Metal Cooling
Keywords: liquid metal, phase change, liquid cooling
Two advantages that liquid metals have over conventional coolants are 1) high thermal conductivity and 2) high electrical conductivity. High thermal conductivity leads to very high heat transfer coefficients while the high electrical conductivity allows the liquid to be pumped with a solid state electromagnetic pump. One disadvantage of liquid metals is their relatively low specific heat. This can lead to a liquid metal cooled system being dominated by the caloric thermal resistance (the inverse of the mass flow multiplied by the specific heat) rather than the convective thermal resistance (the inverse of the convection coefficient multiplied by the effective heat transfer area). This presentation will introduce the concept of using liquid metals that include phase change particles that consist of encapsulated solder that melts at a temperature between those of the heat input and heat rejection portions of the flow loop. A liquid metal that includes a 10% loading of these particles can have twice the effective specific heat of liquid metal alone. This improvement in specific heat can potentially reduce the pumping power requirements for a system by as much as a factor of 8x. Both analytical and experimental test results will be shown.
Ross Wilcoxon, Principal Mechanical Engineer
Rockwell Collins
Cedar Rapids, IA

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