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Design of Optimum Heatsink

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Design of Optimum Heatsink

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Fellow ASME

e-mail: abc@me.umn.edu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,

TherPES Laboratory,

University of Maryland,

Design of Optimum Plate-Fin

College Park, MD 20747

Natural Convective Heat Sinks

Madhusudan Iyengar

e-mail: miyengar@me.umn.edu The effort described herein extends the use of least-material single rectangular plate-fin

Laboratory of Thermal Management of analysis to multiple fin arrays, using a composite Nusselt number correlation. The opti-

Micro-Nano Systems, mally spaced least-material array was also found to be the globally best thermal design.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Comparisons of the thermal capability of these optimum arrays, on the basis of total heat

University of Minnesota, dissipation, heat dissipation per unit mass, and space claim specific heat dissipation, are

Minneapolis, MN 55455 provided for several potential heat sink materials. The impact of manufacturability con-

straints on the design and performance of these heat sinks is briefly discussed.

关DOI: 10.1115/1.1568361兴

Allan D. Kraus

Mem. ASME Keywords: Heat Sink, Rectangular Plate-Fin, Natural Convection, Least-Material,

e-mail: Adkassoc@aol.com Optimization

Department of Mechanical Engineering,

University of Akron,

Akron, OH

The exponential increase in the power density of microelec- Basic Relations. The present study attached to an isothermal

tronic components, resulting from rapid advances in semiconduc- heat sink base, as may occur with the use of a thick metal base,

tor technology 关1兴, continues to fuel considerable interest in ad- heat pipe or vapor chamber base plate 关4,5兴, focuses on the ther-

vanced thermal management of electronic equipment. While the mal behavior of fins. The readers’ attention is directed to a parallel

use of fin structures to enhance air cooling is a simple and attrac- study, performed at this laboratory 关6兴 in which the base of the

tive thermal packaging technique, significant improvements in heat sink was analyzed and optimized. Heat transfer from a fin

performance and reduction in resource consumption will be array depicted in Fig. 1共a兲, is the sum of heat dissipation from the

needed if air-cooled heat sinks are to meet the demands of the fins and from the exposed, unfinned area on the array base.

For an array with a large number of fins, and an isothermal

CMOS chips currently under development. The use of passive,

base, the heat transfer, q T can be approximated by

natural convection-cooled rectangular plate-fin heat sinks offers

substantial advantages in cost and reliability, but is often accom- q T ⫽nfinq fin⫹h baseA b b (1)

panied by relatively low heat transfer rates. The development of

where n fin is the total number of fins, q fin is the heat transfer rate

techniques for the enhancement of heat dissipation from such from a single fin, h base is the average heat transfer coefficient for

natural convection heat sinks, on the basis of projected area, heat the unfinned base area, A b , and b is the array base-to-ambient

sink mass, and heat sink volume, is, thus, essential if this thermal temperature difference. It is convenient to divide the base area

management technique is to meet the expectations of the packag- into ‘‘unit cells,’’ around each fin, A b, f , and to re-express Eq. 共1兲

ing community. in the form

The effort described herein builds on the strong theoretical base

of the Kraus single plate-fin design and optimization 关2兴 and ex- q T ⫽n fin共 q fin⫹h baseA b, f b 兲 (2)

tends the benefits of ‘‘least-material’’ single fins to the multiple fin The base area and fin area, available for heat transfer from each

arrays that constitute most heat sinks. In order to concretize the fin, can be found using

benefits of such ‘‘least-material’’ heat sink designs, the proposed

A b, f ⫽Ls (3)

modeling and optimization techniques will be applied to an ad-

vanced heat sink configuration, considered suitable for the cooling A fin⫽2 共 LH⫹Ht⫹Lt/2兲 (4)

of a high-end microprocessor, later this decade. Thus, many of the

results are derived for an aluminum heat sink on a 10⫻10 cm where n f in is the number of plate-fins on the array, given by

base, operating at an excess temperature of 25 K. In consideration n fin⫽W/ 共 s⫹t 兲 (5)

of design and manufacturability constraints, the design space was

chosen to include plate fins, between 1 and 15 mm in thickness, as and assumed equal to the number of interfin spaces.

The total plate-fin volume is

well as fin lateral spacing from 1 to 15 mm. Further parametric

analysis was performed on arrays of different base area 共5⫻5 cm V fin⫽n finHLt (6)

and 15⫻15 cm兲 yielding trends consistent with the present find-

Applying the Murray-Gardner assumptions provided in 关2兴, and

ings and making it possible to generalize these findings to the

assuming an insulated tip, the heat dissipation capability of a

thermal optimization of a broad range of fin arrays 关3兴.

single fin can be expressed as

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division for publication in q fin⫽Lk fint b m 共 tanh mH 兲 (7)

the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received by the EPPD Di-

vision June 22, 2001. Guest Editors: Y. Muzychka and R. Culham. In this relation, m is the fin parameter equal to

208 Õ Vol. 125, JUNE 2003 Copyright © 2003 by ASME Transactions of the ASME

Downloaded 30 Jan 2009 to 193.1.104.7. Redistribution subject to ASME license or copyright; see http://www.asme.org/terms/Terms_Use.cfm

Fig. 1 Rectangular plate-fin heat sink array—„a… vertical configuration, „b… 2-D plate-fin schematic

m⫽ 共 2h fin /k fint 兲 1/2 (8) 0.59 was chosen for the isolated plate asymptote, and used, as

well, to calculate the heat transfer coefficient prevailing along the

where k fin is the thermal conductivity of the fin, t is the thickness exposed area of the heat sink base. Models for widely spaced plate

of a plate fin, and h fin is the average fin area heat transfer coeffi- arrays have resulted from research by Yovanovich and co-workers

cient. at the University of Waterloo 关16 –19兴. This subsequently led to

For such a rectangular longitudinal fin, the fin efficiency is the development of the META code 关19兴, which utilizes correla-

calculated using tions based on the square root of the fluid wetted area as the

fin⫽ 共 tanh mH 兲 /mH (9) characteristic dimension. A more comprehensive annular heat sink

model can be found in Wang et al. 关20,21兴, and subsequent exten-

The geometric parameters for the plate fin arrays are illustrated in sion to rectangular plate-fin array characterization is currently un-

Fig. 1. der development at the University of Waterloo 关22兴.

Heat Transfer Coefficients. Elenbaas 关7兴 was the first to ex- Channel Values. For typical heat sink fin spacings, the pre-

amine natural convective heat transfer between isothermal vertical vailing heat transfer coefficients are intermediate between the iso-

flat plates and to document the variation of the heat transfer coef- lated plate and fully developed limits, and can be found from

ficient with plate spacing. For wide spacings, the coefficient was correlations for natural convection in parallel, vertical plate chan-

found to approach values associated with isolated plates, whereas nels 关14,15兴. Bar-Cohen and Rohsenow 关14兴 extended the pioneer-

for closely spaced plates the heat transfer coefficient decreased to ing Elenbass correlation to a variety of boundary conditions.

values associated with fully developed, laminar flow. Widely When applied to nonisothermal plates, as encountered in rectan-

spaced limit: for typical heat sink sizes and temperatures differ- gular plate-fin arrays, this composite Nusselt number correlation

ences, laminar flow can be expected to occur, justifying the use of takes the form

the commonly used form for the laminar flow Nusselt number

correlation for the isolated plate heat transfer coefficient Nufin⫽h fins/k f ⫽ 关 576/共 finEl兲 2 ⫹2.873/共 finEl兲 1/2兴 1/2 (13)

NuL ⫽ 关 CRaL1/4兴 (10)

where El is the Elenbaas number given by

Or, extracting the heat transfer coefficient from the Nusselt

number El⫽ 共 g bPrs4 兲 /L 2 (14)

h base⫽ 关 CRaL1/4兴 k f /L (11)

and where fin is used to relate the Nusselt number to the average

where kf is the fluid thermal conductivity, and RaL is the Raleigh temperature of the fin surface, i.e., ⫽ fin b . Equation 共13兲 rep-

Number based on the length of the heat sink base, L, and is given resents a smoothly varying Nusselt number relation, where the

by, first term 关 576/( finEl) 2 兴 represents the closely spaced channel

RaL ⫽ 共 g  b PrL 3 兲 / 2 (12) condition, while the second component 2.873/( finEl) 1/2 charac-

terizes the isolated plate limit. This relation can be used to deter-

The heat transfer literature is rich in studies of laminar natural mine the Nusselt number and heat transfer coefficient for any

convection from vertical, isothermal plates. Nearly all of the channel spacing.

available results can be correlated in the form of Eq. 共10兲. The

value of C has been reported to be in the range 0.515–0.59 in Fin Array Metrics. In evaluating and characterizing the cool-

关8 –10兴. More complex expressions for C, recognizing the depen- ing capacity of a heat sink, it is important to recognize the exis-

dence on the Prandtl number, Pr, are provided in 关10–13兴, which tence of several distinct fin array metrics. Often heat sinks are

yield values of 0.515–0.55, on assuming a Prandl number of 0.71. characterized simply by their thermal resistance, R hs , expressed

However, the values for C obtained in widely spaced parallel plate as

channels most relevant to plate-fin array heat transfer, are found to

be in the range 0.59–0.62 关7,14,15兴. In this study, a C value of R hs ⫽ b /q T (15)

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Fig. 2 Array heat transfer coefficient, h a , WÕm2-K, plate-fin arrays, H Ä4.5 cm, L Ä W Ä10 m, k finÄ200

WÕm-K, b Ä25 K

While system designers may find R hs the most useful of the heat where fin and V fin are the mass density and volume of the fin

sink metrics, its use masks the effect of heat sink area, as well as material in the array, respectively.

volume and material choice, on its thermal performance. The ‘‘space claim’’ heat transfer coefficient, h sc , which repre-

The effect of base area can be best captured in an array heat sents the utilization of the volume occupied by the heat sink (L

transfer coefficient, h a , referenced to the area and excess tem- ⫻W⫻H) for heat dissipation, can be calculated using

perature of the base, as

h a ⫽q T /LW b (16) h sc ⫽q T /LWH b (19)

Comparison of h a values to those normally associated with natural Least-Material Plate-Fin Arrays. While Eq. 共7兲 can be used

or forced convection on a bare surface can serve to identify the to determine heat transfer from any plate-fin geometry, it has been

thermal enhancement provided by the use of the fins. found possible to determine the fin aspect ratio (t/H) of the so-

Figure 2 displays the variation of h a for arrays of plate-fins in called ‘‘least-material’’ geometry, which maximizes the heat trans-

the configurations shown in Fig. 1, placed on a 10⫻10 cm base fer rate for a given fin volume and mass 关2,24 –26兴. In their classic

operating at an excess temperature of 25 K. The h a for the plate- work, Kern and Kraus 关2兴 showed that the least-material plate fin

fin array rises with increasing fin spacing, attaining a maximum is characterized by a unique value of the mH product, equaling

value of approximately 52.4 W/m2K, for 1 mm thick fins, or 1.4192. Since the efficiency of such a fin is solely dependent on

nearly an order of magnitude above natural convection on the base the mH product, the efficiency of the least-material plate fin is a

surface, at a spacing of approximately 8 mm. It then decreases fixed value, equal to 0.626. Subsequently, geometric optimizations

more gently as the spacing continues to widen towards 15 mm. of single fins, taking into consideration the effects of variable

Elenbass 关7兴 was the first to suggest that such an optimum thermal conductivity, heat loss from fin tip, and internal heat gen-

spacing, at which the product of the plate area and plate heat eration, have been provided by Aziz 关27兴 and in Kraus et al. 关26兴.

transfer coefficient, constituting the overall array heat transfer The aspect ratio and the heat dissipation of the least-material

rate, was a maximum, existed for each array. The optimum fin plate fin can be found from the following expressions 关25兴:

array Nusselt number value was found to be equal to 1.25. Based

on Bar-Cohen 关23兴, an expression for the optimum spacing, s opt ,

is as follows: t⫽0.993h finH 2 /k fin (20)

s opt⫽2.66共 L /g  fin b Pr兲

2 1/4

(17)

q fin⫽1.25L b 共 h fin2 tHk fin兲 1/3 (21)

It may be noted that modification of Eq. 共13兲, to incorporate a

lower C value of 0.515, and recorrelation of Eq. 共17兲 yields a

nearly identical expression for the optimum spacing, s opt关 s opt

Least-Material Array Optimization

⫽2.677(L 2 /g  fin b Pr) 1/4兴 , indicating only a minor depen- The preceding has revealed that there exists a fin spacing in

dence of the optimal design on the isolated plate C value. plate fin arrays, which maximizes the heat transfer rate from the

The effectiveness with which fin material is utilized in the pro- array. Moreover, relations have been presented for determining the

motion of heat transfer can be characterized by the mass specific aspect ratio of each of the fin shapes, which maximizes heat trans-

heat transfer coefficient, which is given by fer for a specified fin mass. It appears that the desire to minimize

the cost and weight of commercial heat sinks, while substantially

h m ⫽q T / finV fin b (18) enhancing their natural convection cooling rate, can be best ad-

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Fig. 3 Array heat transfer coefficient, h a , WÕm2-K, plate-fin arrays— „a… array massÄ0.125 kg, „b… array

massÄ0.25 kg, „c… array massÄ0.375 kg, L Ä W Ä10 cm, aluminum, k finÄ200 WÕm-K, b Ä25 K

dressed by the design of fin arrays that combine these two fea- 3, where the variation of the array heat transfer coefficient, ha,

tures, using least-material fins that are optimally spaced from each with fin aspect ratio and fin lateral spacing, is plotted for a fixed

other. array mass. Examining Fig. 3, it may be seen that of the configu-

Doubly Optimum Arrays. This concept is illustrated in Fig. ration explored, the doubly optimum array consistently yielded

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Fig. 3 „continued…

the highest heat transfer rates, with minimum thermal resistances to be evaluated. As a consequence, the computation time re-

of 1.23, 1.0, and 0.9 K/W for aluminum fin mass of 0.125, 0.25, quired to identify the most desirable configurations is dramatically

and 0.375 kg, respectively. shortened.

Succeeding sections of this manuscript provide the results of a

large number of computations aimed at quantifying the thermal Array Heat Transfer Coefficient. As anticipated from Bar-

performance of such ‘‘doubly-optimum’’ natural convection ar- Cohen and Jelinek 关25兴, Fig. 4 reveals that the fin thickness which

rays. The least-material formulations provide a functional depen- maximizes array heat transfer is found to equal the optimal clear

dence between the fin dimension, t and fin height, H, thus eli- horizontal spacing. For the conditions typical of this advanced

minating the fin height as an independent variable, and consider- heat sink, the dimensions are found to equal 9 mm, maximizing

ably reducing the number of heat sink configurations that need the array heat transfer coefficient at 198 W/m2-K. Interestingly for

Fig. 4 Array heat transfer coefficient, WÕm2-K, least-material Fig. 5 Mass specific heat transfer coefficient, h m , WÕkg-K,

plate-fin arrays, L Ä W Ä10 cm, aluminum, k finÄ200 WÕm-K, b least-material plate-fin arrays, L Ä W Ä10 cm, aluminum,

Ä25 K finÄ2700 kgÕm3, k finÄ200 WÕm-K, b Ä25 K

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Fig. 7 Comparison of metrics for optimum designs, optimal

least-material plate-fin arrays, L Ä W Ä10 cm, aluminum, k fin

Ä200 WÕm-K, b Ä25 K

least-material plate-fin arrays, L ÄWÄ10 cm, aluminum, k fin and h m values that are 62 and 83%, respectively, of their corre-

Ä200 WÕm-K, b Ä25 K sponding maximum values. Alternatively, the optimized h a and

h m designs perform poorly with respect to mass utilization and

total heat dissipation, respectively.

a broad range of fin thickness between 6 and 15 mm, and spacings Material Selection. The thermal optimization discussed thus

between 8 and 10 mm, the array heat transfer coefficient is seen to far was carried out for aluminum, the most common of heat sink

fall only 5% below the peak value. For the conditions shown, this materials. Following 关2兴 the ratio of k fin / fin can serve to guide the

base area can thus transfer up to some 50 W in natural convection. selection of heat sink materials with the highest value material

An upper bound for maximum heat dissipation can be estimated to yielding the best heat transfer capability per unit mass. A sum-

be 222 W/m2-K, by extending the optimal plate-fin geometry to mary of metric values obtained for aluminum 共Al兲, magnesium

infinite height 关24兴. 共Mg兲, and copper 共Cu兲, are detailed in Fig. 8 and Table 1. While

It may be noted that, for a base temperature of 70 °C and a aluminum and copper, with k fin / fin ratios of 0.074 and 0.045,

ambient temperature of 45 °C, the heat transfer via radiation, es- respectively, are commonly used heat sink materials, Kraus and

timated by the Bilitzky 关24,28兴 effective channel emittance values, Morales 关29兴 were the first to clearly describe the advantage of

yielded a negligible h a contribution of approximately 0.21 magnesium, with a k fin / fin ratio of 0.09. A more recent study on

W/m2-K for the optimum configuration. the use of magnesium fin arrays, can be found in Brown et al.

关30兴. The magnesium M1A alloy used in this study 关30兴 possessed

Mass Specific Heat Transfer Coefficient. The mass-specific a thermal conductivity, k fin , of 138 W/m-K and a density, fin , of

volumetric heat dissipation for the specified plate-fin arrays is 1760 kg/m3, which deviates mildly from the ideal values pre-

plotted in Fig. 5, showing the maximum value of 2.5 W/kg-K to sented in Table 1. Looking closely at the maximum optimum col-

occur at largest horizontal spacing of 15 mm for the smallest fin umns of Table 1, it can be seen, as anticipated, that the copper

thickness of 1 mm. Comparison of Figs. 4 and 5 reveal that maxi- arrays show higher values for h a than the magnesium and alumi-

mum thermal performance occurs at the expense of material uti- num heat sinks by a factor of 1.6 and 1.4, respectively. The Mg

lization, providing only 0.23 W/kg-K. Conversely, the geometry and Al designs are considerably better than copper with respect to

yielding the highest value of h m is only capable of transferring h m , by a factor of 5 and 3.3, respectively. Comparisons for height

some 85 W/m2-K, far below the best value of nearly 200 W/m2-K. constrained least-material designs, provided in Table 1, show the

This ‘‘best’’ h m array thus uses some 335 g to transfer 21 W. different fin materials to have comparable heat dissipation capa-

bility and thus space claim utilization. However, with respect to

Space Claim Heat Transfer Coefficient. In Fig. 6, which array mass utilization, the magnesium and aluminum designs out-

plots the least-material space claim heat transfer coefficient for the perform the copper arrays by a factor of 1.7 and 2, respectively.

rectangular plate heat sink against the array geometry, the maxi-

mum h sc of 566 W/m3-K, is found to occur at a fin thickness of 1

mm and a lateral spacing of 9 mm, the previously recognized General Optimization for Fixed Base Area

optimum spacing. Consideration of volumetric efficiency thus

provide a design with 67% shorter fins than desired for the maxi- The optimal fin dimension and horizontal spacing resulting

mum h a value, with a drop in heat dissipation of 38%. Interest- from the least-material optimization can be considered to be a

ingly, both the h a peak and the h m peak fall in regions of rela- starting point for array optimization. The use of Eqs. 共20兲 and 共21兲

tively high space claim heat transfer coefficient, at 306 and 428 assure that each fin will have the lowest mass possible for the

W/m3-K, respectively. resulting value of q fin , i.e., it will constitute an individually opti-

mum fin. A more comprehensive search of the relevant parametric

Metric Comparison. The development and optimization of a space is needed to establish the fin geometry that yields the true

particular heat sink design requires guidelines regarding the rela- array optimum. Typical results of the global plate-fin array opti-

tive importance of the various thermal metrics. However, Fig. 7 mization are illustrated in Fig. 9, with reference to seven distinct

shows the maximum hsc design to be the most satisfactory, when configurations. The design space explored for the horizontal spac-

considering heat dissipation capability, in conjunction with mate- ing, s, and the fin thickness, t, is the same as that for the least-

rial and space claim utilization. The maximum hsc design yields h a material analysis, and the fin height is varied from 0.05 m to 1 m.

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Fig. 8 Thermal performance metrics, least-material plate-fin arrays, copper—„a… h a , WÕm2-K, „b… h m , WÕkg-K, „c…

h sc ; WÕm3-K, magnesium: „d… h a , WÕm2-K, „e… h m , WÕkg-K, „f… h sc , WÕm3-K; L Ä W Ä10 cm, b Ä25 K

Table 1 Summary: maximum heat transfer and height constrained designs, least-material optimization, L Ä W Ä10 cm, b Ä25 K

Parameter Al Cu Mg Al Cu Mg Al Cu Mg

fin , kg/m3 2700 8933 1740 2700 8933 1740 2700 8933 1740

k fin , W/m-K 200 400 156 200 400 156 200 400 156

Geometry

t, mm 9 9 9 0.21 0.11 0.3 0.05 0.03 0.07

s, mm 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

H, mm 648 917 573 100 100 100 50 50 50

Array mass, kg 8.6 41 5 0.063 0.11 0.052 0.008 0.013 0.0065

Fin number, N 6 6 6 11 11 11 11 11 11

Aspect ratio, H/t 72 102 64 466 934 364 934 1867 728

Spacing ratio, H/s 72 102 64 11 11 11 6 6 6

Metrics

Q, W 49.5 69.7 43.8 16.1 16.3 16 8.93 8.95 8.91

h a , W/m2-K 198 279 175 64.5 65.3 64.1 35.71 35.82 35.65

h m , W/kg-K 0.23 0.07 0.35 10.3 6.2 12.4 45 27 54

h sc , W/m3-K 305.6 279 306.2 645 653 641 714 716 713

fin 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626 0.626

It should be noted that the range of fin heights, H, has been de-

liberately extended to uncommonly large values to aid in making

the appropriate comparisons.

Examination of Fig. 9 reveals that a ‘‘maximizing’’ fin height

exists for each fin thickness-fin spacing configuration. The array

heat transfer coefficient appears to increase steeply, as this fin

height is approached, and to decrease in a gradual fashion, as

this value of H is exceeded. This drop-off in fin performance

appears to result from the decrease in fin efficiency, accompanied

by a reduction in the fin heat transfer coefficient, for fins of pro-

gressively greater height. Despite this variation, it is easy to see

that more than a factor of two separates the performance of the

‘‘best’’ and the ‘‘worst’’ arrays considered, thus justifying the ef-

fort required to optimize heat sink designs for electronic cooling

applications.

It can be seen from Fig. 9, that the best performing array has

the same lateral spacing and fin thickness as for the least-material

optimal array, justifying the use of the least-material approach to Fig. 9 Array heat transfer coefficient, h a , plate-fin arrays, L

design fin arrays. The ‘‘best’’ performing array improves on the Ä W Ä10 cm, k finÄ200 WÕm-K, b Ä25 K

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Fig. 10 Plate aspect ratio, H Õ t , least-material plate-fin arrays, „a… aluminum, „b… copper, „c… magnesium, L Ä W

Ä10 cm, b Ä25 K

thermal performance of the least-material optimal array by only manufacturing techniques, providing an incentive for the develop-

2%, thus indicating excellent estimation of the maximum heat ment of innovative manufacturing techniques, that allow the

dissipation by using the least-material procedure. This improve- manufacture of thermally optimal fin arrays.

ment is as a result of extending plate height of the optimal ‘‘least-

material’’ geometry from 0.648 m to 0.8 m, increasing the array Nomenclature

mass by 23%.

A ⫽ heat transfer area

Manufacturability Considerations El ⫽ ⫽g  Pr b s 3 (s/L)/ 2 , Elenbaas no. based on s

H ⫽ fin height, m

The financial constraints at work in the electronic industry L ⫽ length of array, m

make it essential that specific cooling requirements be achieved Pr ⫽ Prandtl no., ⫽ c p /k f

with the lowest cost solution. The material and manufacturing RaL ⫽ ⫽g  Pr b L 3 / 2 , Raleigh’s no. based on L

costs are the major factors influencing the use of plate fin heat R hs ⫽ heat sink thermal resistance, K/W

sinks, especially in micro-electronic applications. In large volume V fin ⫽ total plate-fin array volume, m3

production, the ‘‘least-material’’ methodology when utilized in W ⫽ width of array

conjunction with manufacturing consideration, will nearly always cp ⫽ fluid specific heat, J/kg-K

provide the lowest cost solution. Thus, in the coming years the g ⫽ gravitational acceleration, m/s2

designers will be required to work closely with the heat sink ha ⫽ array heat transfer coefficient based on base area,

manufacturers, to generate high-performance cooling solutions, at W/m2-K

the lowest cost possible. Manufacturability constraints, when ap- h base ⫽ avg. exposed base area heat transfer coefficient,

plied to the thermal design, will result in heat sinks with reduced W/m2-K

thermal performance. In the current study, maximum volumetric h sc ⫽ space claim heat transfer coefficient, W/m3-K

heat transfer coefficient is found to occur at largest horizontal h fin ⫽ average fin heat transfer coefficient, W/m3-K

spacing of 15 mm. However, Figs. 4, 5, and 8 indicate a plateau hm ⫽ material specific heat transfer coefficient, W/kg-K

for h m , for higher value of h a , allowing the designer to ignore the k fin ⫽ thermal conductivity of heat sink material, W/m-k

geometry effects on volumetric heat dissipation, when designing kf ⫽ thermal conductivity of fluid at base of array,

in these ranges of h a , thereby also relaxing the tolerance required W/m-k

for their manufacture. Existence of design plateau also allows for m ⫽ fin parameter

flexibility in choice of manufacturing process. nfin ⫽ total no. of fins in array

The fin heights recommended by the least-material optimization qfin ⫽ heat dissipation from single fin, W

are often out of the range of existing manufacturing technology. qT ⫽ total heat transfer from fin array, W

Figure 10 shows the variation of the plate aspect ratio with array s ⫽ lateral clear spacing in fin arrays, m

geometry. A close comparison of the aspect ratios, H/t, for the t ⫽ fin thickness, m

different materials, indicates the magnesium arrays to be easier to  ⫽ thermal coefficient of expansion, K⫺1

manufacture than the other arrays. fin ⫽ fin efficiency

The trends observed in this section, suggesting the improved ⫽ mean dynamic viscosity of fluid

thermal performance for arrays of large aspect ratios and fin fin ⫽ fin material density, kg/m3

heights, provides incentive for the development of innovative ⫽ mean kinematic viscosity of fluid

manufacturing techniques, that allow the manufacture of ther- b ⫽ array base excess temperature, K

mally optimal fin arrays.

Subscripts

Conclusion b, base ⫽ fin array base

hs ⫽ heat sink

A least-material optimization procedure has been successfully

fin, f ⫽ plate-fin

demonstrated for vertical rectangular longitudinal plate fin arrays

m ⫽ mass

in natural convective heat transfer. The optimally spaced least-

opt ⫽ optimal, optimum

material array was also found to be the globally superior thermal

sc ⫽ space claim

design, showing the least-material approach to be a suitable opti-

mization design heuristic. A comparison of the thermal perfor-

mance for different materials shows magnesium to be the most References

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