Research Papers

Subcooled Boiling Heat Transfer for Cooling of Power Electronics in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

[+] Author and Article Information
Weihuan Zhao, Wenhua Yu

Energy Systems Division,
Argonne National Laboratory,
9700 South Cass Avenue,
Argonne, IL 60439

David M. France

Energy Systems Division,
Argonne National Laboratory,
9700 South Cass Avenue,
Argonne, IL 60439
Department of Mechanical
and Industrial Engineering,
University of Illinois at Chicago,
842 West Taylor Street (M/C 251),
Chicago, IL 60607

Dileep Singh

Energy Systems Division,
Argonne National Laboratory,
9700 South Cass Avenue,
Argonne, IL 60439
e-mail: dsingh@anl.gov

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received October 13, 2014; final manuscript received June 15, 2015; published online July 7, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Sandeep Tonapi.

The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.

J. Electron. Packag 137(3), 031013 (Sep 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: EP-14-1090; doi: 10.1115/1.4030896 History: Received October 13, 2014; Revised June 15, 2015; Online July 07, 2015

At present, single-phase liquid, forced convection cooled heat sinks with fins are used to cool power electronics in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Although use of fins in the cooling channels increases heat transfer rates considerably, a second low-temperature radiator and associated pumping system are still required in HEVs. This additional cooling system adds weight and cost while decreasing the efficiency of HEVs. With the objective of eliminating this additional low-temperature radiator and pumping system in HEVs, an alternative cooling technology, subcooled boiling in the cooling channels, was investigated in the present study. Numerical heat transfer simulations were performed using subcooled boiling in the power electronics cooling channels with the coolant supplied from the existing main engine cooling system. Results show that this subcooled boiling system is capable of removing 25% more heat from the power electronics than the conventional forced convection cooling technology, or it can reduce the junction temperature of the power electronics at the current heat removal rate. With the 25% increased heat transfer option, high heat fluxes up to 250 W/cm2 (typical for wideband-gap semiconductor applications) are possible by using the subcooled boiling system.

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Fig. 1

Concept of subcooled boiling system for cooling power electronics

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Fig. 2

Typical power electronics and cooling channel configuration

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Fig. 3

Side view identifying each layer of power electronics and cooling channels

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Fig. 5

Mesh structure (unit in meters)

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Fig. 6

Verification of simulation model: (a) modeling geometry and (b) comparison of the temperature profile

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Fig. 7

Verification of subcooled boiling heat transfer coefficient model: (a) coolant fluid temperature 82 °C and (b) coolant fluid temperature 97 °C

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Fig. 8

TIM thermal conductivity effects

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Fig. 9

Junction temperature of subcooled boiling with a 7.5 W/m K TIM thermal conductivity: (a) without fins and (b) with fins

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Fig. 10

Flow velocity effects

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Fig. 11

Coolant inlet temperature effects

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Fig. 12

Heat flux effects

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Fig. 13

High heat flux applications (heat flux 250 W/cm2): (a) convective heat transfer and (b) subcooled boiling




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