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SPECIAL SECTION PAPERS

Role of a Liquid Accumulator in a Passive Two-Phase Liquid Cooling System for Electronics: Experimental Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicolas Lamaison, Raffaele L. Amalfi, Jackson B. Marcinichen

Laboratory of Heat and Mass Transfer,
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
EPFL-STI-IGM-LTCM, Station 9,
Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland

Todd Salamon

Laboratory of Emerging Materials,
Components and Devices,
Nokia Bell Laboratories,
600 Mountain Avenue,
Murray Hill, NJ 07974

John R. Thome

Laboratory of Heat and Mass Transfer,
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
EPFL-STI-IGM-LTCM, Station 9,
Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland
e-mail: john.thome@epfl.ch

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received September 18, 2017; final manuscript received January 3, 2018; published online March 2, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Reza Khiabani.

J. Electron. Packag 140(1), 010901 (Mar 02, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: EP-17-1085; doi: 10.1115/1.4039091 History: Received September 18, 2017; Revised January 03, 2018

Gravity-driven two-phase liquid cooling systems using flow boiling within microscale evaporators are becoming a game-changing solution for electronics cooling. The optimization of the system's filling ratio (FR) can however become a challenging problem for a system operating over a wide range of cooling capacities and temperature ranges. The benefits of a liquid accumulator (LA) to overcome this difficulty are evaluated in the present paper. An experimental thermosyphon cooling system was built to cool multiple electronic components up to a power dissipation of 1800 W. A double-ended cylinder with a volume of 150 cm3 is evaluated as the LA for two different system volumes (associated with two different condensers). Results demonstrated that the LA provided robust thermal performance as a function of FR for the entire range of heat loads tested. In addition, the present LA was more effective for a small volume system, 599 cm3, than for a large volume system, 1169 cm3, in which the relative size of the LA increased from 12.8% to 25% of the total system's volume.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic and operation principle of a thermosyphon

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Fig. 2

Experimental apparatus built at Nokia Bell Laboratories: (a) thermosyphon with thermal insulation and (b) schematic of the thermosyphon flow loop with all the instrumentation

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Fig. 3

Air-cooled condenser and fan assembly before placing the thermal insulation

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Fig. 4

Liquid-cooled ultracompact condenser before its installation inside the test loop

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Fig. 5

Microcooling evaporator before closing the support

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Fig. 6

Drawing of the evaporator assembly

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Fig. 7

Experimental liquid accumulator section without thermal insulation

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Fig. 8

Representation of thermal resistances of the thermosyphon and variables of interest

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Fig. 9

Thermal performance at ambient air temperature of 22 °C and air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1 for setup 1 without liquid accumulator: (a) thermal resistances as a function of the filling ratio for the heat load of 1800 W and (b) mean/max temperature differences between the evaporator and air inlet as a function of the filling ratio for the heat loads of 1250 W and 1800 W

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Fig. 10

Thermal performance comparison between setup 1 without liquid accumulator and setup 1 with liquid accumulator, at a filling ratio of 60%, ambient air temperature of 40 °C and air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1: (a) subcooling at the inlet of the evaporator as a function of the heat load and (b) thermal resistances as a function of the heat load

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Fig. 11

Effect of liquid accumulator on the subcooling at the inlet of the evaporator during cold startup (step from a heat load of 0 W to 1800 W) for setup 1, at a filling ratio of 60%, ambient air temperature of 40 °C, air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1

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Fig. 12

Thermal performance at ambient air temperature of 40 °C, air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1 for setup 1 with liquid accumulator: (a) thermal resistances as a function of the filling ratio for the heat load of 1800 W and (b) mean/max temperature differences between the evaporator and air inlet as a function of the filling ratio for the heat loads of 1250 W and 1800 W

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Fig. 13

Local thermal performance at filling ratios of 45% and 55%, ambient air temperature of 40 °C, air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1 for setup 1 with liquid accumulator: (a) local temperature difference between the evaporator and air inlet for the nonuniform heating patterns P1 (2 ON/2 OFF/2ON/…., total power of 1000 W) and P4 (9 ON/9 OFF, total power of 900 W) and (b) local temperature difference between the evaporator and air inlet for the nonuniform heating patterns P2 (4 OFF/10 ON/4 OFF, total power of 1000 W) and P3 (4 ON/10 OFF/4 ON, total power of 1000 W)

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Fig. 14

Subcooling at the inlet of the evaporator as a function of the heat load, at a filling ratio of 60% and for different systems configurations: setup 1 without liquid accumulator (LA closed large system), setup 1 with liquid accumulator (LA open large system), at an ambient air temperature of 40 °C and air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1 and setup 2 with liquid accumulator (LA open small system) and ambient air temperature of 20 °C

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Fig. 15

Top and bottom temperatures of the LA compared to the saturation temperature as a function of the heat load, at a filling ratio of 50%: (a) setup 1 with liquid accumulator at an ambient air temperature of 40 °C and air flow rate of 826 m3 h−1 and (b) setup 2 with liquid accumulator and ambient air temperature of 20 °C

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