Piezoelectric fans have been shown to provide substantial enhancements in heat transfer over natural convection while consuming very little power. These devices consist of a piezoelectric material attached to a flexible cantilever beam. When driven at resonance, large oscillations at the cantilever tip cause fluid motion, which in turn results in improved heat transfer rates. In this study, the local heat transfer coefficients induced by piezoelectric fans are determined experimentally for a fan vibrating close to an electrically heated stainless steel foil, and the entire temperature field is observed by means of an infrared camera. Four vibration amplitudes ranging from 6.35 to 10 mm are considered, with the distance from the heat source to the fan tip chosen to vary from 0.01 to 2.0 times the amplitude. The two-dimensional contours of the local heat transfer coefficient transition from a lobed shape at small gaps to an almost circular shape at intermediate gaps. At larger gaps, the heat transfer coefficient distribution becomes elliptical in shape. Correlations developed with appropriate Reynolds and Nusselt number definitions describe the area-averaged thermal performance with a maximum error of less than 12%.


local heat transfer, piezoelectric fan, electronics cooling, vibrating cantilever, heat transfer enhancement

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M. Kimber, S. V. Garimella and A. Raman, “Local Heat Transfer Coefficients Induced by Piezoelectrically Actuated Vibrating Cantilevers,” ASME Journal of Heat Transfer Vol. 129, pp. 1168-1176, 2007.