As electronics packages become increasingly thinner and more compact due to size, weight, and performance demands, the use of large intermediate heat spreaders to mitigate heat generation non-uniformities are no longer a viable option. Instead, non-uniform heat flux profiles produced from chip-scale variations or from multiple discrete devices are experienced directly by the ultimate heat sink. In order to address these thermal packaging trends, a better understanding of the impacts of non-uniform heating on two-phase flow characteristics and thermal performance limits for microchannel heat sinks is needed. An experimental investigation is performed to explore flow boiling phenomena in a microchannel heat sink with hotspots, as well as non-uniform streamwise and transverse peak-heating conditions spanning across the entire heat sink area. The investigation is conducted using a silicon microchannel heat sink with a 5 x 5 array of individually controllable heaters attached to a 12.7 mm x 12.7 mm square base. The channels are 240 lm wide, 370 lm deep, and separated by 110 lm wide fins. The working fluid is the dielectric fluorinert liquid FC-77, flowing at a mass flux of approximately 890 kg/m2 s. High-speed visualizations of the flow are recorded to observe the local flow regimes. Despite the substrate beneath the microchannels being very thin (200 lm), significant lateral conduction occurs and must be accounted for in the calculation of the local heat flux imposed. For non-uniform heat input profiles, with peak heat fluxes along the streamwise and transverse directions, it is found that the local flow regimes, heat transfer coefficients, and wall temperatures deviate significantly from a uniformly heated case. These trends are assessed as a function of an increase in the relative magnitude of the nonuniformity between the peak and background heat fluxes.


non-uniform heating, hot spot, microchannel heat sink, two-phase flow, boiling

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S. N. Ritchey, J. A. Weibel and S. V. Garimella, “Local Measurement of Flow Boiling Heat Transfer in an Array of Non-Uniformly Heated Microchannels,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfe, Vol . 71, pp. 206-216, 2014.