provide heat transfer enhancement while consuming little power. Past research has focused on feasibility and performance characterization of a single fan, while arrays of such fans, which have important practical applications, have not been widely studied. This paper investigates the heat transfer achieved using arrays of cantilevers vibrating in their first resonant mode. This is accomplished by determining the local convection coefficients due to the two piezoelectric fans mounted near a constant heat flux surface using infrared thermal imaging. The heat transfer performance is quantified over a wide range of operating conditions, including vibration amplitude (7.5–10 mm), distance from heat source (0.01–2 times the fan amplitude), and pitch between fans (0.5–4 times the amplitude). The convection patterns observed are strongly dependent on the fan pitch, with the behavior resembling a single fan for small fan pitch and two isolated fans at a large pitch. The area-averaged thermal performance of the fan array is superior to that of a single fan, and correlations are developed to describe this enhancement in terms of the governing parameters. The best thermal performance is obtained when the fan pitch is 1.5 times its vibration amplitude.


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

Date of this Version




Published in:

M. L. Kimber and S. V. Garimella, “Cooling Performance of Arrays of Vibrating Cantilevers,” ASME Journal of Heat Transfer Vol. 131, 111401, 2009.