Characterization and Modeling of Two-Phase Heat Transfer in Chip-Scale Non-Uniformly Heated Microgap Channels

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A chip-scale, non-uniformly heated microgap channel, 100 micron to 500 micron in height with dielectric fluid HFE-7100 providing direct single- and two-phase liquid cooling for a thermal test chip with localized heat flux reaching 100 W/cm2, is experimentally characterized and numerically modeled. Single-phase heat transfer and hydraulic characterization is performed to establish the single-phase baseline performance of the microgap channel and to validate the mesh-intensive CFD numerical model developed for the test channel. Convective heat transfer coefficients for HFE-7100 flowing in a 100-micron microgap channel reached 9 kW/m2K at 6.5 m/s fluid velocity. Despite the highly non-uniform boundary conditions imposed on the microgap channel, CFD model simulation gave excellent agreement with the experimental data (to within 5%), while the discrepancy with the predictions of the classical, "ideal" channel correlations in the literature reached 20%.

A detailed investigation of two-phase heat transfer in non-ideal micro gap channels, with developing flow and significant non-uniformities in heat generation, was performed.

Significant temperature non-uniformities were observed with non-uniform heating, where the wall temperature gradient exceeded 30°C with a heat flux gradient of 3-30 W/cm2, for the quadrant-die heating pattern compared to a 20°C gradient and 7-14 W/cm2 heat flux gradient for the uniform heating pattern, at 25W heat and 1500 kg/m2s mass flux.

Using an inverse computation technique for determining the heat flow into the wetted microgap channel, average wall heat transfer coefficients were found to vary in a complex fashion with channel height, flow rate, heat flux, and heating pattern and to typically display an inverse parabolic segment of a previously observed M-shaped variation with quality, for two-phase thermal transport. Examination of heat transfer coefficients sorted by flow regimes yielded an overall agreement of 31% between predictions of the Chen correlation and the 24 data points classified as being in Annular flow, using a recently proposed Intermittent/Annular transition criterion. A semi-numerical first-order technique, using the Chen correlation, was found to yield acceptable prediction accuracy (17%) for the wall temperature distribution and hot spots in non-uniformly heated "real world" microgap channels cooled by two-phase flow.

Heat transfer coefficients in the 100-micron channel were found to reach an Annular flow peak of ~8 kW/m2K at G=1500 kg/m2s and vapor quality of x=10%. In a 500-micron channel, the Annular heat transfer coefficient was found to reach 9 kW/m2K at 270 kg/m2s mass flux and 14% vapor quality level. The peak two-phase HFE-7100 heat transfer coefficient values were nearly 2.5-4 times higher (at similar mass fluxes) than the single-phase HFE-7100 values and sometimes exceeded the cooling capability associated with water under forced convection. An alternative classification of heat transfer coefficients, based on the variable slope of the observed heat transfer coefficient curve), was found to yield good agreement with the Chen correlation predictions in the pseudo-annular flow regime (22%) but to fall to 38% when compared to the Shah correlation for data in the pseudo-intermittent flow regime.