High Heat Flux Cooling Module Rosette for Power Amplifier Thermal Solution

Period of Performance: 04/22/2002 - 10/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microenergy Technologies, Inc.
2007 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661
Principal Investigator


MicroEnergy Technologies, Inc. (MicroET) proposes to demonstrate the feasibility and the major advantages of an innovative electronic cooling system with substrate-integrated ceramic (e.g., SiC) microchannels in which a ceramic nanoparticles suspension (i.e., SiC nanofluid coolant) is driven using a unique pumping approach to yield high intensity heat removal from the substrate. The particular thermal management system addresses the DoD requirements for cooling of power electronics where it is to be compatible with SiC and GaN based wide bandgap semiconductor microwave amplifiers. The heat transfer within the self-contained cooling module is high because of two key reasons, namely, high surface area of the microchannel surface geometry for efficient heat rejection to the coolant and very high heat transfer coefficients induced by the SiC nanofluid coolant. Combining these two effects is expected to produce heat rejection rates significantly higher than 1000 W/cm2 from the surface of the substrate to be cooled with pumping pressure drops of less than 1000 Pa (or less than 10 mW/cm2 of substrate surface area pumping power requirements) . In the proposed phase I work we intend to demonstrate a specific application of nanofluids where the morphology of the particles and the rheology of the mixture have major impact on the system performance. Based on our collective experience in thermal systems miniaturization, we believe SiC nanoparticles suspensions can be tailored to provide a unique opportunity for thermal management and enhanced heat transfer rates in high heat flux heat sinks and heat exchangers. The rosette microchannel arrangement and the particular method by which the fluid is pumped through the microchannels give rise to very low pumping power requirements while increasing the substrate surface temperature uniformity. The final product, high heat flux cooling module rosette, in addition to application in defense technologies, will have a significant commercial value to a broader industry, including the aerospace and space electronics manufacturers. Efficient distributed cooling will reduce the risk of system failure, increase system throughput, and reduce the complexity, size, and weight of the system.