Research Papers: Natural and Mixed Convection

Study and Optimization of Horizontal-Base Pin-Fin Heat Sinks in Natural Convection and Radiation

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Sahray, H. Shmueli, G. Ziskind, R. Letan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Heat Transfer Laboratory, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

J. Heat Transfer 132(1), 012503 (Nov 04, 2009) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3156791 History: Received November 26, 2008; Revised March 27, 2009; Published November 04, 2009; Online November 04, 2009

This paper aims at deeper understanding of heat transfer from horizontal-base pin-fin heat sinks with exposed edges in free convection of air. The effects of fin height and fin population density are studied experimentally and numerically. The sinks are made of aluminum, and there is no contact resistance between the base and the fins. All the sinks studied have the same base dimensions and are heated using foil electrical heaters. The fins have a constant square cross section, whereas the fin height and pitch vary. The heat input is set, and temperatures of the base and fins are measured. In the corresponding numerical study, the sinks and their environment are modeled using the FLUENT 6.3 software. The results show that heat-transfer enhancement due to the fins is not monotonic. The differences between sparsely and densely populated sinks are assessed quantitatively and analyzed for various fin heights. Also analyzed is the heat flux distribution at the edges and center of the sink. A relative contribution of outer and inner fin rows in the sink is assessed, together with the effect of fin location in the array on the heat-transfer rate from an individual fin. By decoupling convection from radiation, a dimensional analysis of the results for natural convection is attempted. A correlation presenting the Nusselt number versus the Rayleigh number is suggested, where the “clear” spacing between fins serves as the characteristic length.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Physical model of the sink and its surroundings: (a) schematic view of the sink and domain and (b) examples of the heat sinks

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Figure 2

Example of the grid

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Figure 3

Summary of the experimental results for the sinks of Table 1 at various heat inputs

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Figure 4

Validation via comparison of experimental and numerical results: (a) for the array of 81 fins and various fin heights and (b) for a variety of population-height combinations

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Figure 5

Complete numerical results for various fin heights: (a) H=10 mm, (b) H=20 mm, and (c) H=30 mm

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Figure 6

Normalized numerical results for different fin arrays

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Figure 7

Heat flux distribution for different fin heights and populations at 13 W heat input

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Figure 8

Contribution of different rows and individual fins to the total heat output at 16W input (first row=all fins located at the outside perimeter of the sink): (a) different rows and (b) individual fins

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Figure 9

Results for sinks with (121) and without (96) internal fins: (a) typical heat flux distribution for the fins at 10 W heat input, (b) typical flow field across the sink, and (c) overall comparison

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Figure 10

Simulated heat loss by natural convection only: (a) H=10 mm, (b) H=20 mm, and (c) H=30 mm

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Figure 11

Generalized results (a) sinks with various fin heights and (b) overall correlation




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