Research Papers: Electronic Cooling

Charging Station of a Planar Miniature Heat Pipe Thermal Ground Plane

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammed T. Ababneh

School of Dynamic Systems,
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, OH 45221
e-mail: ababnemt@mail.uc.edu

Shakti Chauhan, Tao Deng

General Electric Global Research Center,
Niskayuna, NY 12309

Doug Hurd

School of Dynamic Systems,
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, OH 45221

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Heat Transfer. Manuscript received October 20, 2011; final manuscript received May 17, 2012; published online December 28, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Bruce L. Drolen.

J. Heat Transfer 135(2), 021401 (Dec 28, 2012) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-11-1479; doi: 10.1115/1.4007430 History: Received October 20, 2011; Revised May 17, 2012

Thermal ground planes (TGPs) are planar, thin (thickness of 3 mm or less) heat pipes which use two-phase heat transfer. The objective is to utilize TGPs as thermal spreaders in several microelectronic cooling applications. TGPs are innovative high-performance, integrated systems able to operate at a high power density with a reduced weight and temperature gradient. Moreover, being able to dissipate large amounts of heat, they have very high effective axial thermal conductivities and can operate in high adverse gravitational fields due to nanoporous wicks. A key factor in the design of the TGP is evacuation prior to filling and introduction of the proper amount of working fluid (water) into the device. The major challenge of this work is to fill heat pipes with a total liquid volume of less than 1 ml, without being able to see into the device. The current filling station is an improvement over the current state of the art as it allows for accurate filling of microliter sized volumes. Tests were performed to validate performance of the system and to verify that little to no noncondensable gasses were introduced to the system. Careful calibration of the amount of liquid introduced is important. Therefore, calibration of the burettes utilized for a liquid fill range of 0.01 ml to 100 ml was important. The magnitude of the pressure inside the TGP device is also an important factor. Charging station validation demonstrated the capability of charging TGPs with accuracy of ±1.64 μl. Calibration curves for the burettes and error characterization curves for a range of liquid charging volumes will be presented and discussed in this paper.

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Fig. 1

Engineered nanostructures for high thermal conductivity TGP substrates [7]

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Fig. 2

Filling the TGP device under vacuum using atmospheric air, under the red line is dry area (dead volume) before filling. (Note: The figure is not drawn to scale.)

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Fig. 3

Modified filling station with TGP

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Fig. 4

Filling plastic cup under gravity, without vacuum, through a copper tube with (0.5 mm) inner diameter

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Fig. 5

Error characterization curve for 10 ml burette at small volumes

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Fig. 6

Error characterization curve for 10 ml burette at large volumes

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Fig. 7

Calibration curve for 10 ml burette under gravity

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Fig. 8

Error characterization curve for 3 ml burette at small volumes

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Fig. 9

Error characterization curve for 3 ml burette at large volumes

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Fig. 10

Calibration curve for 3 ml burette under gravity

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Fig. 11

Effect of flow rate by changing the number of graduation at metering valve

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Fig. 12

Characterization of evacuation of the TGP using the filling station




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