Experimental Characterization of the Heat Transfer in Multi-Microchannel Heat Sinks for Two-Phase Cooling of Power Electronics

Gennaro Criscuolo, Wiebke Brix Markussen, Knud Erik Meyer, Björn Palm, Martin Ryhl Kærn*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    90 Downloads (Pure)


    This study aims to characterize experimentally the heat transfer in micro-milled multi-microchannels copper heat sinks operating with flow boiling, in the attempt to contribute to the development of novel and high heat flux thermal management systems for power electronics. The working fluid was R-134a and the investigation was conducted for a nominal outlet saturation temperature of 30 ∘C. The microchannels were 1 cm long and covered a square footprint area of 1 cm2. Boiling curves starting at low vapor quality and average heat transfer coefficients were obtained for nominal channel mass fluxes from 250 kg/m2s to 1100 kg/m2s. The measurements were conducted by gradually increasing the power dissipation over a serpentine heater soldered at the bottom of the multi-microchannels, until a maximum heater temperature of 150 ∘C was reached. Infrared thermography was used for the heater temperature measurements, while high-speed imaging through a transparent top cover provided visual access over the entire length of the channels. The average heat transfer coefficient increased with the dissipated heat flux until a decrease dependent on hydrodynamic effects occurred, possibly due to incomplete wall wetting. Depending on the channel geometry, a peak value of 200 kW/m2K for the footprint heat transfer coefficient and a maximum dissipation of 620 W/cm2 at the footprint with a limit temperature of 150 ∘C could be obtained, showing the suitability of the investigated geometries in high heat flux cooling of power electronics. The experimental dataset was used to assess the prediction capability of selected literature correlations. The prediction method by Bertsch et al. gave the best agreement with a mean absolute percent error of 24.5%, resulting to be a good design tool for flow boiling in high aspect ratio multi-microchannels as considered in this study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number55
    Issue number2
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Flow boiling
    • Microchannel
    • Power electronics
    • Thermal management
    • Pumped two-phase


    Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Characterization of the Heat Transfer in Multi-Microchannel Heat Sinks for Two-Phase Cooling of Power Electronics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this