Improve and Innovate – Innovative Design for Performance

Piezoelectric fans have been investigated for electronics cooling over the last decade. The primary usage or method has been to place the vibrating fan near the surface to be cooled. The piezofan used in the current study is composed of a piezo actuator attached to a flexible metal beam. It is operated at up to 120-VAC and at 60 Hz. While most of the research in the literature focused on cooling bare surfaces, larger heat transfer rates are of interest in the present study. A system of piezoelectric fans and a heat sink is presented as a more efficient method of system cooling with these fans. In this paper, a heat sink and piezoelectric fan system demonstrated a cooling capability of 1 C/W over an area of about 75 cm2 where electronic assemblies can be mounted. The heat sink not only provides surface area, but also flow shaping for the unusual 3-D flow field of the fans. A volumetric coefficient of performance (COPv ) is proposed, which allows a piezofan and heat sink system volume to be compared against the heat dissipating capacity of a similar heat sink of the same volume for natural convection. A piezofan system is shown to have a COPv of five times that of a typical natural-convection solution. The paper will further discuss the effect of nozzles in flow shaping obtained via experimental and computational studies. A 3-D flow field of the proposed cooling scheme with a piezofan is obtained via a flow visualization method. Velocities at the heat sink in the order of 1.5 m/s were achieved through this critical shaping. Finally, the overall system characterization to different heat loads and fan amplitudes will be discussed.

Improve & Innovate – Innovative Design for Performance