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Dr. Alfonso Ortega, Ph.D.

   
Biography

Liquid Cooling Tutorial: Designing Liquid Cooled heat Sinks and Cold Plates . by Dr. Alfonso Ortega, Ph.D., Speaker

For decades electronics thermal management has relied primarily on air-cooled solutions, but indirect liquid cooling via cold plates and liquid cooled heat sinks has become a necessary part of the potential design space as the thermal margin for air cooling vanishes.  Just as in the early days of air cooling, the design of liquid cooled heat sinks and cold plates has not always followed a rigorous engineering process.  As liquid cooled solutions start to seriously contend for implementation, understanding their behavior will lead to better design processes, tools, and ultimately optimized solutions.  This lecture will focus on understanding the basic behavior of liquid cooled heat sinks and cold plates, primarily in single phase flow, but with some attention also to two-phase flow.  We will compare the various metrics that can be used to assess their performance, including the overall thermal resistance and the heat exchanger effectiveness, and we will compare the performance of liquid cooled heat sinks to air-cooled solutions using these metrics.  Finally, we will discuss the use of analysis tools in their design in particular to show the value of simple modeling approaches compared to full CFD approaches.

Indirect liquid cooling via cold plates and liquid cooled heat sinks has become a necessary part of the potential design space for cooling electronic systems as the thermal margin for air cooling vanishes. In high density Data Center applications, liquid cooling offers the possibility not only of enhanced cooling, but also increases the potential for waste energy recovery. As liquid cooled solutions start to seriously contend for implementation, understanding their behavior will lead to better design processes, tools, and ultimately optimized solutions. This lecture will focus on understanding the basic behavior of liquid cooled heat sinks and cold plates, in single and two phase flow. We will compare the various metrics that can be used to assess their performance, including the overall thermal resistance and the heat exchanger effectiveness. Finally, we will discuss the use of analysis tools in their design in particular to show the value of simple modeling approaches compared to full CFD approaches.

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