US20110067841A1 - Heat sink systems and devices - Google Patents

Heat sink systems and devices Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110067841A1
US20110067841A1 US12566042 US56604209A US2011067841A1 US 20110067841 A1 US20110067841 A1 US 20110067841A1 US 12566042 US12566042 US 12566042 US 56604209 A US56604209 A US 56604209A US 2011067841 A1 US2011067841 A1 US 2011067841A1
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plurality
heat sink
inside surface
surface portion
pin fins
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Abandoned
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US12566042
Inventor
Young M. Doo
Mark D. Korich
Stuart Moriwaki
Konstantinos Triantos
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GM Global Technology Operations LLC
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GM Global Technology Operations LLC
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K7/00Constructional details common to different types of electric apparatus
    • H05K7/20Modifications to facilitate cooling, ventilating, or heating
    • H05K7/20218Modifications to facilitate cooling, ventilating, or heating using a liquid coolant without phase change in electronic enclosures
    • H05K7/20254Cold plates transferring heat from heat source to coolant

Abstract

A heat sink is provided for that eliminates inefficient coolant bypass channels. The heat sink comprises a coolant cavity that is defined by a cover and a body portion. The thermally conductive cover includes a first plurality of substantially uniformly dispersed pin fins that extend at an angle from the inside surface of the cover towards a section of the body portion that is opposite the cover. The body portion opposite the cover includes a second plurality of pin fins that extend in the opposite direction from the first plurality. The coolant cavity also includes thermal bosses that protrude from an inside surface of the body portion. The bosses run parallel to the first and second plurality of pin fins and extend from a point near the thermally conductive cover to the section of the thermally conductive body portion that is opposite to the thermally conductive cover.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention generally relates to heat sinks. More specifically the subject matter disclosed herein relates to structures and devices for increasing thermal efficiency in a heat sink.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • One concern in the design of electronic systems is the possibility of high heat loads created by concentrating a large number of circuits onto a single chip and more chips onto a single circuit board thus possibly reducing the life expectancy of such devices. Without efficient cooling systems, today's sophisticated electronics would fail far sooner than their design life expectancy. This is especially true when such devices must operate in high heat environments.
  • Typically, coolant systems rely on forced air cooling commonly found in electronic devices such as personal computers, or liquid fluid flow heat exchangers that are commonly found in vehicles and in industrial environments. Liquid flow systems are known to be more efficient that forced air systems, particularly in environments where a source of relatively cold air is not readily available.
  • It is generally known that the amount of heat absorbed by a heat sink is proportional to the surface area a heat exchanger and the temperature differential between the environmental temperature and the coolant temperature in the heat exchanger. Newton's first law of cooling, states that the rate of heat transfer to a body is proportional to the difference in temperatures between the body and its surroundings. A general formulation of heat transfer may be stated as:

  • dQ/dt=h·A(T env −T(f f))
  • where,
    Q=Thermal energy in joules
    h=Heat transfer coefficient
    A=Surface area of the heat exchanger
    T(ff)=Temperature of the coolant as a function of flow rate and utilization efficiency.
    Tenv=Temperature of the heat environment.
  • As such, the Newton's first law states that given a specific heat transfer coefficient, which is fixed by the material used, the rate of heat transfer is proportional to both the surface area of the heat exchanger and the difference between the coolant temperature and the ambient temperature, all else being equal. However, inefficiencies in the coolant flow within the heat exchanger are factors that reduce the effective flow and therefore increase effective temperature of the. Thus larger than necessary heat exchangers may be required.
  • Accordingly, it is desirable to have more efficient heat exchangers. Furthermore, other desirable features and characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and the foregoing technical field and background.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It should be appreciated that this Summary is provided to introduce a selection of non-limiting concepts. The embodiments disclosed herein are exemplary as the combinations and permutations of various features of the subject matter disclosed herein are voluminous. The discussion herein is limited for the sake of clarity and brevity.
  • The disclosure herein provides for a novel heat sink. The heat sink comprises a thermally conductive cover including a first inside surface portion and a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion. The heat sink also comprises a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface portion and a second plurality of pin fins integral to and extending from the second inside surface portion in a direction towards the first inside surface portion.
  • In another embodiment, the heat sink comprises a thermally conductive cover including a first inside surface portion and a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion. The heat sink also includes a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface and a first boss protruding from the second inside surface portion, running substantially parallel to at least one of the first plurality of pin fins.
  • In another embodiment, the heat sink comprises a thermally conductive cover including a first inside surface portion and a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion. The heat sink also includes a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface portion and a inside bottom surface portion with a first boss protruding from the second inside surface portion, running substantially parallel to at least one of the first plurality of pin fins and extending from the first inside surface portion to the inside bottom surface portion. In addition, the hat sink provides for a second plurality of pin fins integral to and extending from the bottom surface portion in a direction towards the first inside surface portion.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements.
  • FIG. 1 a is a cross-sectional view of a heat exchanger in accordance with the prior art;
  • FIG. 1 b is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary heat sink in accordance with the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 1 c is a cross-sectional view of an alternative exemplary heat sink in accordance with the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an exemplary coolant cavity;
  • FIG. 3 is an plan view of an exemplary embodiment showing thermal bosses and chassis pins fins and their configuration as disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 4 is a broader cross-sectional view of an exemplary coolant cavity with abutting heat sources;
  • FIG. 5 is an exploded isometric view of an exemplary heat sink according to the subject matter as disclosed herein; and
  • FIG. 6 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a heat sink as disclosed herein.
  • DESCRIPTION OF AN EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT
  • The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the subject matter or the application and uses of the subject matter described herein below. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding technical field, background, brief summary or the following detailed description.
  • The subject matter disclosed herein relates to a novel heat sink or a system also known as a “heat sink”. A heat sink absorbs heat received from a heat source and dissipates the heat to a mass existing at a cooler temperature. The heat sink may be in thermodynamic contact with a heat source by physically abutting a heat source (e.g. an electronic circuit) such that heat is received by conduction, it may abut an intervening component that is indirectly receiving heat from a heat source or it may receive heat directly over an intervening distance by convection or radiation. A heat sink may absorb and dissipate heat from multiple heat sources.
  • A heat sink may be of any shape, and may be designed to match the shape and/or size of a heat source. As a non-limiting example, the subject matter disclosed herein will refer to a heat sink shaped as a parallelepiped for simplicity. As such, a heat source may be easily attached to the top and to the bottom of the heat sink as well as to one of more sides of the heat sink. Further, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the subject matter disclosed hereinafter may be applied to forced gaseous systems as well as to forced liquid systems. However, only forced liquid heat sink systems will be addressed herein in the interest of brevity and clarity.
  • FIG. 1 a is a cross-sectional view of a portion of one coolant cavity 105 of a forced fluid heat exchanger 5 (i.e. a heat sink) that is known in the art. The coolant cavity 105 comprises a body portion or chassis 100 and a cover 110. The cover 110 includes a plurality of uniformly dispersed structures or heat sink pin fins 120 that depend from the underside of the top cover. The heat sink pin fins 120 may be of uniform conical or uniform truncated conical shape and may or may not come in contact with the chassis 100.
  • The purpose of a heat sink pin fin 120 is to increase the surface area of the heat sink 5 that is in contact with the coolant flow 600 (see FIG. 6). As liquid coolant 600 passes the heat sink pin fin 120, some of the coolant impinges on the heat sink pin fin resulting in the transfer of heat from the heat sink pin fin to the coolant. As the coolant 600 impinges on the heat sink pin fin 120, the fluid is slowed by friction resulting in an incremental pressure drop across the heat sink 5.
  • A gasket or an o-ring 101 is used at the junction of the cover 110 and the chassis 100 to prevent coolant leakage therethrough. The Cover 110 is secured to the chassis 100 by fasteners 103 (See FIG. 5) that may be made of a heat conducting material or a heat insulating material. The fasteners 103 may be any type of suitable fastener and may include bolts, clips, and the like.
  • Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the coolant inlet pressure, coolant flow rate, pressure drop across the heat sink and coolant inlet temperature are all pertinent variables in determining the amount of heat that a heat sink 5 will absorb. A thermodynamic analysis of any particular heat sink embodiment is beyond the scope of the disclosure and will be omitted in favor of brevity and clarity.
  • However, it should be noted that the prior art heat sink depicted in FIG. 1 a creates non-uniform coolant channels, or coolant bypasses 115′, between the heat sink pin fins 120 and the sides of the chassis 100. The heat sink of FIG. 1 a also creates non-uniform coolant bypasses between adjacent heat sink pin fins 120. The term “non-uniform” is being defined herein as a varying width of a coolant channel 115′. A non-uniform coolant channel 115′ allows some laminar coolant flow between components thereby allowing some coolant to avoid significant thermodynamic contact with a heat transferring component of the heat sink 10, such as heat sink pin fin 120.
  • FIG. 1 b is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a heat sink 10 described in accordance with the subject matter being disclosed herein. The heat sink 10 includes a plurality of thermal bosses 150 as integral components of the chassis 100 and are preferably cast therewith. The thermal bosses 150 may be spaced regularly along the internal wall of the chassis 100 of the heat sink and protrude substantially perpendicular to the coolant flow. (See FIG. 2).
  • The thermal boss 150 is a coolant bypass elimination feature which eliminates a dead zone where the coolant flow therein resembles laminar flow with a slowly moving boundary layer. Slowly moving boundary layers tend to act like thermal insulators. By inserting a thermal boss 150, the coolant flow at the location of the thermal boss 150 is converted from laminar flow to turbulent flow by redirecting the coolant flow along the wall of the coolant bypass device towards a nearby heat sink pin fin 120. The added surface area of the thermal boss and the additional turbulent flow impinging against the heat sink pin fin 120 further increases heat transfer with the heat sink pin fin.
  • The thermal boss 150 has a draft or a slope extending from the o-ring 101 to the floor of the chassis 100 that matches a taper of the heat sink pin fin 120. The matching draft and taper create a uniform coolant bypass channel 115 between the thermal boss 150 and the nearest heat sink pin fin 120.
  • The surface of the thermal boss 150 is a smooth, curvilinear surface that minimizes fluid friction across its surface thereby minimizing its incremental contribution to the pressure drop across the entire heat sink 10. Non-limiting exemplary shapes of the thermal boss 150 may include a half cone, a tapered wave shape (i.e. sinusoidal), or other shape that may be found to both minimize fluid friction and maintain a coolant channel with a uniform spacing between the thermal boss and a proximate heat sink pin fin 120.
  • FIG. 1 b also illustrates a complimentary feature comprising one or more chassis pin fins 160 which are depicted herein as being attached to the floor of the chassis 100. The chassis pin fin(s) 160 may be cast as part of the floor portion of the chassis 100 or may be added after casting by means known in the art such as by welding or sintering. The chassis pin fin(s) 160 may be of any height and can be used to control the pressure drop across the entire heat sink 10. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that there is a trade off between heat transfer (i.e. pin fin height/surface area) and the pressure drop across the coolant cavity.
  • Similar to the thermal boss 150, the chassis pin fin 160 may also be designed such that the draft, or taper, of the chassis pin fin is the same as the taper of a proximate heat sink pin fin 120 so that the width of the coolant channel(s) 115 between a heat sink pin fin 120 and a proximate chassis pin fin 160 is uniform along the length of the chassis pin fin 160. The uniformity in the width of the coolant channel 115, when applied across the entire coolant cavity 105, allows the spacing between the heat sink pins fins 120 and the chassis pin fins 160 and between heat sink pin fins and the thermal bosses 150 to be used as an adjustable manufacturing parameter. The spacing may be used to fine tune the fluid flow through and the pressure drop across the heat sink 10.
  • Since the heat sink 10 may be constructed to include multiple coolant cavities 105 (See FIGS. 5 and 6), each coolant cavity may include chassis pin fins 160 of a different height than the chassis pin fins of another coolant cavity in the same heat sink 10. This capability may be useful in controlling the pressure drop and heat transfer rate in one coolant cavity differently as compared to a second coolant cavity.
  • For example, a circuit board A attached to a coolant cavity A may generate a heat load that is greater than a circuit board B attached to second coolant cavity B that may be connected in series. Therefore it may be desirable to include chassis pin fins 160 of a greater height to increase the surface area of the coolant cavity 105 and increase the time that the coolant remains in the coolant cavity A (resulting in a high pressure drop) and include smaller chassis pin fins in coolant cavity B (resulting in a small pressure drop) because the heat load is lower. However, the total pressure drop may remain at a constant designated pressure drop across both coolant cavities.
  • FIG. 1 c is an alternative embodiment. However, the pin fin(s) 120 in FIG. 1 c actually make contact with the floor of the chassis 100 whereas the embodiments of FIG. 1 b do not. Actual contact with the chassis 100 prevents coolant flow (i.e. laminar flow) under the pin fin 120. Eliminating the interstitial space between the heat sink pin fin 120 and the chassis 100 forces the coolant into the turbulent flow which increases the heat absorption efficiency of the coolant 600. The direct contact also allows for heat transfer directly between the cover 110 and the chassis 100, if so desired.
  • Direct contact of the heat sink pin fin 120 with the chassis 100 may be desirable in some situations and not in others. For example, in embodiments that include a heat source A (See, FIG. 4) attached to only the chassis 100 or cover 110, a direct contact may be desirable to eliminate a coolant bypass and to more efficiently dissipate heat to the additional mass of the chassis 100 making the coolant 600 flow more efficient. In other embodiments where there may be a relatively high temperature heat source A abutting the cover 110 and a lower temperature heat source B abutting the chassis 100, direct contact of the heat sink pin fin 120 with the chassis 100 may cause some undesired heat to be transferred from heat source A (high temp) to heat source B (lower temp). Therefore, a designable interstitial gap between the tip of the heat sink pin fin 120 and the chassis 100 may be found useful in some embodiments.
  • FIG. 2 is an isomeric view of a chassis 100 partially defining the coolant cavity 105 showing several exemplary thermal bosses 150 regularly spaced along a side of the chassis 100. In this particular embodiment there are illustrated two rows of chassis pin fins 160 between heat sink pin fins 120. However, in some embodiments there may as fewer than two rows of chassis pin fins 160. There may be three or more rows in other embodiments.
  • When the cover 110 is installed on top of the chassis 100 with O-ring 101 positioned therebetween, the thermal pin fin(s) 120 that depend from the cover are positioned between the pairs of chassis pin fins 160 with substantially uniform spacing between each of the heat sink pin fins 120 and each of the chassis pin fins along their proximate surfaces. (See also FIG. 3).
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the portion of a coolant cavity 105 depicted in the plan view of FIG. 3 as viewed from line 4-4. Heat sink pin fins 120 a-d depend from cover 100 upon which a heat source A may be fixedly attached. Chassis pin fins 160 w-z extend upward from the floor of the chassis 100 upon which a heat source B may be fixedly attached. The width of the channels between heat sink pin fins a-e 120 and the chassis pin fins u-z 160 is essentially uniform. Exemplary spacing between heat sink pin fins 120 and the chassis pin fins 160 is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. (e.g., See spacing (u-a), (a-v), (v-b), (b-w), (w-c), (c-x), (x-d), (d-y), (y-e) and (e-z))
  • FIG. 5 presents an exemplary embodiment of a single pass heat exchanger manifold 510 comprising three coolant cavities 105. Each coolant cavity 105 comprises a plurality of thermal bosses 150 and a cover 110 or base plate from which depends the heat sink pin fins 120. Each cover 110 is thermodynamically attached to a heat source (A, B, C) which may be an electronic power module or other heat source. The heat exchanger manifold 510 also comprises a second cover 100 wherein is configured three sets of chassis pin fins 160 that mesh with a corresponding set of heat sink pin fins 120 thereby creating uniform coolant channels therebetween when assembled. In this particular embodiment, coolant 600 enters the coolant inlet port 512, passes through each coolant cavity 105 in succession, and exits the heat exchanger manifold 510 through coolant outlet port 514. While flowing through each coolant cavity 105, the coolant 600 is evenly dispersed in a turbulent manner amongst the heat sink pin fins 120 where heat transfer takes place. The turbulence is maximized by the presence of the thermal bosses 150 and the chassis pin fins 160 thereby allowing all of the coolant 600 to impinge upon the plurality of heat sink pin fins in each coolant cavity. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize the chassis pin fins 160 and the thermal bosses 150 also transfer heat to the coolant.
  • FIG. 6 presents an exemplary embodiment of a double pass heat exchanger manifold 510 comprising two manifolds including six coolant cavities 105. Each coolant cavity 105 comprises a plurality of thermal bosses 150 and a cover 110 or base plate from which depends the heat sink pin fins 120. Each cover 110, opposite the heat sink pin fins 120, is thermally connected to a heat source (A, B, C) which may be an electronic power module or other electronic circuit board. Each heat exchanger manifold 510 also comprises a second cover 100 wherein is configured three sets of chassis pin fins 160 that mesh with the heat sink pin fins 120 depending from each cover 110.
  • In this exemplary embodiment coolant 600 enters the coolant inlet port 512, passes through each coolant cavity 105 in succession and exits the heat exchanger manifold 510 through coolant outlet port 514. While flowing through each coolant cavity 105, the coolant 600 is evenly dispersed in a turbulent manner amongst the heat sink pin fins 120 where heat transfer takes place. The turbulence is maximized by the presence of the thermal bosses 150 and the chassis pin fins 160 thereby allowing all of the coolant 600 to impinge upon the plurality of heat sink pin fins 120 in each coolant cavity.
  • While FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate two exemplary embodiments of a heat exchanger, it will be appreciated that any number of manifolds may be connected in series, in parallel, or in a combination of series and parallel configurations and fall within the intended scope of the disclosure herein. It will further be appreciated that any number of coolant cavities 105 may comprise a heat exchange manifold 510, and the coolant cavities may be of any desired shape or configuration as may be required.
  • Because the heat exchangers disclosed herein are positive pressure systems (i.e. pump operated), the heat exchangers may operate in any physical orientation (e.g. vertically, horizontally or upside down). The heat exchangers may also operate in a vacuum and in high vibration environments and are therefore suitable for space flight and for general aviation. Further, the subject matter disclosed herein may operate in systems open to the atmosphere or in closed systems where any atmospheric gasses are vacated from the system.
  • While at least one exemplary embodiment has been presented in the foregoing detailed description, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing an exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments. It should be understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in an exemplary embodiment without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims and the legal equivalents thereof.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A heat sink comprising:
    a thermally conductive cover including a first inside surface portion;
    a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion;
    a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface portion; and
    a second plurality of pin fins integral to and extending from the second inside surface portion in a direction towards the first inside surface portion.
  2. 2. The heat sink of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of pin fins depend at a substantially right angle from the first inside surface portion and the second plurality of pin fins extend at a substantially right angle from the second inside surface portion.
  3. 3. The heat sink of claim 2, wherein each of the first plurality of pin fins and the second plurality of pin fins have a truncated conical shape with a uniform taper.
  4. 4. The heat sink of claim 3, wherein the distance between one of the first plurality of pins fins and each adjacent one of the second plurality of pin fins is substantially uniform.
  5. 5. The heat sink of claim 1, wherein each of the first plurality of pin fins makes physical contact with the second inside surface portion.
  6. 6. The heat sink of claim 1, further comprising thermally conductive bolts securing the thermally conductive cover to the thermally conductive body portion.
  7. 7. The heat sink of claim 6, further comprising an o-ring between the thermally conductive cover and the thermally conductive body portion.
  8. 8. The heat sink of claim 2, wherein the body portion further comprises a third inside surface portion having a boss protruding therefrom and extending substantially parallel to at least one of the first plurality of pin fins.
  9. 9. The heat sink of claim of claim 8, wherein the boss is one of a plurality of bosses substantially regularly spaced along the third inside surface portion.
  10. 10. A heat sink comprising:
    a thermally conductive cover including a first inside surface portion;
    a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion;
    a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface; and
    a first boss protruding from the second inside surface portion and running substantially parallel to at least one of the first plurality of pin fins.
  11. 11. The heat sink of claim 10, wherein the thermally conductive body portion further comprises a bottom surface opposite the thermally conductive cover.
  12. 12. The heat sink of claim 11, wherein the first boss extends from a point proximate the first inside surface to the bottom surface.
  13. 13. The heat sink of claim 12, comprising a plurality of bosses substantially regularly spaced along the second inside surface portion.
  14. 14. The heat sink of claim 13, wherein each of the plurality of bosses has a substantially uniform draft.
  15. 15. The heat sink of claim 11, wherein a distance between each of the plurality of bosses and each adjacent pin fin of the first plurality of pin fins is substantially uniform along the length of each of the plurality of adjacent pin fins of the first plurality.
  16. 16. The heat sink of claim 11, comprising a second plurality of pin fins integral to and extending from the bottom surface in a direction towards the first inside surface portion.
  17. 17. A heat sink comprising:
    a thermally conductive cover including an first inside surface portion;
    a first plurality of pin fins integral to and depending from the first inside surface portion;
    a thermally conductive body portion having a second inside surface portion and a inside bottom surface portion;
    a first boss protruding from the second inside surface portion, running substantially parallel to at least one of the first plurality of pin fins and extending from the first inside surface portion to the inside bottom surface portion; and
    a second plurality of pin fins integral to and extending from the bottom surface portion in a direction towards the first inside surface portion.
  18. 18. The heat sink of claim 17, wherein the first plurality of pin fins and the second plurality of pin fins are of a truncated cone shape with a taper.
  19. 19. The heat sink of claim 18, wherein the taper of each of the first plurality of pin fins and the second plurality of pin fins is substantially equal.
  20. 20. The heat sink of claim 19, wherein the first boss is one of a plurality of bosses substantially regularly spaced along the second inside surface.
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