Computational fluid dynamics for thermal performance of a water-cooled minichannel heat sink with different chip arrangements

Gongnan Xie, Shian Li, Bengt Sundén, Weihong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose - With the development of electronic devices, including the desires of integration, miniaturization, high performance and the output power, cooling requirement of chips have been increased gradually. Water-cooled minichannel is an effective cooling technology for cooling of heat sinks. The minichannel flow geometry offers large surface area for heat transfer and a high convective heat transfer coefficient with only a moderate pressure loss. The purpose of this paper is to analyze a minichannel heat sink having the bottom size of 35 mm x 35mm numerically. Two kinds of chip arrangement are investigated: diagonal arrangement and parallel arrangement. Design/methodology/approach - Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is used to investigate the flow and thermal fields in forced convection in a three-dimensional minichannels heat sink with different chip arrangements. The standard k-e turbulence model is applied for the turbulence simulations on the minichannel heat sink. Findings - The results show that the bottom surface of the heat sink with various chip arrangements will have different temperature distribution and thermal resistance. A suitable chip arrangement will achieve a good cooling performance for electronic devices. Research limitations/implications - The fluid is incompressible and the thermophysical properties are constant. Practical implications - New and additional data will be helpful as guidelines in the design of heat sinks to achieve a good thermal performance and a long lifetime in operation. Originality/value - In real engineering situations, chips are always placed in various manners according to design conditions and constraints. In this case the assumption of uniform heat flux is acceptable for the surfaces of the chips rather than for the entire bottom surface of the heat sink.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-810
JournalInternational Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Energy Engineering


  • Minichannel
  • Chip Arrangement
  • Heat Sink
  • Thermal Performance


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