Thermal and hydrodynamic characteristics of constructal tree-shaped minichannel heat sink



A three-dimensional thermal and hydrodynamic model for constructal tree-shaped minichannel heat sink is developed. The heat and fluid flow in the constructal heat sink with an inlet hydraulic diameter of 4 mm are numerically analyzed, taking into consideration conjugate heat transfer in the channel walls. The pressure drop, temperature uniformity, and coefficient of performance (COP) of the constructal tree-shaped heat sink are evaluated and compared with those of the corresponding traditional serpentine flow pattern. The results indicate that the constructal tree-shaped minichannel heat sinks have considerable advantages over the traditional serpentine flow patterns in both heat transfer and pressure drop. The strong and weak heat flow can be effectively allocated in tree-shaped flow structures; hence, the inherent advantage of uniform temperature on the heating surface in the constructal tree-shaped heat sink is demonstrated. And in tree-shaped flow structures, the local pressure loss due to confluence flow is found to be larger than that due to diffluence flow. In addition, an aluminum constructal tree-shaped minichannel heat sink is fabricated to conduct the verification experiment. The experimentally measured temperature distribution and pressure drop are in agreement with the numerical simulation, which verifies that the present model is reasonable. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010