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Thermally Optimum Spacing of ¥ertical3 Natural Gonwection Cooled, Parallel Plates

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Department of Mechanical Engineering,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,

Beer-Sheva, Israel

Cooled, Parallel Plates

Fellow ASME While component dissipation patterns and system operating modes vary widely,

many electronic packaging configurations can be modeled by symmetrically or

W. iVl. Rohsenow asymmetrically isothermal or isoflux plates. The idealized configurations are

amenable to analytic optimization based on maximizing total heat transfer per unit

Department of Mechanical Engineering, volume or unit primary area. To achieve this anlaytic optimization, however, it is

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, necessary to develop composite relations for the variation of the heat transfer

Cambridge, Mass. 02139 coefficient along the plate surfaces. The mathematical development and verification

Fellow ASME

of such composite relations as well as the formulation and solution of the op-

timizing equations for the various boundary conditions of interest constitute the

core of this presentation.

Introduction

Vertical two-dimensional channels formed by parallel confirmed by the laborious numerical calculations of Bodia

plates or fins are a frequently encountered configuration in and Osterle [5], and extended to asymmetric heating by Aung

natural convection cooling in air of electronic equipment, [7] and Miyatake et al. [9, 10]. In a subsequent section of this

ranging from transformers to main-frame computers and discussion, the limiting relations for fully developed laminar

from transistors to power supplies [1, 2, 3]. Packaging flow, in a symmetric isothermal or isoflux channel, as well as

constraints and electronic considerations, as well as device or in a channel with an insulated wall, will be rederived by use of

system operating modes, lead to a wide variety of complex a straightforward integral formulation.

heat dissipation profiles along the channel walls. In many The analytic relations for the isolated plate (or inlet region)

cases of interest, however, a symmetric isothermal or isoflux limit and the fully developed (or exit region) limit can be

boundary representation, or use of an isothermal/isoflux expected to bound the Nu values over the complete range of

boundary together with an insulated boundary condition flow development. Intermediate values of Nu can be obtained

along the adjoining plate, can yield acceptable accuracy in the from detailed experimental and/or numerical studies or by

prediction of the thermal performance of such con- use of the correlating expression suggested by Churchill and

figurations. Usagi [12] for smoothly varying transfer processes. This

Elenbaas [4] was the first to document a detailed study of correlation technique relies on the analytic expressions at the

the thermal characteristics of one such configuration, and his two boundaries and a limited number of data points to derive

experimental results for isothermal plates in air were later a highly accurate composite correlation and its use will be

confirmed numerically [5] and shown to apply as well to the demonstrated in later sections.

constant heat flux conditions [6]. More recently, Aung and

coworkers [7, 8] and Miyatake and coworkers [9, 10] extended Fully Developed Limit

the available results to include both asymmetric wall tem-

perature and heat flux boundary conditions, including the Momentum Considerations. In laminar, fully developed,

single insulated wall. two-dimensional flow between parallel platesas shown in

From these and complementary studies emerges a unified Fig. 1the pressure drop is given by [11]

picture of thermal transport in such a vertical channel. In the dP

inlet region and in relatively short channels, individual = -12 i*w/pb3 (1)

dX loss

momentum and thermal boundary layers are in evidence

along each surface and heat transfer rates approach those For free-convection flow, this flow resistance is balanced by

associated with laminar flow along isolated plates in infinite the buoyant potential expressible as [11]

media. Alternately, for long channels, the boundary layers

merge near the entrance and fully developed flow prevails = (~Pf-Po)g=-f>Pg(Tf-T0) (2)

along much of the channel. dx buoy

coefficient is constant (neglecting the temperature dependence Equating equations (1) and (2), the flow rate per unit width,

of fluid properties) and equal to the well-documented forced" w, in the channel, is found equal

convection values [11]. However, since the local fluid tem- w = p2g0bHT/-To)/12fi (3)

perature is not explicitly known, it is customary to reexpress

the fully developed heat transfer coefficient in terms of the Nusselt NumberSymmetric, Isothermal Plates. An

ambient or inlet temperature. The Nu for isothermal plates energy balance on the differential volume, shown in Fig. 1,

appropriate to this definition can be derived from the "in- equating heat transferred from two isothermal walls with that

compressible natural convection" form of the Navier-Stokes absorbed in the flow, yields

equations. This was done semianalytically by Elenbaas [4], wcpdT=2h(Tw-Tf)dx (4)

From continuity considerations the flow rate, w, is constant,

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF

and in fully developed flow with temperature-independent

HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received by the Heat Transfer Division November properties, the local heat transfer coefficent, h, as well as cp,

1,1982. is constant. Consequently, wcp/2h can be considered

Copyright 1984 by ASME

Downloaded From: http://heattransfer.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/ on 04/07/2014 Terms of Use: http://asme.org/terms

CpphP&S l-e'

q= 12 n

(Tw-T0){\

TL )}

(Tw-T0)(l-e-^)] (7)

Inserting equation (7) into (6) with the surface area, A, equal

to 2LS, the desired Nusselt number is found as

1 rcpp2gpb\Tlv-T0)

Nu

24 ]

fikL

TL

[0-^)<'--K>]

\-e~

(8)

h bracketted term of equation (8) is recognizable as the channel

Rayleigh number, i.e., Ra b/L = Ra'. Consequently, at the

fully developed limit, where L o and the second term in

equation (8) approaches unity, Nu0 is seen to approach

Ra'/24. This result agrees exactly with the previously cited

analytical and numerical results [4, 5,7].

Fig. 1 Schematic of flow in a vertical channel

Nusselt NumberAsymmetric, Isotherm Plates. For

constant along the channel, and equation (4) can be simply fully developed flow in a channel formed by a single

integrated to yield the local fluid or bulk temperature isothermal plate and an insulated plate, only the isothermal

surface is involved in heat transfer, and Nu0 must be based on

T'/='-

f (T-T0)e (5)

that surface alone. Modifying equations (4, 5) and (6) in this

where T has replaced 2h/wcp. vein, the derivation of Nu0 is found to exactly parallel the

To accommodate the desire to obtain a Nusselt number development of equation (8) and yield Nu0 = Ra'/12 at the

based on the temperature difference between the wall and the limit of L oo in agreement with [10]. Comparison with the

ambient fluid, Nu0 can be defined as results obtained by Aung [7] reveals this value to be ap-

proximately 7 percent lower then the NuD associated with the

r q/A

Q/A 1i b (6) second surface being at ambient temperature (rather than

adiabatic).

The transfer rate, q, can be determined from the flow rate and

the temperature rise in the channel by the use of equations (3)

and (5), with the latter evaluated at x = L to find the exit Nusselt NumberSymmetric, Isoflux Plates. In a

temperature. The average fluid temperature in the channel channel formed by two constant heat flux plates, the fluid

can be found by integrating equation (5) from x = 0 to x = L temperature increases lineary along the channel and equation

and dividing by the length of the channel, L. Following these (5) can be replaced by

operations Tf=T0+2q"x/wcp (9)

A = area, m 2 ; coefficient Ra = Rayleigh number, = equation (19)

b = plate spacing, m p2g@cpL3 AT/nk, dimen- Z = modified generalized

B = coefficient sionless parameter in equation (19),

C

P = specific heat at constant Ra* = modified Rayleigh = Bzp~"/A

pressure, J/kgC number, ==

C = coefficient p2gPcpL4q"/nk2, dimen- Greek Letters

d = fin thickness, m sionless P = volumetric coefficient of

g = gravitational acceleration, Ra' = channel Rayleigh number, thermal expansion, K~'

m/s 2 = p2gPcpb4AT/fiL, r = thermall parameter,

ft = heat transfer coefficient, dimensionless 2h/wcp,m~

W/m2oC Ra" = modified Channel p = density, kg/m

3

2 s 2

W/mC P gl3cpb q"/fiLk A = difference

L = channel or plate length, m S = plate width, m

m = number of fins T = temperature, C Subscripts

n = exponent w = mass flow rate per unit buoyant = natural convection driving

Nu 0 = channel Nusselt number, width, kg/m-s force

= q"b/k(Tw, -T0) W = width of prime area, m / = fluid

dimensionless X = length coordinate, m loss = pressure drop

P = exponent y = generalized parameter in 0 = entrance or ambient value

2

P = pressure, N/m equation (19) opt = optimum

q = exponent in equation (17); Y = modified generalized w = wall

heat flow rate, W parameter in equation (19), X = local value

2

q" = heat flux, W/m = ylAz" L = at the x^L location

4-

^ * * ^

H, elation, EQ 28

+>--'

!3p Hh Data of Wirtz a 3 t u t z n K i n [ l 7 ]

10 10' 4 6 8 |0 3

Ra"

Fig. 5 NuoL variation for symmetric isof lux platesdata of [17]

determine the empirical variation of the heat transfer rate for (QT/2LSWAT0k) = (b + d) -lb-l(516/P2bs

the symmetric, isoflux, air-cooled channel. The results were + 2.873/P * 2 )- 0 - 5

05

(31)

reported in terms of Nu based on the temperature difference

at xL and are compared in Fig. 5 with the composite Nu where

relation, equation (28), based on the same definition. PmCpipfgPATo/pkL

Examination of Fig. 5 reveals the predicted values to lie within

the experimental error band (Nu 5 percent, Ra 16 Differentiating equation (31) with respect to b, setting the

percent) of the data for all but the lowest values of Ra ". derivative to zero and cancelling common terms leads to

Asymmetric, Isoflux Plates. When a vertical channel is

formed by a single isoflux plate and an insulated plate, the (8 576/.P2 b9 + 2 2.873/P 0 5 b3) = 0 (32)

desired composite relation for Nu, based on the midheight Following additional algebraic operations, equation (32) is

temperature difference, can be found by appropriately found to reduce to

combining equations (17) and (27) (with n = 2) to yield

(26+ 3c?-0.005 P 15 6 7 ) 0 pi = 0 (33)

Nu 0 , i / 2 = {6/Ra" + 1.88/(Ra") 0 - 4 ) " 1 / 2 (29) Solution of equation (33) should now yield the value of b

which maximizes QT, i.e., the bopl value.

In general, bm is seen to be a function of both the plate/air

Optimum Plate Spacing

parameter, P, and the plate thickness, d, but for negligibly

The composite relations derived in the previous section can thick plates

be used to predict the value of the heat transfer coefficient for 6 o p t =2.714//> 1 / 4 (34)

each of the four thermal configurations examined. No less

important, however, is their potential use in optimizing the This result exceeds the Elenbaas optimum spacing by only 4

spacing between vertical, heat-dissipating plates when two- percent and yields optimum values of channel Rayleigh and

dimensional flow can be assumed to prevail. Nusselt numbers of 54.3 and 1.31, respectively.

In electronic cooling applications, it is often of interest to

maximize the rate of heat transfer from individual plates or

Symmetric, Isothermal Plates. The total heat transfer rate

component carrying, printed circuit boards. This can be

from an array of vertical plates, QT, is given by

achieved by spacing the plates in such a manner that the

QT=(2LSAT0)(m)(Nxiok/b) (30) isolated plate Nu prevails along the surface. To achieve this

where m, the number of plates, equals W/(b + d), b equals aim precisely requires an infinite plate spacing, but setting Nu

the spacing between adjacent plates, and d is the thickness of (via equation (23)) equal to 0.99 of the isolated plate value

each plate. yields Ra' = 463 and bmm equal to 4.64/P 174 . This result is in

general agreement with [18] where the identically defined

Examination of Fig. 2 shows that the rate of heat transfer,

maximum plate spacing was determined to occur at Ra'

from each plate decreases as plate spacing is reduced. Since

approximately greater than 600. It is perhaps of interest to

the total number of plates or total plate surface area increases

note that at Ra' = 600, the composite Nu is found to reach

with reduced spacing, QT may be maximized by finding the

0.993 of the isolated plate value.

plate spacing at which the product of total plate surface area

and local heat transfer coefficient is maximum. Based on his As might have been anticipated, the bmax spacing can be

experimental results, Elenbaas determined that this optimum shown to correspond to approximately twice the boundary

spacing for negligibly thick plates could be obtained by setting layer thickness along each surface at the channel exit, i.e, x =

Ra' 0pt = 46 yielding a Nu 0 of 1.2 [4]. L. By comparison 6 opt corresponds to nearly 1.2 boundary

Using equation (23) to determine Nu 0 and dividing both layer thicknesses a t x = L.

sides of equation (30) by the product of total fin area, tem-

perature difference, thermal conductivity, and width of the Asymmetric, Isothermal Plates. In analyzing the

base area, yields asymmetric, isothermal configuration, equation (31) can

10

8

6

"*"

1 J

Nu

2 /

A

A lis

'o

.'S \

,:

.FULLY-DEVELOPE ) / s .*^ \

lillT /,-y ^ , I

LIMIT

*/ """^ INTEGRAL SOLUTION

/y

2 ~f

in1

2 5 10 2 5 10 2 5 |03 2 5 I04

GrPr b/L

Fig. 3 Nu variation for parallel platesone isothermal, one insulated

10

r^2

"sOLATEO PLATE LIMIT

^x 5 ~ '

^ 3 _

q ^

X

i - co^

' " .4P0SITE

y-^i -- '

FULLY DEVELOPED L I M I T ^ ^ *

0-EN8EL+ MUELLER-. CALCULATION

I01 1 M i l l II

lO 2 3 5 7 10 2 3 5 7 lO1 23 5 7 O2 2 3 5 7 KD3 2 3 5

Ra"

Fig. 4 Nu 0 U 2 variation for symmetric isoflux platesdata of [6]

and Usagi [12], the correlating exponent, n, is found to equal Symmetric, Isoflux Plates. Natural convection heat

approximately 2, yielding a composite relation for two transfer from an isolated, uniform heat flux, vertical plate is

isothermal surfaces as generally correctable in the form

Nu0 = (576/(Ra') 2 +2.873/Via 7 )- 1 / 2 (23) Nux = C4(Ra*)' (25)

The close proximity of the Elenbaas data points to the While theoretically C4 for air has been shown to equal 0.519

composite relation, and the asymptotic equations at both [15], the empirical large-spacing asymptote for channel heat

limits, indicated in Fig. 2, serves to validate this approach. transfer is generally higher [6, 8, 9], yielding

Nu o =0.73(Ra") 1/5 (26)

Asymmetric, Isothermal Plates. For vertical channels

formed by an isothermal plate and an insulated plate, the for Nu0 based on the midheight temperature difference or

asymptotic limits were previously shown to be Nu0 = Ra'/12 Nu0 = 0.63(Ra")1/5 when the maximum channel wall to inlet

for Ra' - 0 and Nu0 = 0.59 Ra1/4 for Ra' - oo. Inserting air temperature difference is used.

these limiting expressions into equation (20) and assuming Much of the available Nu data for channels formed by

that despite channel asymmetry the symmetric correlating isoflux plates is presented in terms of the temperature dif-

exponent n = 2 applies to this configuration as well, the ference between the wall, at the channel midheight, and the

composite relation for asymmetric isothermal plates is found inlet air, e.g., [6, 8]. Superposing the two relevant asymp-

to be totes, equations (15) and (26), the composite Nu relation

appropriate to this definition is found as

Nu0 = [144/(Ra')2 +2.873/ (24)

-0.5

Nu0,L/2 = ((12/Ra")+ 1.88/(Ra") (27)

Comparison of equation (24) with the limited data of

Nakamura et al. [14] reported in [10] and the numerical Comparison in Fig. 4 of equation (27) with typical data of

solution of Miyatake and Fujii [10], as in Fig. 3, shows Sobel et al. [6] and the results of the Engel and Mueller

equation (24) to offer near-excellent agreement with the data numerical calculation presented in [8] reveals the composite

and to improve somewhat on the predictive accuracy of the isoflux relation to have a high predictive accuracy and no

numerical solution in the region where Nu displays the ef- further adjustment of the correlating exponent appears to be

fects of both fully developed and developing flow. Figure 3 necessary. The larger than anticipated Nu values at the low

and equation (24) also reveal the Nu0 from the thermally Ra" data points of Sobel et al. [6] may be explained by

active surface in an asymmetric channel to be higher than unaccounted-for radiation and conduction losses at the

from a comparable surface in a symmetric configuration, for channel exit, as noted by the authors.

a fixed channel width or Rayleigh number, at low values of In a recent study [17], both direct temperature

Ra'. measurements and analysis of interferograms were used to

4-

^ * * ^

H, elation, EQ 28

+>--'

!3p Hh Data of Wirtz a 3 t u t z n K i n [ l 7 ]

10 10' 4 6 8 |0 3

Ra"

Fig. 5 NuoL variation for symmetric isof lux platesdata of [17]

determine the empirical variation of the heat transfer rate for (QT/2LSWAT0k) = (b + d) -lb-l(516/P2bs

the symmetric, isoflux, air-cooled channel. The results were + 2.873/P * 2 )- 0 - 5

05

(31)

reported in terms of Nu based on the temperature difference

at xL and are compared in Fig. 5 with the composite Nu where

relation, equation (28), based on the same definition. PmCpipfgPATo/pkL

Examination of Fig. 5 reveals the predicted values to lie within

the experimental error band (Nu 5 percent, Ra 16 Differentiating equation (31) with respect to b, setting the

percent) of the data for all but the lowest values of Ra ". derivative to zero and cancelling common terms leads to

Asymmetric, Isoflux Plates. When a vertical channel is

formed by a single isoflux plate and an insulated plate, the (8 576/.P2 b9 + 2 2.873/P 0 5 b3) = 0 (32)

desired composite relation for Nu, based on the midheight Following additional algebraic operations, equation (32) is

temperature difference, can be found by appropriately found to reduce to

combining equations (17) and (27) (with n = 2) to yield

(26+ 3c?-0.005 P 15 6 7 ) 0 pi = 0 (33)

Nu 0 , i / 2 = {6/Ra" + 1.88/(Ra") 0 - 4 ) " 1 / 2 (29) Solution of equation (33) should now yield the value of b

which maximizes QT, i.e., the bopl value.

In general, bm is seen to be a function of both the plate/air

Optimum Plate Spacing

parameter, P, and the plate thickness, d, but for negligibly

The composite relations derived in the previous section can thick plates

be used to predict the value of the heat transfer coefficient for 6 o p t =2.714//> 1 / 4 (34)

each of the four thermal configurations examined. No less

important, however, is their potential use in optimizing the This result exceeds the Elenbaas optimum spacing by only 4

spacing between vertical, heat-dissipating plates when two- percent and yields optimum values of channel Rayleigh and

dimensional flow can be assumed to prevail. Nusselt numbers of 54.3 and 1.31, respectively.

In electronic cooling applications, it is often of interest to

maximize the rate of heat transfer from individual plates or

Symmetric, Isothermal Plates. The total heat transfer rate

component carrying, printed circuit boards. This can be

from an array of vertical plates, QT, is given by

achieved by spacing the plates in such a manner that the

QT=(2LSAT0)(m)(Nxiok/b) (30) isolated plate Nu prevails along the surface. To achieve this

where m, the number of plates, equals W/(b + d), b equals aim precisely requires an infinite plate spacing, but setting Nu

the spacing between adjacent plates, and d is the thickness of (via equation (23)) equal to 0.99 of the isolated plate value

each plate. yields Ra' = 463 and bmm equal to 4.64/P 174 . This result is in

general agreement with [18] where the identically defined

Examination of Fig. 2 shows that the rate of heat transfer,

maximum plate spacing was determined to occur at Ra'

from each plate decreases as plate spacing is reduced. Since

approximately greater than 600. It is perhaps of interest to

the total number of plates or total plate surface area increases

note that at Ra' = 600, the composite Nu is found to reach

with reduced spacing, QT may be maximized by finding the

0.993 of the isolated plate value.

plate spacing at which the product of total plate surface area

and local heat transfer coefficient is maximum. Based on his As might have been anticipated, the bmax spacing can be

experimental results, Elenbaas determined that this optimum shown to correspond to approximately twice the boundary

spacing for negligibly thick plates could be obtained by setting layer thickness along each surface at the channel exit, i.e, x =

Ra' 0pt = 46 yielding a Nu 0 of 1.2 [4]. L. By comparison 6 opt corresponds to nearly 1.2 boundary

Using equation (23) to determine Nu 0 and dividing both layer thicknesses a t x = L.

sides of equation (30) by the product of total fin area, tem-

perature difference, thermal conductivity, and width of the Asymmetric, Isothermal Plates. In analyzing the

base area, yields asymmetric, isothermal configuration, equation (31) can

Table 1 Summary of heat transfer relations for vertical natural convection arrays

Condition Heat transfer rate Optimum spacing" Optimum Nu0"

Isothermal plates 576 2.873

Symmetric Nu = (Nu0)opt = 1.31

(RaT VRa"7 J

(Nuo)opt = 1.04

-[ ( R a T + VRl']

Asymmetric Nu,

Symmetric (Nu oX/2 ) opt =0.62.

Nu 0 , i / 2 =[ + ( ^^J

o.L/2 '

L Ra^ (Ra^T3 J

"For negligibly thick plates

* Based on the plate temperature at x=L/2

base area and to determine the optimum spacing between

plates when m, the number of thermally active plates, is now

set equal to W/2(b + d). Proceeding as before, the governing

relation for the optimum spacing is found to be 10

L5 7

(2b + 3d-0.02P b )opt=0 (35)

?2 a

For negligibly thick plates, bopi is then given by

bm=2A54/P1'* (36)

At this optimum spacing, Ra' o p t = 21.5 and Nu opl = 1.04.

To maximize the heat transfer rate from each individual, h z

u

thermally active plate, it is again desirable to set the plate

spacing such that fully developed flow does not develop in the

channel and that, as a consequence, the isolated plate Nu limit

is attained along the entire surface. Calculating via equation

m C

10

8

i

/// LEGEND-

(24), Ra' m a x at the 0.99 limit is found to equal approximately 6 III Smooth plates

184and6 m a x = 3.68/P 1 M .

1

1

iC

0

Vertical grooves

Horizontal grooves

Small 2-D grooves

Symmetric, Isoflux Plates. When the boundary con-

ditions along the surfaces of the parallel plates are identically ) 1 large 2-D grooves

or approximately equal to uniform heat flux, total heat

transfer from the array can be maximized simply by allowing

the number of plates to increase without limit. In most electric

z 4 6 8 4 6 8

cooling applications, however, the plate, printed circuit ' 1.0

board, or component surface must be maintained below a b

critical temperature and, as a consequence, plate spacing and (cm)

Nu 0 values cannot be allowed to deteriorate to very small Fig. 6 Influence of grooves on the heat transfer coefficient from

values. isothermal, parallel plates [20]

Recalling the Nu 0 definition of equation (15) and rewriting

equation (29), the relationship between the midheight tem-

perature difference and the other parameters is found to be difference. Thus, when equation (29) is used to evaluate Nu 0

expressible as in the equation (30) formulation of total array heat transfer,

q"b\ 12 1.88 the optimizing equation for the symmetric, isoflux con-

A77./2 = + (37) figuration takes the form

Ra" Ra"

Thus, when both the surface heat flux and the allowable d / QT

temperature difference are specified, equation (37) can be db\2LSWATL/2k

used to solve for the requisite interplate spacing.

Alternately, when only the heat flux is specified, it is of

interest to determine the plate spacing yielding the lowest -!(<*+*-'(*-'--'-)"> 8>

possible surface temperature. This condition corresponds to a where

spacing which is sufficiently large to avoid boundary layer

interference and, by the method previously described, is R=cpp2g0q"/liLk1

found to occur at Ra" equal approximately to 17000 and &max Following differentiation, the governing relation for bopl is

= 1.02R--2. found as

In distinction to the bm3X value and the plate spacing ob- /12 3.76ft4 36

tained via equation (37), the optimum b value for an array of 1

(R

0

R + i*)

(39)

=

isoflux plates an be defined to yield the maximum volumetric

R /opt

(or prime area) heat dissipation rate per unit temperature For negligibly thick plates, i.e., d = 0, the optimum isoflux

plate spacing is then found to equal this configuration be preferred over a symmetric distribution

bopl = 1.412 R--2 (40) of the heat dissipation on the array of parallel plates.

Examination of the results for both maximum and optimum

The value of Ra" opt is thus 6.9 and Nu oL/2 at the optimum plate spacing reveals the error inherent in such an approach.

spacing is found to equal 0.62. For isothermal plates bmia was found to equal 4.64 p 0 - 2 5

Asymmetric, Isoflux Plates. By analogy to the symmetric, in the symmetric configuration and 3.68 p-a-25 in the

isoflux configuration, the requisite plate spacing for specified asymmetric configuration. Similarly, 6max equals 7.02 R~0-2

values of q" and ATL/2 on the thermally active surface can be for symmetric, isoflux plates and 5.58 R "-2 when the channel

obtained by appropriate solution of equation (29). is formed by an isoflux plate and an adiabatic plate. Since the

Similarly, equation (29) can be used to determine the lowest plate spacing required for maximum heat transfer from each

Ra" at which the prevailing Nu0 is indistinguishable from the surface in the asymmetric configuration is thus substantially

isolated plate limit. This condition is found to occur at Ra" greater than 50 percent of the symmetric value, the total

equal approximately to 5400 and to yield the plate spacing dissipation of an asymmetric array subject to the same

required to obtain the lowest surface temperature, ftmax, equal constraints must fall below the heat dissipation capability of a

to5.58i?--2. symmetric array.

Finally, when the relation governing the total heat It can be shown that, for a given array base area or volume,

dissipation of an array of alternating isoflux and insulated an optimum array of negligibly thick isothermal plates

plates is differentiated relative to the plate spacing and the alternating with insulated plates cannot dissipate more than

derivative set equal to zero, the optimum value of b for this 63 percent of the heat dissipated by an optimum array of

configuration can be found by solving isothermal plates. This finding is reenforced by the results

obtained by Aung [16], which indicate that thermal asym-

/ 6 , 3.76 64 18 \ metry reduces total heat dissipation to approximately 65

i^b Ki~+-^d) =0 (41)

\R 0A

R R /opt v

' percent of the comparable symmetric configuration when

every second plate is at the ambient temperaure.

For negligibly thick plates

Use of the derived optimum spacing and optimum Nu0

Z7opt = 1.169 i ? 0 2 (42) values for symmetric and asymmetric isoflux channels yields a

The optimum modified channel Rayleigh Number is thus 2.2, nearly identical reduction in total heat dissipation for the

yielding a Nu o t / 2 of 0.49. asymmetric configuration as encountered in isothermal

plates.

Discussion

Three-Dimensional Flow and Geometric Effects. In the

The preceding has established an analytical, albeit ap- present development of design equations for the spacing

proximate, structure for determining the channel width, or between isothermal and isoflux plates no attempt has been

spacing between surfaces forming a two-dimensional channel, made to address the influence of three-dimensional flow, i.e.,

appropriate to various thermal constraints for symmetric and side in-flow or lateral edge effects, on the anticipated Nu0

asymmetric, isothermal, and isoflux boundary conditions. values nor on the recommended optimum spacings. Clearly

With the developed relations summarized in Table 1 and such effects can be anticipated to become progressively

subject to the stated assumptions, it is thus possible to select

greater as the ratio of interplate spacings to channel height is

the interplate spacing which will maximize heat transfer from reduced. In [19] the lateral edge effects for 7.6 cm square

the individual, thermally active surfaces or, alternately, plates were found to be of no consequence for Ra' values

choose the spacing which yields the maximum heat dissipation greater than 10 but to produce deviations of up to 30 percent

from the entire array. In the absence of a large body of or more in the equivalent NuD when Ra' was below 4. Fur-

verified experimental results, the agreement found between thermore, for larger square plates (15.2 x 15.2 cm) the two-

both the composite and optimum spacing relations for dimensional theory has been found to apply for all Ra' values

symmetric, isothermal plates, and the classic Elenbaas [4] greater than 2 [20]. Consequently, while the asymptotic

data, serves to verify the credibility and engineering accuracyapproach of the Elenbaas data [4] to the analytical, two-

of the approach described herein. Several noteworthy features dimensional, fully developed flow limitas shown in Fig.

of the composite and optimizing relations are discussed 2may be fortuitous there is little likelihood of three-

below. dimensional flow effects in the Ra' region corresponding to

the optimum and maximum interplate spacings derived.

Asymmetric Versus Symmetric Fully Developed

Limit. Comparison of the derived relations for the fully While smooth plates may serve as a convenient idealization

developed Nu0 reveals the asymmetric value to exceed the for component-carrying, Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's), in

symmetric value by a factor of two for isothermal surfaces reality such PCB's are better represented by plates with both

and a factor of V2 for the isoflux condition. At first glance horizontal and vertical grooves. This configuration was

this experimentally verified result [9, 10] appears coun- studied in [20] where heat transfer coefficients from two

terintuitive since the thicker thermal boundary layer in the dimensional, grooved, parallel plates were found to exceed

asymmetrically heated channel (equal to the interplate the smooth plate values at small interplate spacings and to

spacing) could be expected to yield lower heat transfer* equal the smooth plate values for spacings appropriate to the

coefficients than encountered with the thinner boundary isolated plate limit. As shown in Fig. 6, the enhancement of

layers of the symmetrically heated configuration. While this the heat transfer rate for small spacings appears to be

assertion is correct for Nusselt numbers based on the local dependent on the groove geometry.

wall-to-fluid temperature difference, it must be recalled that

the Nu0 is defined in such a way as to include the temperature Summation

rise in the convecting air. As a result, Nu0 can be expected to

reflect the "helpful" influence of reduced heat addition in the The complexity of heat dissipation in vertical parallel plate

asymmetric case and to yield the observed higher values. arrays encountered in electronic cooling applications

frequently dissuade thermal analysts and designers from

Asymmetric Versus Symmetric Optimum Arrays. The attempting an even first-order analysis of anticipated tem-

higher Nu0 to be expected in asymmetric configurations has perature profiles and little theoretical effort is devoted to

led some thermal designers to suggest that whenever possible thermal optimization of the relevant packaging con-

figurations. The foregoing has aimed at establishing an 9 Miyatake, O., Fujii, T., Fujii, M., and Tanaka, H., "Natural Convective

analytical structure for such analyses while presenting and Heat Transfer Between Vertical Parallel PlatesOne Plate with a Uniform

Heat Flux and the other Thermally Insulated," Heat TransferJapanese

verifying useful relations for heat distribution patterns Research, Vol. 4,1973, pp. 25-33.

identical to or approaching isothermal or isoflux boundary 10 Miyatake, O., and Fujii, T., "Free Convective Heat Transfer Between

conditions. Vertical PlatesOne Plate Isothermally Heated and the Other Thermally

Insulated," Heal TransferJapanese Research, Vol. 3,1972, pp. 30-38.

11 Rohsenow, W. M., and Choi, H., Heat, Mass and Momentum Transfer,

References Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1961.

12 Churchill, S. W., and Usagi, R., " A General Expression for the

1 Bar-Cohen, A., "Fin Thickness for an Optimized Natural Convection Correlation of Rates of Transfer and Other Phenomena," AIChE Journal,

Array of Rectangular Fins," ASME JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER, Vol. 101, Vol. 18, No. 6, 1972, pp. 1121-1128.

1979, pp.564-566. 13 McAdams, W. H., Heat Transmission, McGraw Hill, New York, 1954.

2 Kraus, A. D., Cooling Electronic Equipment, McGraw Hill, New York, 14 Nakamura, H., et al., Paper No. 126, Proceedings of the 42nd National

1962. Meeting of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 5, 1964.

3 Aung, W., Kessler, T. J., and Beitin, K. L., "Free-Convection Cooling of 15 Sparrow, E. M., and Gregg, J. L., "Laminar Free Flow Convection from

Electronic Systems," IEEE Transaction on Parts, Hybrids and Packaging, Vol. a Vertical Plate with Uniform Surface Heat Flux," ASME Transaction C,

PHP-9, No. 2, 1973, pp. 75-86. 1956, pp. 435-440.

4 Elenbaas, W., "Heat Dissipation of Parallel Plates by Free Convection," 16 Aung, W., "Heat Transfer in Electronic Systems with Emphasis on

Physica, Vol. 9, No. 1, Holland, 1942. Asymmetric Heating," Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 52, 1973, pp.

5 Bodoia, J. R., and Osterle, J. F., "The Development of Free Convection 907-925.

between Heated Vertical Plates," ASME JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER, Vol. 84, 17 Wirtz, R. A., and Stutzman, R. J., "Experiments on Free Convection

1964, pp.40-44. Between Vertical Plates with Symmetric Heating," ASME JOURNAL OF HEAT

6 Sobel, N., Landis, F., and Mueller, W. K., "Natural Convection Heat TRANSFER, Vol. 104,1982, pp. 501-507.

Transfer in Short Vertical Channels Including the Effect of Stagger," 18 Levy, E. K., "Optimum Plate Spacings for Laminar Natural Convection

Proceedings - Third International Heat Transfer Conference, Vol. 2, 1966, pp. Heat Transfer from Parallel Vertical Isothermal Flat Plates," ASME JOURNAL

121-125. OF HEAT TRANSFER, Vol. 93, 1971, pp. 463-465.

7 Aung, W., "Fully Developed Laminar Free Convection between Vertical 19 Sparrow, E. M., and Bahrami, P . A., "Experiments on Natural Con-

Plates Heated Asymmetrically," International Journal of Heat and Mass vection from Vertical Parallel Plates with Either Open or Closed Edges,"

Transfer, Vol. 15, 1972, pp. 1577-1580. ASME JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER, Vol. 102, 1980, pp. 221-227.

8 Aung, W., Fletcher, L. S., and Sernas, V., "Developing Laminar Free 20 Horton, S. F . , "Natural Convection from Parallel Plates With Grooved

Convection Between Vertical Flat Plates with Asymmetric Heating," In- Surfaces," MSc thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts

ternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 15, 1972, pp. 2293-2308. Institute of Technology, Aug. 1981.

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