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Light-weight vapour chamber heat sinks for wireless communication applications

Nicolas Baudin ([javascript protected email address])

Nicolas is a postdoctoral research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Tim Persoons and Dr. Tony Robinson. He is currently working on a project to develop reliable light-weight vapour chamber heat sinks for wireless communication applications, using novel materials and heat transfer enhancement techniques, in collaboration with Dr. Roger Kempers and Dr. Brian Donnelly from Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs Ireland. Nicolas obtained his PhD in Toulouse (France) at the Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse on an experimental study of transient heat transfer in convective, nucleate boiling and film boiling regimes in a semi-annular duct.

Principal investigators
Dr. Tim Persoons ([javascript protected email address], Tel: +353 1 896 1936)
Dr. Tony Robinson ([javascript protected email address], Tel: +353 1 896 3919)

Description

Electronic equipment such as wireless data transmission units are generating more and more localised heat power which should be dissipated effectively to ensure the reliability of the device. In a conventional solid heat sink, a metal base plate is in contact with the heat sources, and plate fins dissipate the heat to the environment by conduction and natural convection. One of the goals of this project is to reduce the weight of the cooling solution without sacrificing performance.

In a vapour chamber heat sink, the base plate is hollow, filled with a fluid at saturation conditions, which boils at the bottom in contact with the heater and condenses at the top in contact with the fins. The thermal resistance can be lowered due to the efficacy of the boiling and condensation heat transfer, which in turn allows to reduce the overall weight of the structure.

The aim of the project is to understand and design an optimised light-weight vapour chamber heat sink by means of (i) optimisation of the natural convection by changing the fin structure and other active enhancement methods, (ii) understanding and improving the boiling/condensation inside the vapour chamber, (iii) and the use of unconventional materials and manufacturing methods.

Funding Body

Enterprise Ireland (Innovation Partnership Scheme, co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund 2014–2020 Programme), Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs Ireland.