Flow Visualization of The Buoyancy-induced Convective Heat Transfer in Electronics Cooling

Sapia, C.
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The aim of this work is to develop a simple optical method for the visualization of the natural convection flow generated in an electronic system during its normal operation. The presented experimental set-up allows to reveal local refractive index changes in a phase objects. A fringe pattern is acquired, through the cooling fluid under analysis, with a digital camera two times: the first one with the fluid at rest, the second one with the thermal load due to the electronic device normal operation. By the means of the MATLAB processing of the acquired images it’s possible to reveal the shape and the directions of the thermal flow lines for the cooling fluid. In this way we can obtain a deeper understanding of the optimal convection working volume or information for the optimization of the relative spatial positioning of the several electronic components in a complex electronic system, like a printed circuit board (PCB). The proposed technique has been tested on two typical heat extraction situations recurrent in the electronic devices. In this paper are presented the experimental results of the visualization of the convective flow, in air, for an heat sink and a power resistor.
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Condensed Matter - Materials Science