The demand for smaller but more powerful electronic components is ever increasing. This demand puts a strain on engineers to produce optimal cooling designs for these electronic components. One method for cooling these electronic components is with heat sinks which effectively increase the surface area available for extracting the heat from the electronic components. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software is sometimes used to aid in the design process, but CFD simulations are computationally expensive and take long to complete. This causes the design engineer to test only a few proposed designs based on his/her experience and select the design that performs the best out of the tested designs, which might not be the optimum. The temperature distribution inside the heat sink can be solved relatively quickly with the diffusion equation, but the flow around the heat sink complicates the CFD simulation and increases the solving time significantly. Therefore, applications have been developed where the interaction between the heat sink and the flow around the heat sink is replaced by heat transfer coefficients. These coefficients are calculated from correlated equations which contain the flow properties. The flow properties are extracted from a flow network solver, which solves the flow around the heat sink. This procedure results in less expensive simulations, which can be used together with an optimisation procedure to develop an optimum cooling design. In this dissertation, a correlation for the contraction heat transfer coefficients of rectangular pin fin heat sinks was developed. A methodology was developed where consecutive regression lines were fitted to a large set of data extracted from numerous CFD simulations. The combination of these regression lines formed the basis of the correlation, which was divided into two correlations; one for laminar flow and another for turbulent flow. The correlations were tested against CFD simulations as well as experimental data. The results indicate that these correlations can be effectively used to calculate the contraction heat transfer coefficients on pin fin heat sinks.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2011.