Piezoelectric translational agitation for enhancing forced-convection channel-flow heat transfer

Taiho Yeom, Terrence W. Simon, Longzhong Huang, Mark T. North, Tianhong Cui

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28 Scopus citations


Piezoelectric translational agitator (PTA) is proposed and its heat transfer performance is demonstrated by experiments in a narrow channel. For the present study, this channel simulates a portion of an air-cooled heat sink. An oval loop shell structure successfully generates millimeter-range translational displacement to a blade attached to the shell. A PTA operating at 961 Hz as its second resonance mode with a 1.4 mm displacement under 60 Liters Per Minute (LPM) of cross flow achieved about 55% improvement in heat transfer coefficient compared to the non-agitated state. Pressure drop in the test section and the corresponding power required to drive the flow through the channel against the oscillating blade were measured. In addition, the PTAs were tested in the open channel without through-flow to examine the sole effect of agitation and to investigate the possibility of using it as a stand-alone cooling device. A total Reynolds number was defined to characterize the combined effects of cross flow and agitation. The Stanton number developed from the relationship between the total Reynolds number and heat transfer coefficients enables predicting operating performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7398-7409
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number25-26
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) MACE Program. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the US Government. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.


  • Displacement amplification
  • Electronic cooling
  • Flow agitation
  • Forced convection
  • Piezo stack
  • Piezoelectric agitators


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