The design of cold plates for the thermal management of electronic equipment

Ephraim M. Sparrow, Paul W. Chevalier, John P. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cold plates, devices used for the thermal management of electronic equipment, consist of a fluid flow space that is bounded by metallic walls. The fluid passages are designed to optimize the heat extraction from the electronics. This paper deals with the fluid flow and heat transfer in cold plates in which both the fluid flow and heat transfer experience periodic variations in the streamwise direction. The motivation for the work was to devise a methodology for dealing with problems that are highly complex and also computationally demanding. The first goal of the work was to transform the combined problems of fluid flow and conjugate heat transfer into one in which the wall heat transfer can be solved separately. The decoupling was achieved by first focusing on the solution of the full conjugate heat transfer problem for a portion of the periodic array. From this solution, heat transfer coefficients were extracted and subsequently employed for the solution of the wall heat conduction problem for the entire cold plate. The second focus was the development of enhancements of the heat transfer performance of cold plates. Consideration was given to manufacturing as well as thermal and fluid flow issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalHeat Transfer Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


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