A study of branching fluid networks for enhancing the performance of thermal -fluid devices

Ryan M Moreno, Florida International University


Compact thermal-fluid systems are found in many industries from aerospace to microelectronics where a combination of small size, light weight, and high surface area to volume ratio fluid networks are necessary. These devices are typically designed with fluid networks consisting of many small parallel channels that effectively pack a large amount of heat transfer surface area in a very small volume but do so at the cost of increased pumping power requirements. To offset this cost the use of a branching fluid network for the distribution of coolant within a heat sink is investigated. The goal of the branch design technique is to minimize the entropy generation associated with the combination of viscous dissipation and convection heat transfer experienced by the coolant in the heat sink while maintaining compact high heat transfer surface area to volume ratios. The derivation of Murray's Law, originally developed to predict the geometry of physiological transport systems, is extended to heat sink designs which minimze entropy generation. Two heat sink designs at different scales are built, and tested experimentally and analytically. The first uses this new derivation of Murray's Law. The second uses a combination of Murray's Law and Constructal Theory. The results of the experiments were used to verify the analytical and numerical models. These models were then used to compare the performance of the heat sink with other compact high performance heat sink designs. The results showed that the techniques used to design branching fluid networks significantly improves the performance of active heat sinks. The design experience gained was then used to develop a set of geometric relations which optimize the heat transfer to pumping power ratio of a single cooling channel element. Each element can be connected together using a set of derived geometric guidelines which govern branch diameters and angles. The methodology can be used to design branching fluid networks which can fit any geometry.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Biomedical research

Recommended Citation

Moreno, Ryan M, "A study of branching fluid networks for enhancing the performance of thermal -fluid devices" (2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3235611.