Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
With the exponential growth of the Internet in the coming decade, data centers will be one of the largest consumers of electricity in many countries. In many data centers, thermal management systems could be just as power-consuming as IT equipment. Chillers in these thermal management systems are one of the highest power components. Microscale evaporation is a promising approach to dissipating high heat fluxes by minimizing thermal resistance between the junction temperature and ambient temperature, hence eliminating the need for chillers. Previous research has shown that droplets elevated by micropillars can limit the vapor diffusion confinement effect, which improves the evaporative heat transfer performance.
For this thesis, an evaporative cooling module consisting of an array of hollow triangular micropillars was developed. This module allows microdroplets to be confined on top of the pillars' upper surface in optimal evaporative size. The thesis describes the device's fabrication process in a cleanroom environment, performance testing, and numerical simulations using COMSOL Multiphysics to illustrate the transport mechanisms behind our experiments.
The results show the heat dissipating capacity of different design arrangements at multiple junction temperatures. The evaporative cooling module developed in this thesis will lay the groundwork for the future implementation of this cooling technology in the next generations of data centers.
Dave Peters Rohan Mishra