The project aims to advance the use of microchannels based cooling technology by solving major outstanding issues. Flow instabilities and maldistribution are identified as a major hurdle towards effective implementation of this technology to a variety of applications.
The objectives of this project are to:
- Develop world leading fully integrated and instrumented microchannels for more fully characterising advanced cooling systems based on boiling in micro-channels
- Perform advanced and detailed experiments generating new data on pressure fluctuations, local temperature, vapour dynamics and liquid film thickness during boiling in silicon and metal parallel micro-channels that will help elucidate fundamental mechanisms and validate the models
- Validate the models and apply them in the development of rational methods of integrated design for systems for the stable, near-isothermal cooling of components operating at high heat fluxes
Small-scale devices such as electronic chips, power rectifiers, radar arrays and chemical microreactors require cooling of areas of a few cm2 at heat fluxes now approaching several MW/m2, necessitating a progression from air to liquid and now potentially to evaporative cooling. In a DTI report on developments and trends in thermal management technologies, heat fluxes for power electronics and laser semi-conductors of above and beyond 1 MW/m2 were identified while in devices operating in the region of 100 W there can be local hot spots requiring removal of power densities of the order of 10 MW/m2. The performance and long-term reliability of many applications requires near-uniform, constant temperature, despite heat production that is spatially non-uniform and varies with time. Applications have specific constraints that influence the choice and working pressure of the coolant, e.g. electronic chips have to operate below a maximum temperature of 80oC, aerospace applications have to survive extremes of ambient temperature. Liquid-only cooling involves an increase in temperature of the coolant (and therefore a temperature gradient in the chip) from inlet to outlet.
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with a background in Engineering, Physics or Materials Science. English Language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.
The project is partly funded (50%) by the University of Valenciennes in France which covers half of the UK/EU rate of tuition fee (including stipend). The successful candidate will have to spend some time working in the laboratory in France. Further information and other funding options.