University of California, Los Angeles Background
Proper thermal management is critical for electronic devices that require high power consumption. They often generate large quantities of heat that result in temperature drifts and inconsistent device performance. When temperature changes occur in a transient manner, such as in pulsed devices, it can be particularly difficult to manage, as temperatures rapidly spike and can lead to device failure if not mitigated. While conventional, steady-state cooling techniques, such as jet impingement, can be applied to transient applications, they do not inherently operate in a transient manner and do not eliminate thermal fluctuations. To improve thermal management systems in high-power, pulsed devices, such as laser diode arrays, an on-demand rapid-cooling solution is required to maintain near constant operating temperatures and consistent performance.
UCLA researchers have invented a rapid flash-vapor cooling system that can provide localized, repeated transient cooling to pulsed, high-power devices. This active cooling process continuously adapts to the generated heat load and can provide pulsed cooling for time periods ranging from 100 milliseconds to 10 seconds. Not only can it counteract a wide timescale of transient thermal spikes, but it can subsequently provide quasi-steady state cooling to counteract the thermal mass of devices. This technology is well suited to the performance needs of laser components, burst radars, and other high-power electronic equipment.
Jeffrey Engerer, Timothy Fisher (2016) Flash Boiling from carbon foams for high-heat-flux transient cooling, Applied Physics Letters 109, 024102
Jeffrey Engerer, John Doty, Timothy Fisher (2018) Transient thermal analysis of flash-boiling cooling in the presence of high-heat-flux loads, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 678- 692
Stage of Development
Technology has been reduced to practice in a laboratory setting.
Efficient and compact design
Provides repeated transient cooling without unnecessary cooling during steady-state operation
Adaptive cooling for large changes in heat flux
Operates on a wide timescale
Provides subsequent quasi-steady state cooling
Thermal management in high-power electronic devices
High-powered pulse lasers, radar
Sensitive high-power devices with short duty cycles