Enhanced Pool-Boiling Heat Transfer Using Nanostructured Surfaces
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Many devices, appliances, and systems -- such as advanced power electronics with high-power computer chips, high-power lasers and radars, and HVAC systems -- require cooling to keep them running for the long-haul and to reduce maintenance and system failures. Researchers at PNNL and Oregon State University (OSU) have developed a method using nanostructured surfaces to efficiently dissipate heat in such applications at the proper temperature.
Surfaces, such as copper and aluminum, are coated with zinc oxide, a compound that uniquely forms flower- or mesh-like surfaces when using micro-assisted nano-deposition techniques developed at the MicroProducts Breakthrough Institute, a collaboration between PNNL and OSU. These unique structures create porous surfaces with unique nano-scale cavities and surface features to efficiently dissipate excessive heat off liquid boiling surfaces in high-power electronics cooling applications. These coatings result in two significant improvements in the boiling heat transfer process:
- the coating method creates optimal surface wettability characteristics that allow better capillary flow of water on the liquid boiling surfaces often used to cool electronics.
- the dense pore-structures of the zinc oxide create nano-scale nucleation sites (holes) where the boiling occurs; allows the liquid to flow efficiently across the surface, thus keeping nucleation sites active; and creates vertical protrusions, which create more overall active boiling surface area for a given surface footprint.
- more efficient heat transfer off surfaces using boiling heat transfer processes to cool electronics and other heat-generating devices
- control over hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface characteristics in water transfer and water management applications
- Microproducts Breakthrough Institute - Collaboration with Oregon State University on technology development
- Publication: Enhancement of pool-boiling heat transfer using nanostructured surfaces on aluminum and copper - Hendricks T. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. Published by Elsevier. 2010.