MS Thesis Presentation by Adya A. Ali
Monday, April 26, 2004

(Dr. Yogendra Joshi, Chair)

"Design and Analysis of a Compact Two-Phase Cooling System for a Laptop Computer"


Technological advancement, as well as consumer demands, has motivated the miniaturization of electronic/mechanical systems and increase of device power and performance. The notebook computer is not an exception, and innovative thermal management solutions must be employed to compensate for the increased heat dissipation in the space-constrained enclosures. The majority of current cooling systems in laptop computers rely on heat pipes attached to a remote heat exchanger with micro-fans providing forced convection to reject heat to the ambient, however this technique can not accommodate the increasing heat fluxes in the confined laptop enclosure.

In this study, a two-phase closed loop cooling system is designed and tested for a laptop computer. The cooling system consists of an evaporator structure containing boiling structures connected to a compact condenser with mini fans providing external forced convection. A pump is also incorporated to assist the return of the condensate back to the evaporator. The cooling system is characterized by a parametric study which determines the effects of volume fill ratio of coolant, initial system pressure, and pump flow rate on the thermal performance of the closed loop. Experimental data shows the optimum parametric values which can dissipate 25 W of chip power with a chip temperature maintained at ? 95 ?C.

Numerical analysis provides additional data to further enhance the heat dissipation from the external air-cooled side of the condenser by studying the effects of ventilation and air flow rate across the system. Thermal management of mobile systems must be considered during the early design phases, and this research shows the feasibility of implementing of a two-phase cooling system to dissipate 25 W in a laptop computer