A compact, energy efficient heat sink design methodology is presented for shrouded, parallel plate fins in laminar flow. The analytic model accounts for the sensible temperature rise of the air flowing between fins, convective heat transfer to the flowing stream, and conduction in the fins. To evaluate the efficiency of the air cooling system, consideration is also given to the determination of the fan pumping power. This paper focuses on the optimization of the heat sink-fan combination for energy efficiency, subject to volumetric constraints. The design optimum is found by matching the most efficient operating point of the fan with the corresponding optimum fin geometry. A series of parametric studies was completed to identify the sensitivity of the cooling solution to parametric variations. This numerically validated model has been used to visualize the parametric impact of dealing with “real world” manufacturing limitation in the development of thermal packaging solutions for notebook computers and other electronic products.

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