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A Si/Glass Bulk-Micromachined Cryogenic Heat Exchanger for High Heat Loads: Fabrication, Test, and Application Results

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5 Author(s)
Weibin Zhu ; Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Michael J. White ; Gregory F. Nellis ; Sanford A. Klein
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This paper reports on a micromachined Si/glass stack recuperative heat exchanger with in situ temperature sensors. Numerous high-conductivity silicon plates with integrated platinum resistance temperature detectors (Pt RTDs) are stacked, alternating with low-conductivity Pyrex spacers. The device has a 1 ?? 1-cm2 footprint and a length of up to 3.5 cm. It is intended for use in Joule-Thomson (J-T) coolers and can sustain pressure exceeding 1 MPa. Tests at cold-end inlet temperatures of 237 K-252 K show that the heat exchanger effectiveness is 0.9 with 0.039-g/s helium mass flow rate. The integrated Pt RTDs present a linear response of 0.26%-0.30%/K over an operational range of 205 K-296 K but remain usable at lower temperatures. In self-cooling tests with ethane as the working fluid, a J-T system with the heat exchanger drops 76.1 K below the inlet temperature, achieving 218.7 K for a pressure of 835.8 kPa. The system reaches 200 K in transient state; further cooling is limited by impurities that freeze within the flow stream. In J-T self-cooling tests with an external heat load, the system reaches 239 K while providing 1 W of cooling. In all cases, there is an additional parasitic heat load estimated at 300-500 mW.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )