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Transient thermal management of temperature fluctuations during time varying workloads on portable electronics

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2 Author(s)
Vesligaj, M.J. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Amon, Cristina H.

This paper describes the investigation of solid to liquid phase change materials (PCM's) for passive energy storage during the condition of time varying workloads on portable electronics. The model investigated includes a thermal control unit (TCU) embedded in an epoxy polymer. A TCU is an enclosure that contains phase change material (PCM) and a thermal conductivity enhancer, is located near the power source, and acts as an energy storage and heat-spreading module. Physical experiments were carried out to investigate the performance improvements of introducing a TCU into an embedded system and were used to validate the accuracy of the numerical model. Numerical simulations were performed to study the effect duty cycles and substrate thermal conductivities have on the thermal performance of the electronic wearable computer system with passive energy storage. Additionally, the TCU was numerically modeled to determine the influence of boundary conditions on TCU performance. To quantify the improvements of the system, metrics were developed from analyzing the thermal evolution of the TCU parameters, such as temperature fields, temperature bands, PCM characteristics, and power loads. Results indicate that using a TCU for passive energy storage significantly increases the portable electronics system's operational performance. Duty cycles with the same average power over the duration of the cycle do not influence the length of the PCM phase change time, but do impact the mean value of the temperature fluctuation bands

Published in:

Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 4 )