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Investigation into the performance of turbulence models for fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena in electronic applications

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3 Author(s)
Dhinsa, K. ; Center for Numerical Modeling & Process Anal., Univ. of Greenwich, London, UK ; Bailey, C. ; Pericleous, K.

Heat is extracted away from an electronic package by convection, conduction, and/or radiation. The amount of heat extracted by forced convection using air is highly dependent on the characteristics of the airflow around the package which includes its velocity and direction. Turbulence in the air is also important and is required to be modeled accurately in thermal design codes that use computational fluid dynamics (CFD). During air cooling the flow can be classified as laminar, transitional, or turbulent. In electronics systems, the flow around the packages is usually in the transition region, which lies between laminar and turbulent flow. This requires a low-Reynolds number numerical model to fully capture the impact of turbulence on the fluid flow calculations. This paper provides comparisons between a number of turbulence models with experimental data. These models included the distance from the nearest wall and the local velocity (LVEL), Wolfshtein, Norris and Reynolds, k-ε, k-ω, shear-stress transport (SST), and kε/kl models. Results show that in terms of the fluid flow calculations most of the models capture the difficult wake recirculation region behind the package reasonably well, although for packages whose heights cause a high degree of recirculation behind the package the SST model appears to struggle. The paper also demonstrates the sensitivity of the models to changes in the mesh density; this study is aimed specifically at thermal design engineers as mesh independent simulations are rarely conducted in an industrial environment.

Published in:

Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2005

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