Fluid dynamics in power electronics cooling

Cooling of electronics is at present an area of high economic significance and ever-growing challenges associated with very high-density heat fluxes and electronics miniaturization.  It is estimated that by 2030, about 80% of the world-wide energy generation will be transformed and consumed in the power electronic devices. This has necessitated intensive research of innovative cooling systems based on two-phase fluid flow or utilization of nano-fluids. Both approaches require experimental methods for visualization of fluid phases and phase boundaries, in real-time of the flow process.

Neutron imaging today is the most powerful experimental technique for capturing the dynamics of the flow patterns in the modern cooling assemblies, because it provides non-invasive imaging hydrogenous coolants in metallic channels. The capabilities of neutron imaging in these applications are at present by far not exploited. An important aspect of this subject is the understanding the role of channel surface in the phase nucleation and phase separation processes.  Therefore, neutron imaging will be combined with Helium ion microscopy used for high-resolution imaging of the channel surface nanostructure. The possibility of visualization and modelling multi-phase fluid dynamics is highly valued by Danish industry. Therefore, the cooperation with companies, for which heat transfer and cooling are key technology areas, will provide a direct link from the basics of neutron imaging to industrial innovation.