Proceedings of InterPACk'99, Vol. 2, pp. 1625-1630, June 1999

Thermal Control of Horizontally Mounted Heat Sources using Phase Change Materials

D. Pal and Y. Joshi
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Consortium
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Phase change materials (PCM) undergo a solid to liquid phase transition, providing thermal stabilization during this phase. Such a thermal management scheme can be used in situations where heat dissipation is periodic, or a sudden transient, such as in personal computing and communication equipment. This paper presents the design guidelines associated with thermal management with solid-Iiquid phase change materials. Important design and manufacturing issues are considered, and a design procedure is presented. As a test case, an experimental study of melting Phase change material in a porous aluminum matrix inside a shallow enclosure is reported. Constant power input is provided from below by a heater element mounted underneath the cavity. The experimental data for the prototype passive thermal control device using PCM show that such a thermal control scheme maybe a viable alternative to forced convection or liquid-vapor two-phase cooling systems under certain conditions. The disposition of aIuminum-foam resulted in a superior performance of the heat sink in terms of lower temperature and extended period of operation.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members


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