SEMI-THERM 2015 Conference: Short Course on Use of Flow Network Modeling (FNM) for Design of Electronics Cooling Systems

Use of Flow Network Modeling (FNM) for Improving Productivity of Design of Electronics Cooling Systems

Kanchan M. Kelkar, Ph.D., Innovative Research, LLC.
Sukhvinder S. Kang, Ph.D., Aavid Thermalloy

Sunday, March 15, 2015
1:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

As the complexity and power density of electronics systems increase, there is an ever-increasing demand for methods and tools to improve the quality of the product and the productivity of the designers. The Flow Network Modeling (FNM) technique achieves this by focusing on the analysis of the interaction among the cooling components to determine system-level performance in a rapid and accurate manner. Each component in the flow network is represented by overall flow and thermal characteristics that account for the flow regime and component geometry. Solution of the conservation equations over the flow network determine the distributions of pressures, flow rates, and temperatures throughout the system. FNM is cost-effective in terms of model definition, and computational time. It allows the engineer to efficiently evaluate competing designs, size components (such as fans/pumps, heat sinks, heat exchangers, and orifices), and investigate what-if scenarios. Finally, its use for system-level design is complementary with detailed CFD analysis.

The short course will discuss the details of the FNM technique and illustrate its use in the thermal design process of air- and liquid-cooling systems. The specific topics to be covered in the course are as follows:

  • Introduction
    • Overview of the FNM technique
    • Overall design process and role of Flow Network Modeling
    • Complementary use with CFD
  • Theoretical Basis of FNM
    • Construction of the flow network of a cooling system
    • Overall flow and thermal characteristics of cooling components using loss factors from handbooks and measured data
    • Characteristics of commonly encountered components such as ducts/tubes, orifices, screens, heat sinks and cold pates, heat exchangers, fans and pumps
    • Overall solution method for network analysis and results obtained
  • Practical Use of Flow Network Modeling
    • Use of hand calculations for analysis of an air cooling system
    • Use of spreadsheets for analysis of air and liquid-cooling systems
    • Generalized flow network analysis of practical systems using a commercial software MacroFlow
  • Conclusions

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