An experimental study of enhanced heat sinks for thermal management using n-eicosane as phase change material

Adeel Arshad, Hafiz Muhammad Ali*, Wei Mon Yan, Ahmed Kadhim Hussein, Majid Ahmadlouydarab

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


This study experimentally explores the thermal performance enhancement of portable electronics; based on the n-eicosane used as a phase change material (PCM) filled pin-fin heat sinks. A constant heat flux ranging from 0.79kW/m2 to 3.17kW/m2 is applied at the base of heat sink. Comparison was carried out with and without n-eicosane for finned and un-finned heat sinks. Four configurations of pin-fin heat sinks are tested at four different volumetric fractions of n-eicosane including no fin heat sink to quantify the effectiveness of pin-fins for cooling of electronics. Pin-fins of constant volume fraction (9% to the total volume of heat sink) are used as thermal conductivity enhancers (TCEs) within PCM as the PCM has very low thermal conductivity to dissipate heat. TCEs are made of aluminum. Pin-fin heat sinks of fin thickness of 1mm, 2mm and 3mm, are investigated to examine the effect of fin thickness, amount of n-eicosane and input heat flux for three different critical set point temperatures (SPTs). The findings indicated that inclusion of n-eicosane in pin-fin heat sink had viable performance to keep the temperature of mobile devices in comfortable zone. At lower heat inputs steady state operating conditions, uniform charging of PCM takes longer duration, and more phase duration of latent heat is achieved. Enhancement ratios revealed that 2mm thick pin-fin heat sink had the maximum thermal performance for reliable performance of electronic package.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date19 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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