This study presents the experimental performance of a high fin density heat sink for semiconductor power modules — such as IGBTs. As a case study a commercially available extruded heat sink has been chosen. By analyzing the steady-state maximum temperatures as well as various geometric orientations, Nusselt number correlations were found experimentally, which can be used to predict the performance of the heat sink. It was found that the experimental Nusselt number correlations can predict the performance of the heat sink to within a 10%. Furthermore, steady-state maximum temperature results showed that for low fan speeds (2 m/s–3 m/s), the device junction temperatures achieved a value no higher than 80°C, which is well below the junction temperature limit for 125°C for silicon power semiconductor devices. Furthermore, it was shown that for two heat sinks in series forced convection tests, gap spacing between the devices has a minimal effect on the overall performance. Also, a numerical simulation study using COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software to study flow and temperature fields has been conducted. These modeling results the thermal behavior of heat sink are validated by experimental measurements.

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