News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Cooling Apparatuses Having Sloped Vapor Outlet Channels", for Approval

June 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Kuhlmann, Joshua Sean (Sunnyvale, CA); Joshi, Shailesh N. (Ann Arbor, MI); Rau, Matthew Joseph (Lafayette, IN); Dede, Ercan Mehmet (Ann Arbor, MI), filed on November 21, 2012, was made available online on May 29, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Heat generating devices, such as power semiconductor devices, may be coupled to a heat spreader to remove heat and lower the maximum operating temperature of the heat generating device. In some applications, cooling fluid may be used to receive heat generated by the heat generating device by convective thermal transfer, and remove such heat from the heat generating device. For example, jet impingement may be used to cool a heat generating device by directing impingement jets of coolant fluid onto the heat generating device or a target surface that is thermally coupled to the heat generating device. Additionally, jet impingement may also be combined with two-phase cooling, where the heat generating device is cooled by the phase change of the coolant fluid from a liquid to a vapor. However, vapor bubbles are typically formed within the coolant fluid near the heat generating device. If not properly evacuated, the vapor bubbles will collect, leading to an increase in pressure. The saturation temperature of the coolant fluid increases with increasing pressure, which adversely affects the performance of the two-phase heat transfer.

"Accordingly, a need exists for alternative jet impingement, two-phase cooling apparatuses."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, a cooling apparatus includes a fluid inlet channel, a jet orifice surface having one or more jet orifices fluidly coupled to the fluid inlet channel such that coolant fluid within the fluid inlet channel flows through the one or more jet orifices as one or more impingement jets, and a target surface. The target surface and the jet orifice surface define an impingement chamber where the one or more impingement jets impinge the target surface at an impingement region such that at least some of the coolant fluid changes to a vapor. The cooling apparatus further includes a plurality of sloped vapor outlet channels that are fluidly coupled to the impingement chamber. Each sloped vapor outlet channel slopes in a direction that is both away from the jet orifice surface and opposite from a direction of the one or more impingement jets. Coolant fluid in the form of vapor and/or fluid flows through the plurality of sloped vapor outlet channels after it impinges the target surface.

"In another embodiment, a cooling apparatus includes a jet plate manifold, a jet orifice surface within the jet plate manifold, and a vapor manifold coupled to the jet plate manifold. The jet plate manifold includes a tapered portion and a jet plate manifold channel, and is configured to receive a coolant fluid. The jet orifice surface is within the tapered portion of the jet plate manifold, and includes one or more jet orifices. Coolant fluid flows through the one or more jet orifices as one or more impingement jets. The vapor manifold includes a plurality of tapered walls defining an opening such that the tapered portion of the jet plate manifold is disposed within the opening of the vapor manifold. A plurality of vapor outlet channels is located between the plurality of tapered walls of the vapor manifold and the tapered portion of the jet plate manifold. Each vapor outlet channel of the plurality of vapor outlet channels slopes in a direction that is both away from the jet orifice surface and opposite from a direction of the one or more impingement jets. The one or more impingement jets impinge the target surface, wherein at least some of the coolant fluid changes to a vapor, and the vapor and coolant fluid flows through the plurality of vapor outlet channels to exit the cooling apparatus.

"In yet another embodiment, a cooling apparatus includes an inlet-outlet manifold, a jet plate manifold, a jet orifice plate, a vapor manifold, and a target surface. The inlet-outlet manifold includes a fluid inlet configured to receive a coolant fluid, an inlet manifold channel fluidly coupled to the fluid inlet, a plurality of outlet manifold channels, and a fluid outlet fluidly coupled to the plurality of outlet manifold channels. The jet plate manifold is coupled to the inlet-outlet manifold and includes an upper portion having a plurality of walls, a plurality of slot channels within the plurality of walls, wherein the plurality of slot channels are fluidly coupled to the plurality of outlet manifold channels, a tapered portion extending from the upper portion, and a jet plate manifold channel extending through the upper portion and the tapered portion. The jet plate manifold channel is fluidly coupled to the inlet manifold channel. The jet plate manifold further includes a seat within the jet plate manifold channel. The jet orifice plate is disposed within the jet plate manifold channel, and includes a flange portion, a jet orifice surface opposite from the flange portion, and a jet channel. The jet orifice plate is disposed within the jet plate manifold channel such that the flange portion is positioned on the seat of the jet plate manifold. The jet orifice surface includes one or more jet orifices. The jet channel is fluidly coupled to the inlet manifold channel, and the coolant fluid flows through the one or more jet orifices as one or more impingement jets. The plurality of tapered walls define an opening, wherein the tapered portion of the jet plate manifold is disposed within the opening of the vapor manifold such that a plurality of vapor outlet channels is located between the plurality of tapered walls of the vapor manifold and the tapered portion of the jet plate manifold. Each vapor outlet channel of the plurality of vapor outlet channels slopes in a direction that is both away from the jet orifice plate and opposite from a direction of the one or more impingement jets. The one or more impingement jets impinge the target surface, wherein at least some of the coolant fluid changes to a vapor, and the vapor and coolant fluid flows through the plurality of vapor outlet channels to exit the cooling apparatus.

"These and additional features provided by the embodiments described herein will be more fully understood in view of the following detailed description, in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The embodiments set forth in the drawings are illustrative and exemplary in nature and not intended to limit the subject matter defined by the claims. The following detailed description of the illustrative embodiments can be understood when read in conjunction with the following drawings, where like structure is indicated with like reference numerals and in which:

"FIG. 1 schematically depicts a cross sectional view of a cooling apparatus according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 2 schematically depicts an exploded view of a cooling apparatus according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 3 schematically depicts a bottom view of the inlet-outlet manifold of the cooling apparatus depicted in FIG. 2 according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 4A schematically depicts a perspective view of a jet orifice plate of the cooling apparatus depicted in FIG. 2 according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 4B schematically depicts a bottom view of the jet orifice plate depicted in FIG. 4A;

"FIG. 5A schematically depicts a top view of the jet plate manifold of the cooling apparatus depicted in FIG. 2 according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 5B schematically depicts a bottom view of the jet plate manifold depicted in FIG. 5A;

"FIG. 5C schematically depicts a side view of the jet plate manifold depicted in FIG. 5A;

"FIG. 6A depicts a top view of the vapor manifold of the cooling apparatus depicted in FIG. 2 according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein;

"FIG. 6B schematically depicts a bottom view of the vapor manifold depicted in FIG. 6A;

"FIG. 6C schematically depicts a side view of the vapor manifold depicted in FIG. 6A;

"FIG. 7 schematically depicts a cross sectional, partially transparent perspective view of an assembled cooling apparatus according to one or more embodiments described and illustrated herein; and

"FIG. 8 schematically depicts a fluid domain of coolant fluid flowing within the cooling apparatus depicted in FIG. 7."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Kuhlmann, Joshua Sean; Joshi, Shailesh N.; Rau, Matthew Joseph; Dede, Ercan Mehmet. Cooling Apparatuses Having Sloped Vapor Outlet Channels. Filed November 21, 2012 and posted May 29, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3918&p=79&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140522.PD.&OS=PD/20140522&RS=PD/20140522

Keywords for this news article include: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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