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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 793462, 8 pages
Research Article

Evolutionary Optimization of Electronic Circuitry Cooling Using Nanofluid

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA

Received 9 October 2012; Revised 23 November 2012; Accepted 2 December 2012

Academic Editor: Huijun Gao

Copyright © 2012 Manu Mital. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Liquid cooling electronics using microchannels integrated in the chips is an attractive alternative to bulky aluminum heat sinks. Cooling can be further enhanced using nanofluids. The goals of this study are to evaluate heat transfer in a nanofluid heat sink with developing laminar flow forced convection, taking into account the pumping power penalty. The proposed model uses semi-empirical correlations to calculate effective nanofluid thermophysical properties, which are then incorporated into heat transfer and friction factor correlations in literature for single-phase flows. The model predicts the thermal resistance and pumping power as a function of four design variables that include the channel diameter, velocity, number of channels, and nanoparticle fraction. The parameters are optimized with minimum thermal resistance as the objective function and fixed specified value of pumping power as the constraint. For a given value of pumping power, the benefit of nanoparticle addition is evaluated by independently optimizing the heat sink, first with nanofluid and then with water. Comparing the minimized thermal resistances revealed only a small benefit since nanoparticle addition increases the pumping power that can alternately be diverted towards an increased velocity in a pure water heat sink. The benefit further diminishes with increase in available pumping power.