The paper presents an experimental and numerical study of the effect of spray angle on spray cooling when applied in the thermal management of electronics. A thermal test chip provided the heated target, and was cooled by a single pressure swirl atomizer. A perfluorocarbon (PF5060) was employed as the coolant. The coolant was subcooled to a fixed level of 26° C, and was sprayed directly onto the heated target at a fixed flow rate of 22 ml/min. The spray angle was varied between 0 and 60 degrees, and the outlet of the atomizer was located at a fixed radius of 1.4 cm from the heated target. The model of Mudawar and Estes (1996) was also modified to account for the effect of spray angle, then used to assist in interpretation of the experimental data. In an effort to estimate the heat transfer characteristics, an inverse heat transfer algorithm is developed. A direct finite element model is applied with estimated heat flux distributions to simulate the thermal field in the test microchip for various cooling conditions. Experimental results are presented for a number of cases and compared with the model’s predictions. The experimental data and model both showed that cooling capability dropped off when spray angle exceeded 50 degrees.

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