Mini-channel (D = 2.54 mm) and micro-channel (D = 510 μm) heat sinks with a 1-cm2 heated surface were tested for their high heat flux performance with flow boiling of R-113. Experimental results yielded CHF values in excess of 200 W cm−2 for flow rates less than 95 ml min−1 (0.025 gpm) over a range of inlet subcooling from 10 to 32°C. Heat diffusion within the heat sink was analyzed to ascertain the optimum heat sink geometry in terms of channel spacing and overall thickness. A heat sink thickness to channel diameter ratio of 1.2 provided a good compromise between minimizing overall thermal resistance and structural integrity. A ratio of channel pitch to diameter of less than two produced negligible surface temperature gradients even with a surface heat flux of 200 W cm−2. To further aid in determining channel diameter for a specific cooling application, a pressure drop model was developed, which is presented in the second part of the study.

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