Numerical analysis of heat transfer and flow characteristics of supercritical CO2-cooled wavy mini-channel heat sinks

Morteza Khoshvaght-Aliabadi, Parvaneh Ghodrati, Hamed Mortazavi, Yong Tae Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In today's world, thermal management in the components of new electronic and electromechanical technologies has become one of the most critical challenges in this realm. Generally, there is a high heat flux generating part in these instruments, so a robust heat dissipation or cooling system is required to guarantee their reliability and lifetime. Recently, miniature heat sinks have attracted the attention of many researchers, and the performance of air- and liquid-cooled heat sinks having wavy miniature channels has frequently been investigated. However, the heat transfer and flow characteristics of these cooling systems utilizing critical or pseudocritical carbon dioxide (CO2) as the coolant have not been investigated yet and are still an unclear subject. To fulfill this gap, 3D simulations are carried out to scrutinize the thermal and hydraulic characteristics of CO2 flow inside a wavy mini-channel heat sink at a uniform heat flux of 1000 kW m−2. This study also aims to explore the effects of specific design factors, including wave amplitude (wa) and wavelength (wl), at different inlet temperatures (from 305 to 310 K) and mass fluxes (500–2000 kg m−2 s−1) of the CO2 flow. The simulations start with the validation of the numerical results with the available experimental data, in which the deviations lie within ±2%. The results endorse that replacing the straight mini-channels with the wavy ones can enhance the thermal performance of the heat sink by an average of 1.86 times associated with an average pressure drop increment of 1.58 times. The maximal heat transfer coefficient of 8.58 times is obtained at the lowest inlet temperature of 305 K, whereas the maximal pressure drop of 5.65 times is observed at the highest inlet temperature of 310 K. The results suggest that larger wave amplitudes and smaller wavelengths contribute to the larger heat transfer coefficient values. However, these factors become less influential when the inlet temperature increases. Imposing a lower inlet temperature can significantly improve the overall performance. A maximal performance index of 4.41 is obtained for a model with wa = 1.0 and wl = 5 mm at the inlet temperature of 305 K.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120307
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This investigation conducted at Korea University is supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, NRF: Grant No. 2021H1D3A2A01099703.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • CFD simulation
  • Inlet temperature
  • Specific design factors
  • Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO)
  • Wavy mini-channel heat sink

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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