Thursday, May 5, 2013

Jud_Senior_Design_Group_2013Students (L-R): Tony Fabery (Materials Engineering) Zac Stansell (Mechanical Engineering) Nikki Aaron (Mechanical Engineering) Eric Dick (Mechanical Engineering)This year, CBSE mentored a group of UAB School of Engineering Senior Design students. The students were tasked with the design and testing of a heat sink and piezoelectric fan array to optimize the cooling of the CBSE-designed Polar Cold Volume.  Students performed analysis using convective and conductive heat transfer aJud design 2013Heat Sinks well as finite element analysis to determine the optimum heat sink geometry and maximize the air flow across the heat sink using the fan array.  Once the design was complete, the students manufactured the heat sink using Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM).  Thermal performance testing was conducted in the Polar prototype using their custom heat sink and optimized fan array.  The custom heat sink allowed the Polar Cold Volume to reach an equilibrium temperature of -90oC, 10 degrees below the -80oC requirement!  The students also tested their heat sink against a variety of commercially available heat sinks and found that their heat sink performed as good as or better than many readily available heat sinks within the Polar system.

The CBSE mentors for this project were Dr. Lee Moradi, David Ray, Lance Weise, and Jud Dunlap.