On the heat transfer characteristics of heat sinks: With and without vortex generators

Kai Shing Yang*, Jhih Hao Jhong, Yur Tsai Lin, Kuo Hsiang Chien, Chi-Chuan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This paper examines the airside performance of heat sinks having fin patterns of delta, semi-circular vortex generators, plain fin and their combinations. Test results indicate that the heat transfer performance is strongly related to the developing and fully developed flow characteristics. The augmentations via vortex generator are relatively effective when the flow is in the developing region whereas they become quite less effective in the fully developed region. This is especially pronounced when the fin pitch is small or operated at a lower frontal velocity. Actually, the plain fin geometry outperforms most of the fin patterns at the fully developed region. This is because a close spacing prevented the formation of vortex, and the presence of interrupted surface may also suffer from the degradation by constriction of conduction path. The results suggest that the vortex generators operated at a higher frontal velocity and at a larger fin pitch are more beneficial than that of plain fin geometry. The semi-circular vortex generator possesses the highest heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops at developing region, suggesting the mechanism of blockage of conduction path cannot be overlooked. The performance of dense or loose vortex generator is moderate either in a developing or fully developed region. In association with the VG-1 criteria (same pumping power and same heat transfer capacity), the asymmetric design (VG+ plain) reveals the best results. The design could reduce 31.1% required heat dissipation area at a frontal velocity of 5 m/s within a developing region. Yet, it is still applicable in a fully developed region with an area reduction of 1.811.5% at a frontal velocity 35 m/s.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5458000
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Fully developed
  • Heat sink
  • Plain
  • Vortex generator

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