Applied Sciences (Apr 2021)

Experimental Evaluation of a Latent Heat Storage Module with a Heat Spreader for Thermal Management of a Tablet Computer

  • Benjamin Sponagle,
  • Dominic Groulx,
  • Mary Anne White

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 9
p. 3983


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The objective of this work was to experimentally determine the feasibility of using a phase change material (PCM)-based temperature control module, in conjunction with a heat spreader and thermal interface material, to improve the thermal management of a tablet computer. An experimental apparatus was designed to be representative of a tablet computer. This mock tablet was used to perform a series of transient heating and cooling experiments to compare the impact of the PCM module on the thermal response of the system. The PCM module consisted of n-eicosane encapsulated with heat-sealable laminated film forming a 2 mm thick sheet of encapsulated PCM. A full comparison, including the use of a heat spreader and a thermal interface material (TIM), was conducted at heat generation rates of 4.5 and 7 W. The temperature control module was able to reduce the mean and peak temperatures of the internal components and at a heat generation rate of 7 W it extended its operating time by 30% before it reached a critical threshold temperature.