Pin Fin Heat Sink Optimization for Natural-Convection Cooling

Wessel W. Wits*, Yannick Jeggels, Norbert Engelberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates that the performance of natural-convection pin fin heat sinks can be improved up to 16% by actually removing pin fins from a conventional pin fin heat sink. Both numerical and experimental studies are performed on a commercially available pin fin heat sink suspended in mid-air and correlated well. Both natural convection and radiative heat transfer contributions are analysed. The individual contribution of each pin fin is studied, showing that 94% of heat transfer can be attributed to the heat sink baseplate and two outer rings of pin fins. A two-step optimization strategy was devised and applied leading to an optimal design with a thermal resistance of 3.35 K/W, compared to the original 4.0 K/W, for a 10 W heat load. Altogether, the advantages of computational modelling in combination with experimental testing are exploited leading to better, lighter and more cost effective thermal management solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTHERMINIC 2019 - 2019 25th International Workshop Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9781728120782
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event25th International Workshop on Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems, THERMINIC 2019: THERMINIC 2019 - University of Milano, Lecco, Italy
Duration: 24 Sep 202024 Sep 2020
Conference number: 25


Workshop25th International Workshop on Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems, THERMINIC 2019
Abbreviated titleTHERMINIC
Internet address


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