Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 309–325 | Cite as

Heat transfer enhancement of round pin heat sinks using N-eicosane as PCM: an experimental study

  • Shah Rukh
  • Riffat Asim Pasha
  • Muhammad Ali NasirEmail author


This experimental work investigates the combination of phase change material (PCM) with thermal storage units to combat excessive heat generation in high application hand-held conveniences. Four heat sink configurations including a no fin and three pin-fin arrays having pin diameters of 2 mm, 3 mm and 4 mm respectively are tested using four discreet volume fractions (0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9) of n-eicosane as PCM under heavy usage power levels of 5–7 W. Round pins, made in aluminum, are incorporated in 9% volume percentage of sink’s bulk to act as thermal conductivity enhancer (TCE) in heat sinks. Parametric probe involved the impact of n-eicosane volume fractions, spatial variation of temperature, Fourier number (Fo), enhancement ratio, Modified Stephan number (Ste*), heat capacity as well as thermal conductance to provide for insights on superior thermal performance for distinct operating conditions of the hand-held. The outturns proclaimed that increasing volume fractions of PCM result in increased service time of the heat sinks. Effect of pin-fin configurations were found to be negligible on spatial temperature variation. Amongst all heat sinks, 3 mm pin-fin arrangement resulted in highest enhancement ratio, heat capacity & thermal conductance for all volume fractions of n-eicosane, thereby, demonstrated best thermal conduct of all four sink arrays.


Phase change material (PCM) Pin array Thermal conductivity enhancer (TCE) n-Eicosane Heat sinks 



PCM volume fraction

Open image in new windowPCM

PCM volume, m3


heat sink volume, m3


total pin volume, m3


Fourier Number, Fo = ∝PCMtset/L2


Thermal diffusivity (PCM), m2/s


sink length, m


time required to reach SPT, min


Dimensionless temperature


asymptotic set point temperature, °C


average heat sink base temperature, °C


ambient temperature, °C


Modified Stephan Number, Ste = QCP/KPCM λh


heat input, W


specific heat (PCM), J/kg K


thermal capacity of PCM, W/m K


sink height, m


Latent heat (PCM), KJ/Kg


TCE volume fraction


Enhancement Ratio

tCT(with TCE)

Time to reach STP of finned heat sink

tCT(without TCE)

Time to reach STP of un-finned heat sink


Heat capacity, KJ/K


Heat transferred, KJ


Change in temperature, K


Thermal conductivity, W/K


Power, W


Maximum temperature after heating phase, K


Room temperature, K



phase change material


thermal conductivity enhancer


computer numeric control


thermocouples on heat sink base


thermocouples in side walls


thermocouples immersed in PCM


thermal conductivity enhancer


personal digital assistant


latent heat thermal management system


thermal storage unit


thermal energy storage


Nano-enhance phase change material


thermal management


multi-wall carbon nanotubes


graphene nanoplatelets


carbon nanoplates


carbon foam


set point temperature


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of the article have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Engineering & TechnologyTaxilaPakistan

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