A wide variety of suggested design improvements have been made to microchannels since their inception. Still, nearly all research resides in a low volume of design options compared to a straight rectangular microchannel. Although this provides an easy comparison to this typical design baseline, nearly all studies use a wide range of boundary conditions, geometric feature sizes, and differ in coolant and solid material choice, leading to a nearly impossible comparison between the designs proposed in individual research papers. If any of these designs were to be considered for use in any given application, it would be difficult to compare these designs; thus, extensive research would be required to address the issue, perhaps excluding simple variances in cross-sectional geometry.
With precisely that in mind, the purpose of this research is to investigate a wide variety of possible microchannel designs, identifying those designs that provide the highest heat transfer rate, and then examine these designs in greater depth, optimizing their geometry to suit specific applications. These designs are first considered in generality but are also more deeply considered for piezoelectric ceramic stack cooling applications. This application differs from much existing research as these systems can usually achieve higher Reynolds number flows than is typical, affording higher pressure drops since they are not as strictly constrained regarding pump sizes.
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