Development of a Novel Thermal Management Technology of Tablet Computers using Phase Change Materials
Tablet computers (PCs) are continuously moving toward light, thin, and small shape factors to achieve an eye appealing design while providing extreme mobility. The increased integration of electronic components with high power density, small size, and compact layout is leading to alarming operating temperatures of tablet PCs. Overheating greatly reduces the service life of components, resulting in failure of components, and thus reducing system reliability. Therefore, the thermal management of tablet PCs is becoming increasingly important. This research focuses on developing an inexpensive and practical solution for thermal management of tablet PCs using phase change materials (PCMs) encapsulated in aluminized laminate film. The performance of the tablet PC with PCM thermal energy storage (TES) unit for both continuous as well as intermittent operation was investigated. The application of latent heat storage from PCM melting provided good thermal performance during transient operation while sensible heat storage in PCMs and heat spreading in aluminized laminate film provided very favorable steady-state thermal performance of the tablet PC. Findings of this research confirm that the implementation of PCM–based TES unit is a viable option for thermal management of very compact electronic systems such as tablet PCs.