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Heat sink for power module

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Heat sink for power module


A power module includes a power device and a heat sink. The heat sink includes a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium flows and a corrugated fin body arranged in the refrigerant passage. The refrigerant passage is defined by a surface and a backside, and the power device is disposed in proximity to the surface. The corrugated fin body has crests and troughs that extend in the flow direction of the cooling medium and side walls each of which connects the corresponding one of the crests with the adjacent one of the troughs. Each adjacent pair of the side walls and the corresponding one of the crests or the corresponding one of the troughs arranged between the adjacent side walls form a fin. A guide that extends in the flow direction of the cooling medium and operates to stir the cooling medium is arranged in each of the fins.
Related Terms: Heat Sink Refrigerant

Browse recent Kabushiki Kaisha Toyota Jidoshokki patents - Kariya-shi, JP
USPTO Applicaton #: #20140140004 - Class: 361699 (USPTO) -


Inventors: Hidehito Kubo, Masahiko Kimbara, Keiji Toh, Kota Otoshi, Eiji Kono, Katsufumi Tanaka, Nobuhiro Wakabayashi, Shintaro Nakagawa, Yuichi Furukawa, Shinobu Yamauchi

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140140004, Heat sink for power module.

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TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a heat sink for power module.

BACKGROUND ART

A conventional heat sink for power module is disclosed in, for example, Patent Document 1. The heat sink for power module is made of aluminum or copper (the “aluminum” herein includes aluminum alloy other than pure aluminum and the “copper” includes copper alloy other than pure copper). A refrigerant passage in which cooling medium such as water flows is defined in the heat sink for power module. More specifically, the heat sink for power module has a laterally elongated rectangular cross section. In the heat sink, the refrigerant passage having a laterally elongated rectangular cross section is provided. Fins extending in an up-and-down direction are arranged in the refrigerant passage and increase the contact area with respect to the cooling medium.

An insulated circuit substrate on which power devices such as semiconductor chips are mounted is arranged at one surface of the heat sink for power module. Before the power devices are mounted, the structure is referred to as a substrate for power module including a heat sink for power module and an insulated circuit substrate.

The insulated circuit substrate includes, for example, a wiring layer formed of aluminum, an insulated substrate that is formed of insulating ceramic and joined to the wiring layer, and a heat radiating layer that is formed of aluminum and joined to the insulated substrate. When the substrate for power module is used, power devices such as semiconductor chips are mounted on the wiring layer. A heat radiating plate that is formed of aluminum and sized at 3 to 10 mm is provided between the insulated circuit substrate and the heat sink for power module.

The conventional heat sink for power module, which is configured as above-described, forms a power module when an insulated circuit substrate on which power devices such as semiconductor chips are mounted is provided at one surface of the heat sink. The power module may be used in an inverter circuit of a movable body such as a hybrid vehicle, which employs an electric motor as one of its drive sources. In this case, the power module adjusts the power supplied to the electric motor or the like in correspondence with the operating state of the movable body. The power module transmits intense heat generated by the power devices to the heat sink for power module through the wiring layer, the insulated substrate, the heat radiating layer, and the heat radiating plate. The heat is then dissipated by the cooling medium flowing in the refrigerant passage.

However, the conventional heat sink for power module has the following problem with regard to the efficiency of transmission of the intense heat generated by the power devices to the cooling medium, which flows in the refrigerant passage, from the refrigerant passage or the surfaces of the fins.

Specifically, in the above-described conventional heat sink for power module, the fins that extend in the up-and-down direction are provided in the refrigerant passage in order to increase the contact area with respect to the cooling medium. However, regardless of the fins, the temperature of the cooling medium becomes higher toward the area thermally closer to the power devices. The distribution of the temperature of the cooling medium in the heat sink for power module thus becomes nonuniform. This limits effective cooling performance of the cooling medium to a certain level and lowers the heat dissipating efficiency. As a result, in the heat sink for power module, transmission of the heat from the inner surfaces of the refrigerant passage or the surfaces of the fins to the cooling medium is hampered. This makes it difficult to further improve the heat dissipating performance. Patent Document 1: Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2003-86744

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a heat sink for power module that is capable of further improving heat dissipating performance.

In accordance with a first invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows and a corrugated fin body arranged in the refrigerant passage. The corrugated fin body has crests and troughs that extend in a flow direction of the cooling medium and side walls each of which connects the corresponding one of the crests with the adjacent one of the troughs. Each adjacent pair of the side walls and the corresponding one of the crests or the corresponding one of the troughs arranged between the adjacent side walls form a fin. Each of the side walls has a louver that operates to, at least, rotate the cooling medium flowing in the associated fin. As long as the louver at least rotates the cooling medium, the louver may cause local turbulence. The body of the heat sink that defines the refrigerant passage may be formed of aluminum or copper. The corrugated fin body may also be formed of aluminum or copper.

Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2002-5591 discloses a heat sink for power module having a louver formed in a fin. However, the fin does not rotate the cooling medium but simply causes turbulence, which may lead to erosion. Contrastingly, the heat sink for power module according to the first invention rotates the cooling medium by means of the louver. This prevents erosion and improves the durability.

In the first invention, the corrugated fin body may form a rectangular wave shape. However, if the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough are flat surfaces extending perpendicular to the side walls, the cooling medium is easily stopped at the portions corresponding to the crests and the troughs. It is thus preferred that the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough be curved.

In accordance with a second invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes

a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows and a corrugated fin body arranged in the refrigerant passage. The corrugated fin body has crests and troughs that extend in a flow direction of the cooling medium and side walls each of which connects the corresponding one of the crests with the adjacent one of the troughs. Each adjacent pair of the side walls and the corresponding one of the crests or the corresponding one of the troughs arranged between the adjacent side walls form a fin. A guide that extends in the flow direction of the cooling medium and operates to stir the cooling medium is arranged in each of the fins.

In the second invention, the body of the heat sink defining the refrigerant passage may be formed of aluminum or copper. The guide may also be formed of aluminum or copper. The guide may be formed by a wire or a belt-like member. Guides may be arranged in the fin. The guide according to the second invention extends in the flow direction of the cooling medium. In this regard, the concept of the guide is different from that of an exchange device according to sixth invention, which will be explained later.

To stir herein includes to rotate and to cause turbulence.

Also in the second invention, the corrugated fin body may form a rectangular wave. However, if the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough are flat surfaces extending perpendicular to the side walls, the cooling medium is easily stopped at the portions corresponding to the crests and the troughs. It is thus preferred that the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough be curved.

In accordance with a third invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows and a guide member arranged in the refrigerant passage. The guide member has a first guide plate and a second guide plate. The first guide plate is formed by a corrugated fin body including crests and troughs that are alternately arranged, and side walls each of which connects the corresponding one of the crests with the adjacent one of the troughs. Each adjacent pair of the side walls and the corresponding one of the crests or the corresponding one of the troughs arranged between the adjacent side walls form a first fin. The first fin operates to guide the cooling medium in a direction inclined at a first angle with respect to a flow direction of the cooling medium. The second guide plate is formed by a corrugated fin body including crests and troughs that are alternately arranged, and side walls each of which connects the corresponding one of the crests with the adjacent one of the troughs. Each adjacent pair of the side walls and the corresponding one of the crests or the corresponding one of the troughs arranged between the adjacent side walls form a second fin. The second fin operates to guide the cooling medium in a direction inclined at a second angle, which is different from the first angle, with respect to the flow direction of the cooling medium.

In the third invention, the body of the heat sink that defines the refrigerant passage may be formed of aluminum or copper. Also, the corrugated fin body may be formed of aluminum or copper.

Also in the third invention, the corrugated fin body may form a rectangular wave. However, if the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough are flat surfaces extending perpendicular to the side walls, the cooling medium is easily stopped at the portions corresponding to the crests and the troughs. It is thus preferred that the top surface of each crest and the bottom surface of each trough be curved.

In accordance with a fourth invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows and a comb tooth member arranged in the refrigerant passage. The comb tooth member has a substrate extending parallel with the surface on which the power device is arranged and a plurality of upright walls that project from the substrate in a direction crossing the surface on which the power device is arranged. Each of the upright walls extends along a flow direction of the cooling medium in the refrigerant passage. Each upright wall has a guide portion that operates to stir the cooling medium flowing between the upright wall and the adjacent one of the upright walls.

In the fourth invention, the body of the heat sink defining the refrigerant passage may be formed of aluminum or copper. The comb tooth member may also be formed of aluminum or copper.

In accordance with a fifth invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes a laminated body including a plurality of passage plates that are joined together and a plurality of parallel grooves that are arranged between each adjacent pair of the passage plates. Each of the grooves functions as a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows. Each of the passage plates includes a guide portion operating to stir the cooling medium flowing in the corresponding groove.

In the fifth invention, each passage plate may be formed of metal such as aluminum or copper, or ceramic such as aluminum nitride.

In accordance with a sixth invention of the present application, there is provided a heat sink for power module, the heat sink being capable of mounting a power device on at least one surface of the heat sink. The heat sink includes a refrigerant passage in which a cooling medium that dissipates heat generated by the power device flows and an exchange device arranged in the refrigerant passage. The exchange device moves the cooling medium from an area of the refrigerant passage close to the surface on which the power device is provided to an area of the refrigerant passage far from the surface on which the power device is provided, and from the area of the refrigerant passage far from the surface on which the power device is provided to the area of the refrigerant passage close to the surface on which the power device is provided.

The exchange device according to the sixth invention does not necessarily have to extend in the flow direction of the cooling medium or stir the cooling medium by causing a rotating flow or turbulence. In this regard, the concept of the exchange device is different from that of the guide according to the second invention.

In the sixth invention, the body of the heat sink that defines the refrigerant passage may be formed of aluminum or copper. The stirring device may also be formed of aluminum or copper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view schematically showing a corrugated fin body of a heat sink for power module according to a first embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a top view schematically showing a thin aluminum plate for forming the corrugated fin body of the heat sink for power module according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view schematically showing a corrugated fin body of a heat sink for power module according to a second embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the second embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view schematically showing a corrugated fin body of a heat sink for power module according to a third embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the third embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view schematically showing a corrugated fin body of a heat sink for power module according to a fourth embodiment.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view schematically showing a guide of a heat sink for power module according to a fifth embodiment.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the fifth embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view schematically showing a guide of a heat sink for power module according to a sixth embodiment.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the sixth embodiment.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view schematically showing a guide forming member of a heat sink for power module according to a seventh embodiment.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view schematically showing a guide of the heat sink for power module according to the seventh embodiment.

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the seventh embodiment.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view schematically showing a first guide plate and a second guide plate of a heat sink for power module according to an eighth embodiment.

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the eighth embodiment.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view schematically showing a first guide plate, a second guide plate, and a partition wall of a heat sink for power module according to a ninth embodiment.

FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view schematically showing the heat sink for power module according to the ninth embodiment.

FIG. 21 is a front view schematically showing a heat sink for power module according to a tenth embodiment.



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Key IP Translations - Patent Translations


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140140004 A1
Publish Date
05/22/2014
Document #
13779519
File Date
02/27/2013
USPTO Class
361699
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
05K7/20
Drawings
21


Heat Sink
Refrigerant


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