This paper reports the results of an experimental study carried out to explore the thermal characteristics of phase change material based heat sinks for electronic equipment cooling. The phase change material (PCM) used in this study is n-eicosane. All heat sinks used in the present study are made of aluminium with dimensions of 80 × 62 mm2 base with a height of 25 mm. Pin fins acts as the thermal conductivity enhancer (TCE) to improve the distribution of heat more uniformly as the thermal conductivity of the PCM is very low. A total of three different pin fin heat sink geometries with 33, 72 and 120 pin fins filled with phase change materials giving rise to 4%, 9% and 15% volume fractions of the TCE respectively were experimentally investigated. Baseline comparisons are done with a heat sink filled with PCM, without any fin. Studies are conducted for heat sinks on which a uniform heat load is applied at the bottom for the finned and unfinned cases. The effect of pin fins of different volume fractions with power levels ranging from 4 to 8 W corresponding to a heat flux range of 1. 59 to 3.17 kW/m2, was explored in this paper. The volume fraction of the PCM (PCM volume / (Total volume-fin volume)) is also varied as 0. 3, 0.6 and 1 to determine the effect of PCM volume on the overall performance of the electronic equipment. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.