Effective Cooling Solutions using Heatsinks By GD Rectifiers
Learn more about how heatsinks improve the level of effectiveness of electronic components
By: GD Rectifiers
There are generally two concepts of 'soft' and 'loud' heat conduction offers different cooling possibilities for electronic components. The 'quiet' version is achieved through free convection and radiation such as passive heatsinks. Passive heatsinks are able to cool small and large dissipation and is most used element in electronic cooling, compromising of a mechanical part which is connected to the components with a heat conducting effect.
The heat flow is always in the direction of the lower temperature and therefore absorbs the thermal energy of the component to be cooled and conducts it to the ambient air using the principle of exclusive surface enlargement. The systems are chosen based on the special heat conductivity of the materials which is usually aluminium. When cooling only small-scale, high performance electronic components, an analysis of the surface size of the heatsink is not enough on it's own to definitively conclude whether the parts to be cooled can be brought to the ideal temperature.
Sometimes it is necessary to improve heating properties, in which case the 'loud' method for cooling, the use of fan motors and other types are used to support the cooling effect of the heatsink. From free convection, through to activated air, also known as forced cooling occurs which can naturally conduct a greater amount of heat due to the increased air throughput. By using activated air its possible to increase the effectiveness of cooling. A heatsink with a fan, depending on the application helps improve heat conductivity by approximately 40%.
The most common material used for heatsinks is usually aluminium, this is because it offers the best price, performance, weight and volume ratio and can also be mechanically processed. One of the major deciding factors of the specific heat conductivity of a material is the size which in turn affects the heat conduction process. A wide range of profile types can be implemented with the extrusion press process but extensive geometries can be created affordably and there is good availability because standard types are cut, processed and surface treated in terms of length.
In order to determine the correct heat extraction method, it is crucial to first understand the thermal resistance of the component. This is proportional to the heat conductivity;