Temperature control in technology is inevitable for the proper functioning of any device. A thermal management system controls the temperature based on thermodynamics and heat transfer principles.
Thermal management is a broad subject covering various ways to transfer heat, including convection, conduction, and radiation. The system focuses on a specific area, components, or a collection of parts. Here, we study the various heat transfer mechanisms essential to safeguard such components and devices.
Heat transfer, as mentioned earlier, is vital to regulate temperature across mechanical elements, industrial processes, even inside our bodies. In conduction, heat transfer occurs through solid materials, whereas convection transfers heat from less dense material to cooler material through gravity. Radiation is where heat transfer is achieved through light – visible or nonvisible.
Almost all electronic devices generate heat, and some in excess quantity. To ensure the safety of such devices, it is essential to regulate heat consistently. The thermal management system involves selecting appropriate materials for these devices for maximum reliability and efficiency. Nevertheless, there will be heat loss to a certain degree during regular operation.
The loss of heat is governed by Newton’s Law of Cooling, which states that the rate at which the heat is lost is directly proportional to the difference in temperature of the body and its surroundings. This means, as temperature increases, so do the heat loss. This phenomenon may continue to cause the device to fail or malfunction.
Heat lost from a component or device to its surroundings is also proportionate to the component’s surface area. This means a small device with a certain amount of heat loss will reach a higher temperature than a large device with the same amount of heat loss.
One way to limit the temperature increase is to increase the surface area manually. This is achieved by attaching heat sinks to the component through casting, extrusion, or stamping. Heat sinks are typically made of aluminum or copper because they are a good conductor of heat.
Heat sinks usually have a finned structure to maximize the surface area for heat dissipation. You can further refine the structure by using fans, increasing airflow, or other ventilation forms.
Another efficient way of achieving thermal conduction is by using heat pipes. These pipes are sealed hollow tubes containing a coolant. While one end of the heat pipe is attached to a heat source, the other end is connected to heat exchanges. When components generate heat, the coolant inside the tube boils and travels to the cooler end. The vapor condenses and flows back to the heated end through gravity.
Thermal management of electronics is a critical instrument for many processes across various industries. If you need such a solution, do not hesitate to contact Getect. You will be provided with a free consultation when you call us at 888-999-8499. You can also contact us online or send an email at email@example.com.