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John O | August 2017

Article describes the 11 myths about thermal design


A recent article on Electronic Design explored 11 myths that many engineers have about thermal design and the consequences for engineers that do not prioritize thermal management in the design phase of a project.

 


The article explores 11 myths that keep engineers from adding thermal
management to the design process. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The first myth is that thermal design is “all about keeping things cool.” The article explained, “While most engineers look to reduce the temperature of their products to avoid overheating, at its heart, thermal design is really about ensuring the optimum temperature to keep a device running efficiently.

 

“In some cases, this could simply mean ensuring a uniform temperature across all devices to ensure optimum performance. In others—particularly outdoor applications in cold climates—thermal engineers may even be looking to heat their products up!”

 

One of the biggest myths to debunk is that “Thermal design is not a priority.” The article responded, “By stopping products from overheating, designers can ensure that their designs remain reliable and help to comply with strict safety regulations. At the same time, by cutting down on power consumption and space (e.g., designing out unnecessary fans), thermal design can free up opportunities for new components and innovations within an end product or design.”

 

Other myths included the need for a prototype to know if something is going to overheat, everything can be fixed with a fan or a heat sink, thermal simulations can only be performed by experts, take too long, and all simulation tools are the same.

 

As the article noted, “The electronics industry is driven by a constant demand for smaller and more powerful devices. This means increased power densities and lots more heat being generated within ever-smaller spaces. As a result, the need for effective thermal design has become a vital part of the electronics engineering process.”

 

Read more at http://www.electronicdesign.com/industrial-automation/11-myths-about-thermal-design

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