Thermal design

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Thermal design
Many electronic hobbyists lack the necessary knowledge to properly manage the thermal issues of their projects. Urban myths are rampant, such as that age-old but totally nonsensical rule saying that "if you can touch it without discomfort, the temperature is safe". As a consequence, their projects involving higher power devices tend to be unreliable, and cause much grief and sometimes expensive damage, such when a linear power supply blows its pass transistors and applies an overvoltage to the equipment connected to it. In this article, I will try to teach you the basics about how to do it right, and keep your circuits cool.

Component ratings
Many hobbyists wrongly believe that a transistor rated for 100 Watt can actually be used at 100 Watt. Despite the truly logic appearance of this idea, unfortunately it isn't true! Well, it could be true, if you had some magic way to keep the transistor's body at a temperature of no more than 25°C, which is the condition for which the 100 Watt rating applies! In practice, the only way to keep the transistor that cool would be by living in the arctic in a house without heating, or by cryogenic or Peltier cooling. All these methods are pretty impractical for common electronic equipment, and so our transistors will run hotter than 25°C, which means that they will not be able to dissipate their full rated power. Another commonly done mistake is assuming that the power rating of a small, non-heatsinked part applies just for the part alone. In truth, a rectifier diode rated at 3A will actually survive that current only if it is heatsinked through its terminals, which are made from thick copper wire for exactly that purpose! If you connect that diode to thin wires instead of a large heatsinking metal part, it will not live very long. Speaking of rectifiers, many people wrongly calculate the power loss in a diode based on a voltage drop of 0.7V for silicon junction diodes and 0.4V for Schottkies. In truth, at their full current rating, the voltage drop of silicon diodes is more like 1.2V, and that of Schottkies is 0.6 to 1V! So, it pays to read the detailed specifications of a part, understand them, and extract the really important information for your project.

How heat moves
There is a natural tendency in nature for things to balance out and search a state of uniformity. One of the consequences is that heat likes to wander from hotter to cooler zones. It does so by two mechanisms: Conduction and radiation. Conduction involving fluids also is aided by convection. Conduction is the simplest to understand. Just like electricity flows through an electric conductor, the electrical resistance of the conductor causing a voltage drop proportional to resistance and current, heat can flow through a thermal conductor, with its thermal resistance causing a temperature drop proportional to thermal resistance and heat flow. Thermal resistance is specified in Kelvin per Watt, meaning that a thermal conductor of, say, 2.5 K/W will cause a temperature drop of 5 K (which is the same as a drop of 5°C) when a thermal power of 2 W is flowing through it.

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So. while more shiny objects radiate less and need to be evaluated according to their surface. which is why many people living in hot climates prefer shiny white cars over darker ones. which depends strongly on convection. So. forced air. Still. and some other factors. in parallel. causing a vertical flow through or around the hot device. and is thus the only way of heat transfer that works even in a vacuum. You will first need to know how much power needs to be dissipated as heat. Finally. Then it goes from the casing to a heat sink. 20A power supply that has the pass transistors mounted with electrical insulation. the heat sink as a whole has a certain thermal resistance to the surrounding air. If your power supply is designed for a filtered secondary voltage of 20V average under full load.Thermal design http://ludens. Doing a design In this section I will assume some practical values for a fictitious project that many people like to build: A continuous duty. and the same equations apply as for electrical resistance. then convection (motion of the fluid) helps the heat move. This heat is conducted through the part's casing. so in practice every object will radiate some heat. A perfect mirror cannot radiate heat.html When heat is conducted into a fluid. radiation (color and proximity to hot or cold objects are important). This latter value changes with conditions. thermal conduction through the fluid is aided very significantly by physical motion of it. so that its fins will be slightly cooler than the mounting surface. the heat sink has a small internal thermal resistance. Radiation does not require a medium. which has a thermal resistance. or it can be natural. by a fan for example. when the fluid moves away from the hot area.cl/Electron/Thermal. between flat black paint and polished aluminum there is a huge difference in thermal radiation! The surface color also influences how much radiated heat a body can absorb. Every object radiates heat. The radiation depends on the body's absolute temperature. Then.m. a completely black body produces a thermal radiation that can be easily calculated from its temperature alone.8V. To keep things simple. altitude above sea level (thinner air is a worse heat conductor and can carry less heat by convection). But in practice there is no way to make a mirror that is perfect over the entire electromagnetic spectrum. such as water or air. let's consider just the pass transistors for now. a black body will also be a better receiver of heat. even when it is very hot. which is higher when electrical insulation is used. This convection can be forced. The thermal equation In most situations involving high power electronic parts. it carries along the heat just absorbed. so you must assume the worst-case conditions to be safe. So. sometimes through a layer of electrical insulation. thermal resistance can be placed in series. Very simply stated. . based on the fact that most fluids expand when heating up. and captures radiated heat. which would be typical. Just like electrical resistance. lowering their specific weight and thus rise up. and on its color! The higher the reflectivity. the lower is the radiation. The dissipated power is calculated by the output current multiplied by the voltage drop over the pass transistors. This jump from the part to the heat sink also has a certain thermal resistance. 13. you can have up to 22V when the line voltage is about 10% 2 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. we have a very simply thermal setup: A tiny piece of silicon produces a lot of heat. from DC to cosmic rays. or in combinations.

so you have a voltage drop of 8. This leaves 0. use this one.html above nominal. which multiplied by 20A is 164 Watt. Silicon usually can tolerate up to 150°C.32K/W for the heat sink. The absolute minimum number of transistors would be 4. the problem is that a heat sink of this low thermal resistance would be huge. which means that its internal resistance is about 1. you must assume 22V. where the air might be even hotter. It is rated for 115W at 25°C. But with 4 transistors. Now we need to balance the number of transistors to use. a TO-3 case to heat sink connection has a thermal resistance of about 0. so the total thermal resistance of the connection goes up to about 1K/W! Bad news. I usually design for a maximum ambient temperature of 40°C. between the 150°C the silicon can survive. which is the same. we need a total thermal resistance of no higher than 0. Now you need to know how much temperature drop can be allowed. we have a span of 110°C. The other end of the span is not so easy to decide on: In an air-conditioned room. I probably won't be using any electronic equipment. in exchange for using two more transistors you can use a vastly smaller heat sink! This can be a big cost advantage. I like the 2N3055 transistor. you should be pretty safe even in very hot places. so if the manufacturer doesn't state a different value. It's dirt cheap. The design tolerances eat it up. So. the thermal resistance from the silicon chip of a 2N3055 transistor. Since we can tolerate a total of 0. with the heat sink standing in free air. There's also a small power dissipated by the base drive. but rather would be trying to survive the heat wave in the swimming pool or the shower! So. will be about 2.67K/W. When using heat conducting grease between the surfaces.145K/W for the heat sink. thus reducing the total dissipation a little bit from the calculated value. Depending on the circuit layout. minus the output voltage of 13. Their paralleled thermal resistance. So you must decide which will be the allowable operating limit of your project. made by many factories. You see.525K/W. will be 0. or 110K. The transistor comes in a TO-3 case.1K/W. but with a lower voltage drop. since 2N3055 transistors 3 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. But again. to the heat sink. For normal home use. and quite capable. against the size of the heat sink. heavy.2V. Putting transistors in parallel lowers the total thermal resistance. This is the difference between the highest permissible temperature of the silicon junction. and the 40°C of the ambient. there are two grease interfaces plus the mica. actually the base drive could be adding to the output current.4K/W. and very expensive! Using more transistors Now let's see what happens if we use 6 transistors instead of 4.m. including insulation.35K/W. which is quite large and thus has reasonably low thermal resistance to the heat sink. If you design for 60°C. you might get away assuming 25°C. and the ambient temperature. but in many cases you will find warmer environments. but this is usually small enough to be ignored.cl/Electron/Thermal. When it's hotter than that. unless you are designing a system that will have the heat sink inside the box.. The voltage applied to the transistors is this.8V. Since we need to dissipate 164W. since even with three we have still more thermal resistance in the transistors and heat sink mounting than the total allowable. But when using a mica insulator between the two. the total chip-to-heatsink thermal resistance will be 0. available everywhere in the world. including mounting.Thermal design http://ludens.67K/W.1K/W (115W cause the silicon chip to be at 150°C when the case is at 25°C). Now let's see how we can achieve that. this leaves 0. In short. Now. this effect is small enough to be ignored. ..

not the expected 117%! As a result. But then you must add the heat produced by the driver and the rectifier bridge. That's very simple to explain: These power supplies are not designed for continuous duty at 20A! They are typically used for SSB transceivers.1K/W each. you may want to use an even smaller heat sink. . This would leave 0. which is what I did for my 13.m.just as good as the much more expensive 2N5886 when mounted with insulation! So. and the best tradeoff may be using about 8 transistors. the directly mounted 2N3055 ends up with about 1.6K/W in the total silicon-to-heatsink path. that's incorrect! A 250W transistor would have a thermal resistance of 0.5K/W for the 250 Watt transistor.4K/W heat sink. You may wonder why I used only 4 transistors in the project just mentioned? Well. or three 2N3055s. a pretty large heat sink is still needed. Using more powerful transistors I get much e-mail from people who propose the great idea of using fewer high power transistors instead of more 2N3055s. Avoiding electrical insulation Let's go back to the approach using 2N3055 transistors. Let's suppose that you have a heat sink rated at 0.Thermal design http://ludens. So. instead of 8 2N3055 you could use 6 2N5886. and very large heat sinks are expensive! If you liked this. with the 0. So. At 2. 6 directly mounted 2N3055 on a 0.8V. which will be hugely more expensive! If you use just 4 of them.17K/W for the transistors. which allow to reduce the average filtered secondary voltage to about 18V nominal or 20V worst case. given that they use the same TO-3 case! So. Unfortunately. It's rated at 250 Watt. 20A power supplies that have just two pass transistors on a rather small heat sink. which can be handled by just 4 of them.4K/W heat sink. if you want continuous duty at 20A! You may even wonder why reputed companies make 13. 20A power supply. By skipping the insulation we save about 0. Probably this is no longer cost effective.5K/W. with a 0. You get only 40% advantage. the total thermal resistance for each transistor plus mount would be 1. the 2N5886 would be a candidate.1K/W for the 2N3055. and so they are rated for 20A peak current. they will burn out. For example. Summarizing: 4 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. But let's skip the mica insulation! This can be done by insulating the heat sink from the case. That gives about 120W dissipation for the pass transistors.html are cheap. while the average current shall not be higher than 5 or 6A! That can easily be managed with two 2N5886s. So.8V.5K/W. you would need about a 12 of them. people reason that they can use half the amount of them. versus 2. more than twice the 2N3055.cl/Electron/Thermal.4K/W heat sink would work. which brings up the total to about 200W.5K/W . or by designing the circuit in such a way that the transistor collectors are at ground level. it uses a very low drop regulator design and a large filter capacitor. But the thermal resistance of its mounting to the heat sink would be exactly the same as that for the 2N3055.

html Don't strive for low transistor count. given that copper is almost as good and very much cheaper. but it is even worse. It's clear that duraluminum is a bad choice. such as RF power transistors. and as a bonus will give higher effective hFE . are decent. . That is how much heat power. But all other metals should be avoided. given that pure. But there are huge differences between different sorts of aluminum! And copper is better for thermal resistance per volume.3 Duraluminum (the kind commonly used for extrusions and tubing): 129.m.35 Grease: 0. Among them. Mica is a really lousy heat conductor! The problem is that few electrical insulators are good thermal conductors. soft aluminum is cheaper and has much better heat conductivity! Unfortunately. and in the case of beryllia. its conductivity isn't good enough to justify its use for heat sinks. Try to avoid insulation between the transistors and heat sink. but it is still very far from the thermal 5 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. The general choice is to use aluminum for the large parts of a heat sink. but cleaner. Using more of them allows much smaller heat sinks. but aluminum is better for thermal resistance per weight (and price).21 Insulating material such as mineral wool: Typically 0. Always use heat transfer grease. which makes it somewhat better for heat transfer. But between copper and aluminum one has a choice: Copper is much better. More powerful transistors help. but also much heavier and more expensive. Sometimes we have to live with them. but not nearly enough to justify their much higher cost. The cases of transistors usually are made of copper too. Confused? :-) Thermal conductivity is measured in W/(m*K). Its advantage is that it doesn't need thermal grease for mounting.03 Still air: 0. many commercially available heat sinks are made from duraluminum. Sometimes it's better to paint the thing black. measured in Watt. and sometimes not. Here are some values: Pure silver: 418. some oxides.7 Pure copper: 372. be sure to correctly calculate everything involved. depending on exact alloy Steel: Roughly 50. Synthetic rubber is used nowadays in place of mica.022 (but convection makes this irrelevant in most cases) This table shows the huge range of thermal conductivity you can find. such as alumina and beryllia. While silver is the winner.Thermal design http://ludens. Heat sink material Most heat sinks are made from aluminum. when the temperature difference between two opposing surfaces is 1K. But they are brittle. so the end effect is similar to a mica insulator mounted with grease. depending on alloy Mica: 0. rather expensive to make into usable insulators. highly toxic. Do use transistors with large cases . Speaking about grease. and a small copper "spreader" between the heat sink and physically small components that produce very much heat.1 Brass: Roughly 100. the number given here is for pure grease.the smaller ones have higher case-to-heatsink resistance! And above all.cl/Electron/Thermal. will flow through a cubical block of 1 meter on each side. The one used for thermal bonding is loaded with oxide powder.1 Pure aluminum: 209.

because the thermal resistance is also affected by the shape of the heatsink. So the most typical question a designer has at this stage is: What size of heat sink do I need? Unfortunately the answer isn't simple. at 20°C. which would otherwise trap air. by how freely air can circulate through it. . because its radiated heat will reflect back onto itself. will hamper the conduction of heat from aluminum to air more than it may help by increasing radiation.67 Matted steel: 5..6 Polished copper: 0. and by the temperature difference to the air at which it will have to work. I can give you an empirical equation that is about right for an optimally shaped heatsink in completely free air.4 Matted zinc: 5. and here a flat black surface helps a lot! But it helps only if it looks at other objects that are dark. here is one about the radiation constant of different materials. and cooler than the panel..m. running at 50°C above the surrounding air: 6 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. if you bolt your transistors to the back panel of a box.Thermal design http://ludens.cl/Electron/Thermal. it's best to leave the aluminum bare. light surfaces emit and capture very little radiation. the contribution of radiation will be extremely small. while reasonably dark surfaces. with its lower thermal conductivity. as any layer of black paint. it will absorb heat rather than radiating it. and get very hot! Likewise.html conductivity of metal! Even so. Heat sink color If your heat sink will work in the air flow of a fan. and the oxide powder must be very finely ground.23 Polished silver: 0. Perfect black body: 5. compared to the effect of conduction. specially if matted. placing a black heat sink inside a shiny aluminum box is useless. This defines the proper way of using it: You must apply enough to fill out all the spaces left by the imperfections of the metal surfaces. So. it's a huge lot better than air. are almost perfect radiators and capturers. by all means paint that panel flat black! A flat panel dissipates more heat by radiation than by conduction. so that the electronic parts inside the box can cool themselves by radiation into the aluminum box! Do you want another table? Well. If you place such a black heat sink in the sun. On the other hand.17 There is a simple pattern: Shiny.3 (that's why zinc roofs get so hot in the sun!) Oxidized copper: 3.28 Matted aluminum: 0. Heat sink size The size of a heat sink obviously is a determining factor to its thermal resistance. This is expressed in (10-8)W/(m2 K2) .4 (that's why aluminum roofs are much fresher in summer than zinc ones!) Polished aluminum: 0. or if it looks at free space. For that reason. paint the inside of aluminum boxes flat black too. but not a tad more! Using too much thermal grease can be worse than using none at all! And the grease must be fluid enough to be easily squeezed out when moderately tightening the mounting bolts.

fanless one producing the same thermal resistance. Then I added a small 12V.cl/Electron/Thermal. and also it is valid only at 50 degrees difference between the heat sink and the air. I built a test heatsink from pure copper. The thermal resistance plummeted to 0. that is.html Heatsink volume (liters) = 0. by using a fan. But don't take this as an exact science. and if you apply 100 Watt. it will not reach 100°C above the ambient! Stated in words. the 0.5°C/W at 50°C difference. it will heat up more than 25 degrees above ambient. This gave me a thermal resistance of roughly 0. but in many cases you will need to adjust the results through experiment.5 So. and any radiative effects also distort it.8 / thermal resistance1. so that we need to use a bigger heat sink or add a fan. energy-efficient and much more comfortable. and with almost a square meter of fin surface. if air can circulate freely. much more than twice the volume of the other! Which leads to the conclusion that several small heat sinks can be more convenient than a single large one. So. because the larger temperature difference speeds up convection. it's generally cheaper to use a small heat sink with a fan.8 / Vol[liters])0. cause noise.2 liters.8 liter heat sink would heat up to 50 degrees above the ambient when you apply 50 Watt to it. . my equations can give you a basis from which you can start. Most likely this would be too high a temperature. At high airspeeds. Fans Forcing a fast air flow through a heat sink. with twice the temperature difference a given heat sink can dissipate four times as much power! This effect is easy to explain: If the temperature difference is twice as high. How much does a fan lower the thermal resistance. 1W fan to it. So. rather than a big. But economics should not be the only consideration: Fans need (waste) energy. We can merge the square law relationship with the equation relating volume to thermal resistance at 50 degrees rise. if the thermal conductivity of the material is so good that there is negligible temperature drop along the heat sink.68 * Power[Watt]0. And this change is pretty large: The power to temperature rise ratio is almost square law. This of course holds true only if they are placed far enough from each other. while a heatsink of half as much thermal resistance would require a volume of 2. and can fail.m. but if you apply 25 Watt. so that cool air can freely circulate through each of them.13°C/W! It was now more limited by conduction along the baseplate. is extremely effective in lowering its effective thermal resistance. each quantity of air absorbs twice the heat. so that it will take away four times as much heat. Each designer must weigh the relative merits of both approaches. but more reliable. than by the dissipation 7 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. you may ask? To find out. The following results: TempRise [°C] = 10 * ( 0.47 As an example. vibration. if you need a thermal resistance of 1°C/W. the friction loss again bends the equation. driven down by the computer industry.Thermal design http://ludens. of two liters volume. a heat sink having a volume of half a liter and carrying a transistor that produces 50 Watt of heat would rise its temperature roughly 97°C above the surrounding air. With the low cost of today's brushless DC fans. the thermal resistance decreases as the temperature difference increases. but also the air will flow twice as fast.8 liters. this would equate to a heatsink volume of 0. Remember that this empirical equation is reasonably accurate only if the heat sink has enough fins efficiently using its volume. A correctly done fanless design will usually be more expensive and heavier.

One Joule is one Watt during one second. the temperature rise of the air will be higher. Chimneys This method for improving cooling. will aid the chimney's efficacy.cl/Electron/Thermal. and the thermal resistance of the heat sink will become pretty high. In some cases. The warm air rises. Which means that a heat sink with thick fins. which means that applying a heat energy of slightly over 1000 Joule to 1 kilogram of air makes its temperature rise by 1 Kelvin. with no penalty in noise. a chimney may need to be almost as tall as the room is high! That may look outlandish.293 grams per liter. regardless of temperature difference. If you use a smaller one. will benefit more than one with thin fins. so the heat sink/fan combination has a pretty constant thermal resistance. only the air inside and very close the heat sink causes a convective force. it would need a calculated volume of around 16 liters. That's not only more than 4 times better than air. the air flow will be much lower. for our power supply example dissipating 164W. so that you need an airflow of 25 liters per second. and the tall column of warm air produces a strong convective force. has been much neglected in recent decades. thus being 8 times as large as the one with fan! With a fan. this method can be warranted! The heater should be installed in such a way that it doesn't radiate heat into the part to be cooled. Water cooling Water has a thermal capacity of 4.183 kJ/(kg K). the temperature rise much higher. but also 8 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. But it is still a valid option! A chimney is simply a thermally insulating tube placed above the heat sink or hot part. air weighs 1. at least for equipment not moved around too often.5 cubic meters per minute. A heater element placed low in the chimney. you need to blow about 32 grams of air through the heat sink. designed for natural convection. Note that to obtain the same 0. so that much more air flows through the heat sink. air flow is basically constant.13°C/W thermal resistance with a fanless heat sink. if you want the air to leave the heat sink no hotter than 5K above the ambient temperature. To really reach an effectiveness close to that of a fan. which directly impacts the effective thermal resistance of the heat sink. or 1. you can have a warm air column much taller than the heat sink's size. that they have thrown out the fans and installed tall chimneys on their computers! If you have the room and don't mind the funny look. So. in every second. well known in the glorious days when radios used valve technology. but I know people so fed up with the noise of their computer's fans. How much air is needed? Air has a thermal capacity of slightly over 1 kJ/(kg K) at usual room temperature.html capabilities of the fins. energy waste. than if there was no chimney! Without one. and thus get much improved cooling without any noise. At higher altitudes you need a larger volume of air. but with a large energy waste. . These requirements would probably equate to a moderately noisy fan. nor risk of failures! The only disadvantage of chimneys is that they need to be taller to become more effective. Without a fan. just above the part to be cooled.Thermal design http://ludens. At sea level. fills the chimney. a chimney can be a lot more attractive than a fan. With a chimney.m. designed to be used with a fan.

typically a half to a few Watt. The vapor flows along the pipe and condenses at the other end. and I have seen them used in some high-end audio amplifiers. which is the temperature at which they will live for 1000 hours. for the same 5 K rise! A very small pump. the heat evaporates the liquid. The liquid flows back to the hot end. one year at 60°C. and since it can be made large without the problem of thermal resistance hampering heat flow along it. Of course. but also they cause endless contact problems.m. and one hour at 110°C. It's true that semiconductors don't like heat. could supply that flow. and so the designer must make sure that the capacitor will stay at a temperature very much lower than this! That precludes placing it close to power resistors. 1000 hours is not an acceptable lifqe span for an electronic component.html water is 773 times denser. causing higher power ICs to overheat. Avoid sockets. 9 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. a very silent and effective cooling system can be built. and temperature range. and conduction through the device's pins. than a copper or aluminum bar of similar weight can be. The water can then be piped away. like the plague!!! Not only do they thermally insulate the IC from the printed circuit board. And most small parts work at a power that is low enough so they stay cool just by air convection around them. An effective even if ugly method for improving cooling is to paint shiny parts flat black. and so on. is placing small electrolytic capacitors close to hot spots. which means that the volume of water required to cool something is more than 3000 times smaller than the volume of air! That's why almost all devices that generate a lot of heat in a small space. At the same temperature. but electrolytic capacitors like it even less! At 100°C. a silicon junction can live forever. High power transmitters very often use water cooling. Water cooling is attractive too for high power electronics. radiation from the part to other parts and the box. . one month at 85°C. an electrolytic capacitor can die in a matter of hours! A typical electrolytic capacitor can live for 30 years at room temperature. and give its heat off to the air in an heat exchanger. use water cooling. ICs simply falling out of them. Where the transistor is mounted to this pipe. rectifier diodes. and the like. wrongly called "radiator" in car mechanic's lingo. They are often rated for a given temperature. They are commonly used in space technology. Our sample power supply could be built with the transistors mounted to a small hollow copper block fed by a flow of only about a half liter of water per minute. made with a rocker motor or a solenoid pushing against a silicone hose. hobbyists often run into trouble by improper thermal design! One of the most beloved mistakes is mounting ICs in sockets.cl/Electron/Thermal. A heat pipe like this is much more effective in transporting heat. they are probably a bit too exotic! Small components It is impractical to bolt every small component to a heat sink. The heat exchanger may be built like a car "radiator". partly filled with a liquid that evaporates at a convenient temperature. added inductance leading to instability. But with parts running a bit higher power. Heat pipes Another way to solve the problem of heat conduction is by the use of so-called heat pipes. typically 85°C. where the heat sink is.Thermal design http://ludens. such as car engines. But it has certain restrictions in operating position. These are simply sealed metal tubes. For the electronic hobbyist. and do the same to the box' inside and outside! The radiative cooling obtained in this way is very noticeable! A grave mistake shared by hobbyists with many "professional" designers.

So it may be better if I stop here! Back to homo ludens electronicus. 10 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. The bootstrap capacitor in switching power supplies using the ubiquitous UC3842 IC is one very typical victim. in TVs. . and the poor beasts pressed into TV and monitor deflection service come second in the list of electrolytic capacitors assassinated by poor equipment design.cl/Electron/Thermal. I have been repairing electronic equipment for two decades. It seems that I'm veering off the proper course. and switching power supplies for all kinds of gadgets. complaining about bad engineering instead of teaching you heatsinking tricks.m. monitors.html Unfortunately many electronic designers in the industry don't know this. or perhaps even intentionally misdesign equipment so that it fails soon and forces the consumer to buy a new one. don't care for it. In some cases this is compounded by the designers allowing too much ripple current to flow in a small capacitor. which heats it from the inside and makes it fail even sooner.Thermal design http://ludens. and in my experience the single most recurring failure is small electrolytic capacitors dried out from excess heat. keeping the money rolling.

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