These days, system-level thermal management solutions are not all about heatsinks, fans and blowers. Gone are the days when thermal management was about big systems with a lot of room to put oversized solutions. Whereas such systems still exist, today’s systems come in all varieties and sizes, including small handheld systems, wearables, and highly compact standalone systems, many of which must be cooled passively. In thermal design of such systems, there is not a lot of room to maneuver as they require highly optimized and precise thermal solutions. In many cases, under-performance is also not an option, as in handhelds and wearables systems, because of the intimate nature of their use. Hence, it is extremely important that the thermal designer use all the analysis and diagnostic tools available to arrive at the right and optimal solution.
There are several Thermal Analysis commercial solutions available in the market today. The most popular electronics-cooling specific packages are Icepak from ANSYS and FloTHERM from Mentor Graphics. These two packages are designed to handle pretty much any electronic system, from IC packages to large systems. They can be used in any heat and mass transfer scenario where the continuum assumption is valid – that is, the space being analyzed has solid, liquid and/or gas inside, and is not a vacuum. Whereas these tools have almost all the controls one will need to design effective thermal solutions, it is very important that the thermal engineer not only knows the various controls of these packages, but also the heat and mass transfer physics behind it. Without a solid understanding in these two areas, the outcome can be flawed and potentially very costly to address in later stages of product development.
Therefore, in the absence of seasoned thermal engineers in house, companies are well advised to seek help from outside expert thermal consultants to make sure that there are no surprises come product launch day. This is best done very early in the design cycle easily and cost-effectively. This will ensure that the rest of product development engineers (mechanical, electrical, industrial and system engineers) know the boundaries of an effective thermal design for the system in question.
Thermal Design Solutions is one such Thermal Management consulting firm with deep expertise in Thermal Analysis, Modeling and Simulations. With decades of experience handling a broad range of electronic products, our thermal management consultants are highly proficient with all aspects of thermal design, including Icepak CFD simulations and other analysis packages, as well as thermal tests using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. Whether your system is passive cooled or actively cooled, large or small, we can help by quickly analyzing your system to determine its thermal profile and the critical spots and the primary modes of heat transfer that govern it. We can help with the right material selection consistent with the application, cost and industrial design objectives. For more details, please contact us by visiting our site: ThermalDS.com.