enclosure-cooling-thermal-management-basics-white-paper-03-01-12-2205.pdf - Electronic Enclosure Cooling Understanding Thermal Management


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ELECTRO-TECHNOLOGY FOR INDUSTRY Understanding Thermal Management Electronic Enclosure Cooling
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PFANNENBERG SOLUTIONS Foreward Heat inside electronic enclosures is a hazard for production and functional safety that is often underestimated. Today's powerful electronic assemblies and components inside modern machinery and systems are constantly exposed to the rigors of increasingly higher temperatures. In the event that individual components failure or malfunction, not only will production suffer, but the health and well being of production personnel could be endangered. In order to insure a constant level of operational reliability and a long service life for electronic systems under difficult ambient conditions, it is absolutely essential to know about the decisive factors involved in air conditioning electronic enclosure. A Preliminary View Many control systems in modern electronic equipment are based on semi-conductor components and computer technology. These components are being packed in higher density resulting in higher rates of heat dissipation and less natural dissipation through the enclosure surface area. Studies have shown that as the temperature stress increases on these components their life expectancy will decrease (see chart at right). This is characterized by a logarithmic function that is governed by the operating temperature. For that reason, the manufacturers of such elements always quote maximum operating temperatures in their technical data. In the event components run in excess of these maximum values, the manufacturers are unable to guarantee functional reliability. Climatic influences can also aggravate the situation. Although this article is primarily concerned with electronic equipment located on the shop floor, it is also significant as to the location of the system’s final installation (see world climate map below). Service life of electronic enclosure components Average Annual Temperature The original scale units are degrees Centigrade, the conversion to Fahrenheit is approximate.
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Temperature Changes Within Enclosures What can influence temperature changes within electronic enclosures? An electronic enclosure is nothing more than an enclosed space. As inside a room, there is a higher temperature in and around the top of the room than in the area around the base and because of this difference a slight airflow occurs called natural convection. This all takes place without any installed power, simply as a result of natural ambient conditions.
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