Integrated cooling concepts for printed circuit boards


Wits, Wessel Willems (2008) Integrated cooling concepts for printed circuit boards. thesis.

open access
Abstract:Thermal management plays an increasingly dominant role in the design process of
electronic products. Component sizes decrease while performance and functional
demands increase, resulting in more power dissipation on smaller surfaces. In an
effort to cope with these growing thermal challenges, industry continuously seeks
cooling equipment with improved heat transfer performance. However, as thermal
engineering is traditionally considered toward the end of the design process, the
applied cooling solutions are often simply mounted onto the product. As such,
cooling equipment for electronics is growing out of proportion compared to the
electronic component it is supposed to cool.
This thesis describes the development of innovative cooling concepts for electronic
products. Thermal criteria are considered during the conceptual design phase, in
order to find more integrated solutions. This multidisciplinary approach strives to
develop improved thermal management systems for electronic products, in terms
of thermal performance, compactness and flexibility. To develop a cost efficient
solution focus is also put on utilizing standardized electronic manufacturing processes,
such as Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and Surface Mounted Device (SMD)
production technologies. Cost considerations for high product volumes, enabling
mass-market applications, are especially taken into account.
This research has led to the identification of two promising cooling concepts for
electronic products.
The first concept – directly injected cooling – is based on (jet) air cooling. By
manufacturing a coolant inlet port into the PCB underneath an electronic component,
this component can be cooled directly from the bottom side. This concept
excels in the area of high component density cooling, where many components on
an electronic board must be cooled both independently and simultaneously.
The second concept – integrated heat pipe cooling – integrates a passive, twophase
heat transport device directly into the PCB. As the heat transfer mechanism is based on phase change principles, it is capable of transporting large quantities
of heat. The heat pipe is constructed inside the laminated structure that makes
up the electronic board. This concept allows heat, dissipated by (multiple) components
mounted onto the PCB, to be transported through the board structure
with a very high efficiency.
For both concepts detailed analysis and experimental investigation have been
conducted. Both concepts show promising results compared to state-of-the-art
cooling systems, in terms of thermal performance and flexibility. The integrated
design also leads to a lighter and more compact electronic product.
As thermal management systems are produced integrally, a significant cost reduction
is reached. This is especially true for high volume production, where
electronic manufacturing technologies, such as PCB production and SMD assembly,
are appreciated for their low recurring cost. In the future, this allows
engineers to design electronic products featuring full integration of thermal management
systems and electronic circuitry.
This research pushes the boundary further toward more functionality in a smaller
form factor for electronic products at a lower cost.
Item Type:Thesis
Engineering Technology (CTW)
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