Integrated Cooling Fan

The Problem

A study was requested in order to investigate the potential failure of electronic components due to the failure of an integrated cooling fan and thus overheating. The small fan provided the driving force for forced convection cooling but it was thought that high temperatures could occur.

The Approach

The problem was modelled and boundary conditions such as thermal loads, heat transfer coefficients and known temperatures were applied. Material properties were taken from data sheets or estimated. Forced convection provided by a fan was modelled by an inlet and outlet boundary combination with known mass flowrate’s.

The Result

The analysis indicated that the components could potentially overheat if the forced convection provided by the fan was removed. Then, natural convection became the dominant driving force but this alone was unable to draw sufficient cooling air through the module. The results of this analysis led to a redesign of the cooling arrangement, replacement of some components with components possessing more efficient thermal characteristics and the installation of an additional fan in order to ensure that overheating did not occur.