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Heat Transfer Simulator for Analyzing Thermal Effects

Key Takeaways

  • Heat transfer simulators are proven useful in visualizing the heat transfer in circuits. Heat transfer simulation software simulates the heat transfer from conduction, convection, and radiation.

  • Heat transfer simulation is a reference for product developers to predict the thermal performance of their newly designed mobile phone or tablet. According to simulation results, the circuit design can be modified, thermal management can be improved, or overheating chips can be replaced for the long life and reliability of the circuit. 

  • The computer simulation of heat transfer can model the device for heat and temperature analysis, conduction, convection, and radiation. 

Circuit

Longevity and reliability are two main parameters required in circuit design

Longevity and reliability of electrical and electronic devices are two main parameters that help manufacturers gain trust, appreciation, and good reviews from customers. Electronic industry pioneers retain a considerable amount of their annual budget for research and development purposes to gain more market share by enhancing the useful life, features, and specifications of their products. These analyses have resulted in several solutions, both feasible and infeasible. 

One of the main screening criteria of these research solutions is heating and problems associated with the heat transfer of electronic circuit systems. To accept a new advancement in a circuit, say, for example, the internal circuitries in a mobile phone, manufacturers need to satisfy temperature limits and heat dissipation requirements. 

Heat transfer simulators prove useful in visualizing the heat transfer in circuits. Heat transfer simulation software simulates the heat transfer from conduction, convection, and radiation.  By analyzing the results, we can identify the red hot areas and cool parts in a circuit. 

What is the Importance of a Heat Transfer Simulator?

We are living in a fast-paced world where gadgets and devices need to be efficient to match our lifestyle. Product-based companies are competing with each other to introduce high performance, high-speed devices in the market. In this rat race, most vendors are facing heat transfer problems. 

The thermal engineering of electronic systems to optimize product design has become a critical part of any product development. Heat transfer in electronic circuit boards calls for piece-wise analysis to provide good thermal management systems. 

Heat Transfer Identification and Analysis Using Simulation Software

Heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation in a circuit need to be separately identified to provide sufficient spacing and cooling techniques. An analysis needs to be carried out before the circuit is laid on the board. Placement of the components, size of the heat sink, and type of cooling depends on heat transfer rates in the circuit board.  

If the circuit is simulated using heat transfer simulation software, we will get results that answer all of the questions related to heat transfer and dissipation. It is the reference for the product developers to predict the thermal performance of their newly designed mobile phone or tablet. 

According to simulation results, circuit designs can be modified, thermal management can be improved, or overheating chips can be replaced for the long life and reliability of the circuit. 

Thermal Transfer and Heat Flux Management

The footprint reduction with high-frequency clocking in circuits is double trouble for designers. The miniaturization of electronic systems has increased the power density of circuits and systems. 

High density is a threat to the reliability and safe operation of a system. Thermal management can alleviate the harsh situations inside circuit boards due to high power density. 

The increased amount of heat flux dissipation can be managed properly if we are aware of the thermal situations inside a circuit. High heat flux management and system modification requires a complete visualization of the thermal transfer profile of the circuit. 

In terms of thermal management and heat transfer optimization, a heat transfer simulator is a necessity. 

Heat Transfer Simulation

Heat transfer simulation investigates the thermal designs, heat flux dissipation, and transfer in an electronic device. It models the temperature fields and heat fluxes throughout the device. 

A heat transfer simulator is very effective in addressing the ‘what-ifs’ of device design and construction. The effects of changing the location of the components and how the heat sink shape influences heat transfer can be studied using heat transfer simulation results. 

The reliability of simulation results can be applied in electrical, IoT devices, automotive, aviation, military, and spacecraft engineering. In devices interacting with electromagnetic fields, Joule heating, inductive heating, and microwave heating are investigated by new heat transfer simulation software. 

The computer simulation of heat transfer can model the device for the following analyses:

Heat and temperature analyses: In this virtual analysis, you can view the heat dissipated or temperature developed in a component or section of the circuit board. It provides the ability to vary the initial temperature, and change the size and shape of the circuits and specific heat values of the materials used. You can obtain the 3D view of how heat transfers in the three dimensions of the device. The heat and temperature analysis is computationally formulated on the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

Conduction: The governing equations of the heat flux transfer through conduction is Fourier’s law of heat conduction given below, where k is the thermal conductivity of the material and ΔT is the temperature difference along the conducting distance Δx. In this simulation, the user can define the thermal conductivity, conduction area, specific heat, temperature difference, and conducting distance. 

ΔQ/Δt=-kAΔT/Δx

Convection: The relationship between convection and heat transfer can be expressed using the following equation, where T is the temperature of the surface, T∞ is the ambient temperature, and h is the convective heat transfer coefficient of the fluid. The user can model the test device or system for free or forced convection. 

ΔQ/Δt=-hA(T-T∞)

Radiation: The Stefan-Boltzmann law governs the heat flux radiated from a device or element.  We can model the heat transfer through radiation according to the emissivity of the medium. All these analyses can be coupled together to view the total heat transfer profile in a device. 

Numerically solving thermal problems and heat transfer equations will be a long process, which extends the time to introduce products to the market. Even though time is a constraint in electronic industries, reputable electronic design companies do not compromise criteria with thermal endurance tests. If you are looking for a reliable and long-lasting design that can handle heat transfer and thermal stress without loss of operation, then consider a heat transfer simulator.