Heat sink design considerations in medium power electronic applications with long power cycles
Paper in proceedings, 2015
The aim of this work is to investigate the impact of the heat sink thickness and material, as well as, of the convection coefficient of the water cooling system on the power-electronics module thermal stressing. The heat extraction capability of different thicknesses is tested. It is concluded that the thickest heat sink results in marginally lower temperature variation at the junction level compared to the second thickest one. In the thickest heat sink case, the linear dependence of the thermal resistance on the thickness counteracts the benefit of the increased thermal capacitance. The increase in the cooling medium flow rate, which corresponds to an increase in the convection coefficient between the heat sink bottom surface and the water, can be avoided by increasing the thickness of the heat sink. In this way, the energy consumption of the cooling system is reduced. The increase in the flow rate drastically reduces the thermal stressing in the thinnest heat sink case. The increase of the heat sink thickness can be beneficial for long power cycles. Copper and aluminum are the two materials that are compared, with the copper heat sink exhibiting a slightly increased performance. The study is conducted for a medium power DC-DC converter of a magnet supply with focus on long power cycles.
Power electronics modules