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#105 Thermal Design


It reminded me of the days when I designed cooling systems for my computers. I just took a brute force approach with large heatsinks and powerful fans. Now that energy efficiency is more important, proper thermal design can reduce the energy used to operate the fans.

And if there's a heat pump, parts of the system can be below ambient. There are also heat pipes that have a positive but somewhat nonlinear delta T.

A quick 'rule of thumb' I always use when figuring out if things are running at an acceptable temperature ...
If you can hold your finger on it, it's OK.
If it leaves skin behind, it's not. More so if the component remains stuck to the finger because it's unsoldered itself.
Anything inbetween needs further investigation...


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