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Application of a CFD tool for system-level thermal simulation

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2 Author(s)
Lee, T.Y.T. ; Advanced Packaging Dev. Center, Motorola Inc., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Mahalingam, M.

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool is used to evaluate the velocity and the temperature fields of air flow in a computer system enclosure. Simulations focused on the six printed circuit board regions, where approximately 37 W of power was generated on the component side of the board. Three-dimensional, steady-state, turbulent air flow is assumed. The actual air flow rate at fans was determined by matching the predicted pressure rise across the fan to the given fan characteristics. Both straight and swirl flow cases at fans were considered. Experiments were performed under actual life conditions to verify the computational data. Results demonstrate a reasonable agreement between the temperatures obtained by simulations and measurements. In all comparisons, average errors were less than 10%. The introduction of swirl at fans had no significant effect on temperature. Recommendations on improvements of the simulation are presented

Published in:

Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, Part A, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )