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Design considerations for air cooling electronic systems in high altitude conditions

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1 Author(s)
Belady, C.L. ; Convex Div., Hewlett-Packard Co., Richardson, TX, USA

This paper provides an overview of the effects of altitude on electronics cooling. MIL-STD 210 is reviewed to demonstrate the relationship of altitude to density as well as to outside air temperature. Once these relationships are understood the paper discusses the impact of altitude on the performance of air moving devices using the widely accepted fan laws. A discussion of both constant speed and altitude compensating fans addresses performance issues such as power dissipation, pressure drop, and free delivery of fans under these conditions. Once the fan performance has been characterized, the system impedance (or pressure drop) must be determined for the appropriate altitude. The paper covers how system impedance changes under laminar and turbulent flow regimes as altitude varies. The impact of altitude on heat transfer is also discussed along with the effects of operating in the turbulent and laminar regimes. In order to demonstrate the concepts, an example problem is worked out

Published in:

Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, Part A, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 4 )