PCB/Electronics: Thermal Management, Cooling and Derating
This course is about cooling, thermal management and derating in PCB design.
After introducing the basic definitions, it provides a clear and logical path to a complete design of thermal aspects.
– It starts with calculating the dissipated power for different types of components, and understanding whether the thermal equilibrium is optimal or we need a thermal management strategy.
– Then it introduces heat sinks, which is by far the most used cooling approach, talking about their features, mounting techniques, parameters and so on.
– Than it speaks about thermal interface materials, used to couple heat sinks to integrated circuits, their types and characteristics.
– It also speaks about the forced air cooling technique, introducing how to calculate a fan performance and its impact on the heat sink thermal resistance.
– Then it explains PCB related aspects for thermal management, of particular relevance when the used devices have exposed pads.
At the end of these group of lessons, you will be able to understand the need for thermal management and provide your design with a comprehensive strategy mastering all the related aspects and variables influencing it (like altitude, spreading resistance, etc. )
Then the course dedicate an entire section to a related and very important aspect: derating.
It explain the concept of re-rating and de-rating, its impact on electronic devices reliability and expected life (MTBF, Mean Time Between Failure, nowadays often used instead of MTTF, Mean Time To Failure), and it shows how the most used electronic components are derated and which parameters are reduced.
The course is enriched with exercises and real life examples, using real devices datasheets to show where parameters are gathered and how they are used.
At the end of the course you will have a broader understanding of the thermal/cooling management and derating aspects, and you will able to design a PCB that is able to manage the dissipated power (and related temperature rise), and properly choose components parameters based on the right derating considerations.
Therefore, you will be able to design a PCB that stands thermal and electrical stresses and that actually works and last in the real world environment.