TDK engineers in the UK have secured a patent that boosts the thermal management of AC-DC power supplies.
The Power Supply Apparatus patent application from TDK-Lambda in the UK uses the existing metalwork of the units for cooling. Through careful PCB design and the use of thermally conductive plastics, the heat generated by the electronic components is spread and transferred into the system chassis. This means that good thermal performance can be achieved with substantially lower airflow, resulting in reduced audible noise as the fan can be slower.
The new thermal management strategy is used in the CUS400M series of AC-DC power supplies.
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“Thermal management is one of the main technical challenges to overcome in the design of any system,” said Martin Coates, Engineering Director at TDK-Lambda UK. “Very often, there are hot spots within systems that require a disproportionately high airflow over them to keep component temperatures within acceptable limits. This, in turn, often leads to excessive audible noise from fan cooling, and/or limitations in the system’s thermal performance.”
Many medical and industrial applications require a peak output power for a few minutes but relatively low continuous quiescent output power.
“The design methodology also means that the unit is more resilient to peak loading since the thermal time constant is substantially longer than traditional designs,” said Coates. “This means that the internal component temperatures do not rise as rapidly for peak loading, decreasing the stress on the components and increasing the power supply lifetime.
“This enables us to offer the CUS400M series with a five-year warranty. In addition, the CUS400M can replace larger, more expensive convection cooled products that are rated continuously for the peak requirement, translating into a cost saving for the customer,” he said.
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