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Client Projects

High Temperature Fans

The challenge

European Thermodynamics were asked to look at an automotive headlamp application whereby the potential heat output from the LED's could reach 150 degreesC without any thermal management assistance. Similarly, within the same project, cold-start and frost conditions would make the LED's inefficient until a pre-warm up of the components had been instigated.

The project brief was to ensure the LED circuit could operate effectively between -20 and +120 degreesC. ETDYN divided the problem into two parts and initially modelled the headlamp system using Ansys CFX and Solidworks CFD software in order to obtain a theoretically known thermal performance prior to developing thermal management modules.

The result

For the cooling side, ETDYN engaged with it’s prime cooling fan manufacturing partner ACT-Rx and jointly developed a 40mm x 40mm x 28mm deep fan model that contained a modified ball bearing system that could operate continuously within an ambient of +120 degreesC. The BOM contained various ‘uprated’ components and circuitry to endure the environment and the new model was then subjected to environmental chamber tests by the customer in order to verify the critical expected lifetime required.

Acoustic noise was also an initial consideration, so ETDYN’s CFD thermal modelling engineers designed a high performing material (A356: 160w/m.k) die-cast heatsink assembly (which includes the use T-Global’s new range of silicon free thermal putties between device and heatsink) that not only assisted the required cooling performance but also was designed in order to maintain ‘in system’ minimum acoustic noise output, which helped to reduce overall broadband noise and shifted any pure tone frequencies to within an acceptable level.

With respect to the pre-warm up of the LED's, ETDYN is currently in the process of obtaining patents and IP acknowledgements for the method and technology used. This will result a new product for automotive engineers to gain access to in order to solve their potential ‘cold start’ issue.

The new fans are available to order now (minimum order quantities apply).