How to Optimize Round Pin Heat Sinks?

Adam January 27, 2014Q&A

Nusselt number correlations and entropy minimization had been used to optimize heat sinks. The empirical method described in the next paragraph can also serve as a quick starting point to “optimize” the heat sinks. However, due to the complex flow pattern in a real-world system, the most accurate method is to perform numerical simulation. Customers can contact MyHeatSinks for a free simulation of their system.

The thermal performance of round pin heat sinks is influenced by the pin diameter and height, the lateral and vertical pin spacing, the staggering of the pins, and the base plate inclination. However, it appears that the ratio of the pin diameter to the lateral pin spacing is the single most important geometric parameter. For a relatively large heat sink that is 203×203 mm square, a ratio of 0.333 yields the optimum combination of individual heat-transfer coefficients and the array surface area. For a smaller heat sink, approximately 76×76 mm square, the optimum value of the ratio was found to be closer to 0.50. (Source: Kraus and Bar-Cohen, Design and Analysis of Heat Sinks)

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