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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Cotton Production and Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366841

Research Project: Enhancing the Profitability and Sustainability of Upland Cotton, Cottonseed, and Agricultural Byproducts through Improvements in Pre- and Post-Harvest Processing

Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research

Title: Thermal performance of double-sided metal core PCBs

item Pelletier, Mathew
item PRESTON, STONE - Bratney Companies
item Cook, Jim
item Tran, Kevin
item Wanjura, John
item Holt, Gregory

Submitted to: AgriEngineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/7/2019
Publication Date: 11/13/2019
Citation: Pelletier, M.G., Preston, S.C., Cook, J.A., Tran, K.D., Wanjura, J.D., Holt, G.A. 2019. Thermal performance of double-sided metal core PCBs. AgriEngineering. 1(4):539-549.

Interpretive Summary: This article talks about the suitability of a new style of printed circuit board that has a metal core, MCPCB. The metal core is added to help dissipate and transfer the heat away from hot electronic components mounted on the MCPCB. However, engineering design information for this relatively new technology is sparse to non-existent. One of the key objectives of the design was to develop a system that could work in a high dust, hot environment where fans are not suitable. To determine the suitability of this technology for this application; experiments were conducted to see if it would work without a fan at elevated room temperatures. The results of the study were reported on in this article, along with key engineering design notes useful for future engineering designs.

Technical Abstract: Thermal management in printed circuit boards is becoming increasingly more important as the use of LEDs is now widespread across all industries. Due to availability of the preferred electronic LED current drivers, and system design constraints required by authors, for a machine vision system, dictated the need for a double-sided metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB). However, design information for this relatively new MCPCB offering is sparse to non-existent. To fill-in this missing information in the literature, experiments were conducted where LEDs were arranged on a double-sided metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB) and their impact on the board temperature distribution was tested in a static convection-less configuration where the first condition was at room temperature, 23 °C, and the second configuration was for a heated environment, 40 °C. Two MCPCB orientations were tested (vertical and horizontal.) Additionally, several LED arrangements on the MCPCB were configured and temperatures were measured using a thermocouple as well as with a deep-infrared thermal imaging camera. Maximum temperatures were found to be 65.3 °C for the room temperature tests and 96.4 °C for the heated tests with high temperatures found in near proximity to the heat sources (LEDs), indicating less than ideal heat-conduction/dissipation by the MCPCB. The results indicate that the double-sided MCPCB is not efficient enough in thermal management for high thermally loaded designs, especially when targeted for a fan-less system.