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Thermal Chamber Heatsink Testing Methods

By: Chris Ramseyer | Editorials in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 13, 2007 4:00 am

Construction of Electronics and Sensors


The TECC box needs to be heated to resemble a modern PC case, but the system must also be controllable too.



The TECC uses six 20 watt halogen lamps for lighting and to raise the temperature of the sealed box to 40C. Their intensity can be raised or lowered with a control panel to keep the system at the correct temperature.



Our thermal measurement device is shown here. This is the system with the door panel off at room temperature. The top number is the ambient box and the middle number is our die simulator. The bottom number is the humidity as measured inches away from the heatsink on the incoming air side.



The peltier and the CPU fan are powered by a Meanwell 320 watt power supply designed for this type of work. By adjusting the voltage to the peltier to 9.5 volts and the CPU fan to 7 volts we can simulate an idle load. When these are raised to 12 volts for both items we can simulate the system running at full load.



The acoustics are measured through a ½ inch hole in the foam. This puts the Sound Pressure Level Meter (SPL) at 14 inches away from the simulated processor die. Most heatsink manufacturers quote their ratings at 1 meter so our numbers will be much higher than the fans rating. On the other hand the ratings will be accurate when compared to other products.



Attached to the CPU Die Simulator box is a small PCB that holds the humidity and ambient air sensor. This is located less than 6 inches from the CPU die.


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