Power components — like other components in an electronic circuit — generate excessive heat that can hurt the system's performance. Power supplies and converters are no exception, and dissipating unwanted heat away from power components and other sensitive circuitry is vital to ensuring performance and reliability. Let's look at some basic thermal management strategies when implementing DC-DC converters, with an emphasis on using heat sinks to dissipate heat to the surrounding environment.
There are three ways to move heat away from a DC-DC converter:
- Radiation. Heat moves between bodies at different temperatures.
- Convection. Heat is transferred through a fluid — typically air.
- Conduction. Heat travels through a solid medium.
Heat sinks are a particularly effective conductive heat-removal technique. The fins that extend from the heat sink increase the DC-DC converter's surface contact with the surrounding air, reducing the converter's thermal resistance and keeping it performing reliably. While heat sinks are a smart choice for dissipating heat, there are important factors to consider when pairing one with your DC-DC converter. For example, large heat sinks are typically more effective than smaller ones, but they can also occupy too much space and height in a design. Other factors include the ambient temperature, power density and efficiency of the converter, as well as weight and cost.
For these reasons, we've expanded our heat sink options for the RWB60 Series of 60-watt railway DC-DC converters. With more options to choose from, this DC-DC converter family can address many design factors and operate in a variety of thermal environments. In addition to the original heat sink height of 0.33 inches (8.5 millimeters), our three new heat sinks come in heights of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8 inches (7.6, 12.7 and 20.3 millimeters) to meet specific efficiency and space requirements. The new heat sinks feature a redesigned clip assembly, reducing their footprint to fit into tight spaces. The new layouts are shown below.
RWB60 Series DC-DC converters operate over a 4:1 wide input range and provide single and dual outputs for use in railway applications. The units come in a 2.0 by 1.0 by 0.40-inch package to fit tight spaces and offer high efficiency up to 91.5 percent, 3,000V DC isolation voltage, six-sided shielding to minimize noise leakage, low standby power and remote ON/OFF control for energy savings.
Here's how to order heat sinks with the RWB60 Series DC-DC converter:
- -HS: 0.33-inch height
- -HC1: 0.3-inch height
- -HC2: 0.5-inch height
- -HC3: 0.8-inch height
The temperature adaptation performance of the new heat sinks on the RWB60 DC-DC converters is shown below.
Keep Your DC-DC Converter and Nearby Components Cool
To keep your DC-DC converter functioning and nearby components cool, thermal management devices like heat sinks must be an essential part of your design. RWB60 Series 60-watt DC-DC converters are available with a variety of heat sink options to meet the design's space and dissipation requirements so you can obtain optimal performance from your converter and system.
For more information about the RWB60 Series, visit our product page.