Thursday, March 18, 2010

Electronic Circuit Heat Sink Selection

Heat Sink Selection For Solid State Relay Applications
Heat Sinks are required to insure the proper operation and long term reliability of Solid State Relays because they provide a means to dissipate the power that is normally developed by the SSR into the surrounding ambient air and maintain a safe operating temperature. Selecting the correct Heat Sink for any given SSR application involves coordinating form factor, size, mounting and thermal impedance rating. This paper discusses “Why Heat Sinks are Required for Reliable Solid State Relay Operation”, how the minimum required Heat Sink thermal impedance rating is calculated based upon application operating conditions, and includes an example calculation.

Selecting a Suitable Electronic Circuit Heatsink
Due to the forward voltage drop of the output SCRs, solid state relays generate an internal power loss. The amount of power generated is afunction of the load current. The manufacturer provides power loss curves, as shown in Fig 1. At normal load currents the power loss can be estimated at 1 Watt for every 1 Arms of load current. In order to maintain an acceptable power switch junction temperature, some form of
heatsink must dissipate the heat generated by the power loss. For most printed circuit board types, the relay current rating is established by measuring the thermal impedance, from the dissipating elements to air, using the relay package as the heat sink. Some printed circuit board types are available with an integral heatsink; their ratings reflect the additional effects of the integral heatsink.

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