Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Electronic Packaging, Vol. 127, Issue 1, pp. 67-75, March 2005.

An Investigation into the Potential of Low-Reynolds Number Eddy Viscosity Turbulent Flow Models to Predict Electronic Component Operational Temperature

Peter Rodgers and Valérie Eveloy
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

M.S.J. Hashmic
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,
Dublin City University, Ireland


The flow modeling approaches employed in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes dedicated to the thermal analysis of electronic equipment are generally not specific for the analysis of forced airflows over populated electronic boards. This limitation has been previously highlighted [1], with component junction temperature prediction errors of up to 35% reported. This study evaluates the potential of three candidate low-Reynolds number eddy viscosity turbulence models to improve predictive accuracy. An array of fifteen board-mounted PQFPs is analyzed in a 4 m/s airflow. Using the Shear Stress Transport k-w model, significant improvements in component junction temperature prediction accuracy are obtained relative to the standard high- Reynolds number k-e model, which are attributed to better prediction of both board leading edge heat transfer and component thermal interaction. Such improvements would enable parametric analysis of product thermal performance to be undertaken with greater confidence in the thermal design process, and the generation of more accurate temperature boundary conditions for use in Physics-of-Failure based reliability prediction methods. The case is made for vendors of CFD codes dedicated to the thermal analysis of electronics to consider the adoption of eddy viscosity turbulence models more suited to board-level analysis.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.


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