Abstract

A theoretical study is conducted to investigate a new cooling technique for thermal management of outdoor telecommunication equipment enclosures. The technique consists of using a phase change material (PCM) combined with a heat sink to dissipate the heat to the ambient. The main advantages of using the PCM include: fully passive technique with no maintenance, no power is required, and relatively low cost. The use of the PCM for more effective thermal management of electronic enclosures is investigated for both the high end cooling (i.e. when the enclosure is exposed to high ambient temperatures) and the low end cooling (i.e. when the enclosure is exposed to very low ambient temperatures). The results from this preliminary theoretical study showed that with the use of a moderate amount of a properly selected PCM combined with the heat sink, the temperature within the enclosure can be maintained within the specified operating range. Potential applications with the use of the PCM include: peak load usage (e.g. during high communications traffic periods), extreme ambient conditions, reduced temperature fluctuations (to improve reliability), and more efficient implementation in smaller size enclosures.

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