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Active Heat Sink for Automotive Electronics

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-4614, e-ISSN: 1946-4622
Published April 20, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Active Heat Sink for Automotive Electronics
Citation: Vetrovec, J., "Active Heat Sink for Automotive Electronics," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Electron. Electr. Syst. 2(1):336-343, 2009,
Language: English


This paper reports an active heat sink (AHS) that allows high-density electronic components to operate at a stable temperature over a broad range of ambient conditions. AHS receives heat at high flux and transfers it at reduced flux to environment, coolant fluid (e.g., air or engine coolant), or structures. Temperature of the heat load can be controlled electronically. Target applications for AHS include thermal management of the new class of high-power electronics being developed for electric hybrid vehicles. AHS also enables precise control over junction temperature (and, thus, light color) of high-power light-emitting diodes (LED) used for solid-state headlights and allows for compact air-cooled heat sinks. Depending on the configuration, AHS thermal resistance can be as low as 0.1 degC/W. AHS physics, engineering design, and performance simulations are presented.