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coolingZONE is running a holiday promotion on the Qpedia Book Series, discounting 25% off the normal retail value until December 31, 2012. Qpedia Thermal eMagazine is the official media sponsor of coolingZONE. The Qpedia book series provides an expert resource for engineering professionals, professors, students and others who want to learn more about the theories and applications of electronics thermal management.
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ATS’ Qpedia is the official media sponsor of the 2012 coolingZONE Business and Technology Summit August 27-30 in Cambridge, MA. We sat down with Dr. Kaveh Azar who will be presenting the Pre-Summit Short Course “Thermal Measurement and Experimental Design in Electronics Cooling” and “State of the Art in Thermal Management – From Vacuum Tubes to Super Computers” as the Summit. In this interview, Dr. Azar discusses why education is so important in the electronics cooling industry and the crucial issues he will discuss at coolingZONE this August.
Hi my name is Andrea and I’m coming to you from Qpedia Thermal eMagazine. Qpedia is the official media sponsor for the 2012 coolingZONE Summit in August. I’m with Dr. Kaveh Azar hoping to ask a few questions about the thermal management community in general and his upcoming short course on August 27th.
Thank you Andrea, I’m glad to be here.
Dr. Azar, you have served as an organizer, general chair, and keynote speaker at countless conferences, and have always played an active role in the thermal management community. Why do you think education is so important in this field?
Andrea this is a very good and insightful question. Thermal management obviously as we all know is a critical juncture point for the successful launch of any electronics cooling product. Either we are new to the field or have come from school, when I say new to the field it could have been a seasoned engineer that comes to an electronics company with a mechanically engineering background or electrically engineering background and has given the responsibility of thermal managing of electronics systems. The unfortunate part of it is we are not really exposed to a specific field in electronics cooling. Not that there is new heat transfer or fluid dynamics, we are all exposed to the fundamentals in our graduate studies, but when we get to electronics cooling there are some very unique parameters that make it very difficult. These stem from awkward geometry, multiple materials, multiplicity of heat sources on a board and as a result of it some of the traditional problems we have seen in our thermal management classes in school that we have been exposed to in school may not necessarily apply. Therefore, those of us who have gone through this education by the school of hard knocks have being have an obligation to come back and education people who are coming to the field new, weather from school or as an engineer in a role with new responsibilities. We have to share our experiences and exposures to the people that we have had in electronics cooling to those that are going to be involved. Those are the little nuggets that make the problem much easier to solve than going just going to a heat transfer or thermodynamics class. So the problem is very difficult to solve and education, especially education with experience is very important to share and help the new people coming into the field solve their thermal problems.
Thank you. On August 27th, you will be giving a one day short course on “Thermal Measurement and Experimental Design in Electronic Systems”. Could you please give a short overview on what you will be presenting?
Absolutely. Here on this board, just to give an example of why a course like this is of value to any thermal or mechanical engineer in electronics cooling, if you look at this board, you see a multiplicity of geometries, power sources, different packaging, plastic molded packages, metal packages, connectors, the way heat sink attach with clips and as a thermal engineer I have the responsibility to come back and see if this device is going to be functional in the application this board will reside. This board could be sitting vertical, horizontal, or faced down depending on what the configuration is. We have all of these very powerful computational analysis tools but at the end of the day we have to verify our solution. So you have run your CFD simulation, you have done your analytical modeling, but now you need to know whether it is correct or not. To be able to calculate the temperature of this device, I need to know what the air and temperature velocity are and possibly the pressure drop. So in this course we are going to look at the component, board, and system level for how to measure thermal parameters. This includes: temperature, velocity, pressure, and heat flux and also learning about flow visualization which is very important.
Thank you. Why is thermal measurement so important?
At the end of the day, we have to verify. There is nothing like measurement. It is dangerous to produce data, but at the end of the day people believe data verses simulation and modeling. And when we do measurement often times it is very difficult to do the simulation and we don’t have an exact answer as to what is happening. Assume for instance, for the sake of discussion this is a telecommunications board, and we have multiple boards sitting in an environment or even a single board facing down or up in a natural convection or mild force convection. These are very difficult problems especially with the complex geometry that you see and I need to verify my simulation. I have these powerful tools that I have purchased , I have my answer, I want to send my product out but I need to see whether my answers are correct or not. Because if I don’t have a correct answer, I could jump into a whole different cooling capacity that I could cool this with a simple fan and heat sink. If my simulation is wrong, if I didn’t set the correct boundary conditions, if I didn’t verify my answer, where the measurement will come into the picture to help, it’s going to cause me to go consider a higher capacity cooling system and a higher capacity cooling system will cost more. It is a very competitive market and we want to make sure that every aspect of our solution is minimized as far is cost is concerned so we can get our products out to the market as cost effective as possible and as reliable obviously.
Thank you. Can you tell us a little about the live demo you plan on giving?
Yes, Andrea. As some of you may know, we have developed a whole host of thermal test instruments at ATS. We use these on a regular basis for characterization and consulting work that we do with a variety of clients and I have always believed that it is of immense value to see an experiment in progress. I can sit here and talk about hot wire anemometers, laser doppler velocimetery, heat flux gauges, etc. but when you see it in operation you have a totally different appreciation for some of the challenges we have to face in order to collect good data. In the previous question I mentioned that people believe data and they don’t believe analysis. So the data that you generate has to be as accurate as possible. The live demo will show you the challenges and the issues we confront when we have to do a clean measurement. You can see how this equipment is used, for someone who has never done this before it may be very difficult to imagine what a hot wire anemometer is, how it works, and what the challenges are. Granted it’s a sensor but there are errors associate in that and when you put it in an experiment you can see where the errors are and how to eliminate it when you do a measurement. So the demo will encompass all of this and give an accurate description of measurement is all about.
Thank you. What do you hope that attendees to take away from this short course?
My greatest hope, first of all, is that they get a good understanding of what measurement is all about. Secondly, that they get a good understanding that measurement is not a game. It is a very detailed process. For me to be a good experimentalist I have to be a good analyst and I hope to convey this very strongly to the people who participate. Last but certainly not least is for people to understand the tools that are available for measurement so when you go back to your offices and you have to conduct a measurement or you see data being collected, you have a chance of judging what to look for, what the pertinent parameters are so you select the right instrument, place it in the right location, and when you look at the data you question the validity of the data even though you may have put it together yourself as you would question your results from analysis and simulation. If those three items are accomplished, which they have been in the past and hopefully we can again, then I think we are going to have a very successful course for our participants and obviously very gratifying for those of us who are giving the course.
I agree! Dr. Azar thank you very much for your time. We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 coolingZONE Summit, August 27-30, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Thank you Andrea for giving me the opportunity to talk with you and the audience.
Visit www.coolingzone.com to see the full list of topics, short courses, exhibitors, and speakers that will be at the 2012 Summit.
Register by July 31, 2012 to receive a 15% discount. Contact coolingZONE at email@example.com or 508-329-2021.