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Lucent saves time and money with Coolit designs.

Courtesy of Lucent Technologies, Inc.

When one of its telecommunications systems underwent a major revision, Lucent enlisted Coolit to determine the impact on thermal performance. The new board design had dramatically boosted power levels on certain components and required six new custom heat sinks to cool. Using Coolit, the company successfully optimized these heat sinks, without relying on prototypes.

Typically, each heat sink design/prototype/testing cycle requires 4 weeks and thousands of dollars in material and labor costs. With multiple heat sinks, this cost can severely restrict the number of design scenarios, and make design optimization prohibitive. Coolit eliminated this cost and schedule bind.

Modeling the system with over ten heat sinks with fins as thin as 0.008" (0.2 mm) proved complicated and porous media models of heat sinks were used to keep design iterations within one day. However, developing porous media models required time and as always happens with lumped parameter models it resulted in a loss of detail. For example, in pin-fin heat sinks, the model will deliver the correct flow and heat transfer through the heat sinks, but not a description of flow and heat transfer between the individual fins. Even with this simplified modeling, Coolit still predicted temperature and flow conditions to within better than 10%.

The problems of lumped parameter models have been eliminated with the new embedded mesh technology found in Coolit v5.0. The new technology enabled the modeling of all heat sinks and other components without any approximations thereby eliminating the time required to build compact models of components. The model fidelity and hence predictive accuracy were increased while still delivering order of magnitude increases in calculation speeds. Revisiting the Lucent design using embedded mesh technology resulted in about 4 hours per iteration (vs the original 24).

Lucent greatly values Coolit's exceptional ease-to-use and its short learning curve. The mechanical design group does not have a dedicated thermal designer, and when a new project comes along, engineers can start using the software immediately - no training or retraining is required.

Lucent uses Daat customer support as a valuable resource for prompt and knowledgeable answers. The company has frequently asked the support engineers to critique its thermal models. And Lucent has been pleased to find that Daat takes suggestions seriously. Coolit v5.0 contains a library of filters that were added based on a Lucent suggestion. With this library, an engineer can select an air filter element by company name and have the filter parameters entered automatically.

One of the considered board designs.
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Coolit model of the board.
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