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Natural and Forced Convection

INTRODUCTION:
Forced convection is a mechanism, or type of transport in which fluid motion is generated by an
external source (like a pump, fan, suction device) the movement caused within a fluid by the
tendency of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to sink
under the influence of gravity, which consequently results in transfer of heat.
Natural convection is a mechanism, or type of heat transport, in which the fluid motion is not
generated by any external source (like a pump, fan, suction device) but only by density
differences in the fluid occurring due to temperature gradients.

OBJECTIVE:
To measured thermal resistance for flat plate, finned heatsink, and pinned heatsink under natural
and force convections condition.

METHODOLOGY:
1.
2.
3.
4.

The fan were assembled on top of duct and the flat plate were placed inside the duct.
The heater were switched to on.
The power control and air flow velocity then were set up to 15 Watt and 0.5 m/s.
Heat sink temperature then were recorded every 1 minute and were stops when the
temperature does not change in 2 minutes.
5. Then, the experiment was repeated by using finned heat sink and pinned heat sink.

RESULTS:
Input power = 15 W

Surfaces

finned heatsink

pinned heatsink

flate plat

Ambient
air
flow Heatsink
velocity,
v temperature, Tp temperature,
(m/s)
(C)
Ta (C)
0
57.6
24.9
0.5
36.2
25.6
1
32.5
24.7
1.5
31.5
24.2
0
48.5
24.8
0.5
37.4
24.5
1
31.7
24.2
1.5
31.2
25.1
0
78.7
25.1
0.5
71.6
24.9
1
68.6
24.5
1.5
63.1
24.4

Thermal
Temperature resistance
rise (C)
(C/W)
32.7
2.18
10.6
0.71
7.8
0.52
7.3
0.48
23.7
1.58
12.9
0.86
7.5
0.50
6.1
0.41
53.6
3.57
46.7
3.11
44.1
2.94
38.7
2.58

TABLE1:data of difference surface and difference air flow velocity

Thermal resistance (C/W)

THERMAL RESISTANCE AGAINST AIR FLOW VELOCITY

4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0

PINNED
FLATE PLATE
FINNED
0

0.5

1.5

Air velocity (m/s)

FIGURE 1: relationship between air flow velocity and thermal resistance in steady state.

From the figure 1 above, we can see the results of relationship between air flow
velocity and thermal resistance in steady state for pinned heatsink, finned heatsink and
flat plate. Based on the figure, we can conclude that the thermal resistance for the flat
plate are the highest. For air flow velocity 0.5m/s thermal resistance reading for flat plate
are 3.11 c/w. Thermal resistance for pinned heatsink at 0.5m/s air velocity is 0.86c/w.
Reading of thermal resistance for finned heatsink at 0.5m/s air velocity is 0.71c/w. air
flow velocity and thermal resistance for finned heatsink are linear.
As the air flow velocity increase we can see that thermal resistance decrease
respectively. For all type heatsink(pinned heatsink, finned heatsink and flat plate) the
trend of the graph are same, where the air velocity flow increase, the thermal resistance
decreased. For 0.5m/s air velocity, thermal resistance for finned heatsink is 0.71m/s,
pinned heatsink is 0.86m/s and flat plate is 3.11m/s. For 1.0 m/s air velocity, thermal
resistance for finned heatsink is 0.52m/s, pinned heatsink is 0.5m/s and flat plate is
2.94m/s. For 1.5m/s air velocity, thermal resistance for finned heatsink is 0.48m/s, pinned
heatsink is 0.41m/s and flat plate is 2.58m/s. Increasing of air velocity from 0.5m/s to
1.5m/s were called force convection.
The natural convection happened when the air velocity flow is 0m/s, thats mean
the heatsink were cooled. Thermal resistance reading for finned heatsink in natural
convection is 2.78c/w, for pinned heatsink is 1.58c/w, and flat plate is 3.52c/w. Natural
convection take more time for the heatsink temperature to stable/constant compared to
force convection.

TEMPERATURE RISE (C)

RELATIONSHIP OF TIME AND TEMPERATURE


RISE FOR 0.5m/s CASE

40
30
20
FINNED

10
0
0

10

15

20

25

TIME (MIN)

FIGURE 2: relationship of time and temperature rise

30

35

40

Figure 2 shows that the temperature rise as the time increase. So that, the temperature rise
for finned haetsink are linearly with the time. From the graph, we can see it reached the steady
state at 37min and its temperature is 36.2c/w.

DISCUSSION;
1. Based on the experiment that had been conducted, thermal performance (temperature) for
finned heat sink, pinned heat sink and flat plate are different due to the surface area.
Greater the surface area will cause lower the thermal performance. Finned heat sink
surface has greater surface area compared to the others. The value of its thermal
resistance for 0.5m/s air flow velocity is 0.71c/w. This value is the smallest value of
thermal resistance compared to the others(pinned heatsink and flat plate).
2. As predicted in the pre-lab the lowest thermal performance are finned heatsink, followed
by pinned heatsink and the hottest thermal performance are flat plate. The results of the
experiment that being conducted were same as predicted in pre-lab.
3. The heatsink temperature changes as air velocity changes because the results of heat
transfer. As the air velocity increase the heatsink temperature decrease. The movement of
air velocity in the duct affect the transfer of heat at the surface of heatsink. Faster the air
flow velocity cause slower the heat transfer to the surface of heatsink and cause the
heatsink temperature lower.
4. There are some errors occurs during the experiment were conducted.
Machine error; the value of velocity and power are supposed to be the same (as
being set up) throughout the experiment. However the value of air velocity
changes ( 0.1m/s) while the experiment were conducted , same problem
happened for heater power control.
Human error; this happened while record the results of heatsink temperature for
every one minute. Not focusing on the experiment and sometimes missed a few
seconds while taking the reading. Cause the value of temperature are not exactly
being recorded in 1minutes.
Surrounding; the machine sometimes are sensitive to the surrounding
(temperature, heat, air flow). This cause the reading of air flow velocity and
power control were changing during the experiment conducted.
5. Among all the errors that occur, the most significant error are machine error that cause
the air velocity and power control changing while the experiment were conducted.

CONCLUSION;
What can I conclude, the higher the surface area, thermal performance (temperature) of
the heatsink became lower. As the air velocity flow changes, the heatsink temperature also
changes. I can said that, increasing of air velocity cause the heatsink temperature decrease.
Natural convection of the heatsink take more time than force convection.

REFERENCES:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/transferring-heat-through-convection-naturalversu.html ( 4 Oktober 2014, 2.15 pm)
www.qats.com/../Qpedia_Jun08_Heat_Sink_Thermal_Resistance.html (6 Oktober 2014, 4.03
pm)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_sink
http://amrita.vlab.co.in/?sub=1&brch=194&sim=791&cnt=7