Thermal assessment of naturally cooled electronic enclosures with rectangular fins

A. Tamayol, F. McGregor, M. Bahrami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Passive heat transfer from enclosures with rectangular fins is studied both experimentally and theoretically. Several sample enclosures with various lengths are prepared and tested. To calibrate the thermal measurements and the analyses, enclosures without fins (bare enclosures) are also prepared and tested. Surface temperature distribution is determined for various enclosure lengths and heat generation rates. Existing relationships for natural convection and radiation heat transfer are used to calculate the heat transfer rate from the tested samples. The theoretical results successfully predict the trends observed in the experimental data. It is observed that the contribution of the radiation heat transfer is on the order of 50 of the total heat transfer for the tested enclosures. As such, a new correlation is reported for calculating an optimum fin spacing for vertically-mounted uniformly finned surfaces, with rectangular straight fins that takes into account both natural convection and radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034501
JournalJournal of Electronic Packaging, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • conjugate heat transfer
  • electronic enclosures
  • fin spacing
  • natural convection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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