Resolving heat issues in linear power supplies with metal header heat sinking

Linear power supplies can generate a significant amount of heat, particularly in military, scientific and industrial applications where fans are not permitted in order to reduce noise and improve system reliability. That’s why these devices are often designed for free-air convection where cooling–air flows over the PCB and components, transferring heat away from the device and cooling it naturally.

But what happens if your linear power supply must be mounted in an enclosed case for safety or for use in harsh environments? This kind of setup restricts airflow around the supply, keeping temperatures high and decreasing the device’s mean time between failures (MTBF).

Fortunately, there is a solution.

Metal header heat sinking. Linear powers supplies, such as the Gresham Power MH series, are designed with a heatsink base-plate that is mounted on the inside wall of the enclosure. With the use of a heatsink compound, the supply radiates all of its heat into the enclosure and then out of the box to the outside atmosphere.

Material flexibility. It doesn’t matter if the enclosure is made out of metallic or non-metallic materials. All heat generating power supply components, mounted directly to the heat sink header, are electrically isolated. All cooling is taken care of, and the supply’s MTBF remains unaffected.

The Gresham MH units, which pass international safety standards, are currently being utilised in military applications for their thermal management features.

Gresham Power Electronics the Salisbury based defence and commercial power conversion specialist, product range includes; OEM and external power supplies for advanced multi-media applications, medical, industrial, defence, communications and broadcast systems and LED lighting. Hot-swap power shelves and products for telecoms as well as static frequency converters, DC UPS, distributed power systems and DC:AC inverters for Naval Defence markets.

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