Thermal Design Checklist - Heat Dissipation For Electronics

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Baknor uses a number of cooling technologies

(Natural Convection, Forced Air, Phase Change, Liquid Cooling)

that can be adapted to meet almost any application in any industry.

Our products are custom designed to provide you the most suitable solution for your demanding application.


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This information will allow us to response quickly in addition to ensuring we are clear on what is required for your specific application. The checklist will help expedite the design process and ensure accurate thermal simulation.

The variables that will be important to understand such as general variables + specific heat transfer variables can be categorized into three priorities.

This list of information is not a comprehensive list. It is only meant to guide the conversation. Once we have had an opportunity to review what you have provided, we suggest a conference call to review and take any next steps.

Heat Sink From A Custom Extrusion


Absolute bare minimum needed to run a simulation. Results with the bare minimum may produce unusable results.


When this information is included, it will allow us to obtain a relatively accurate simulation result.


Although this information may be negligible, it will improve simulation accuracy.

General Information Required For

Natural Convection, Forced Convection

And Liquid Cooling

Dissipation power of the heat source

Order volume

Different volumes may warrant different manufacturing techniques that will change the design. The priority of these general inquiry parameters depend on which specific cooling method we determine.

Size/ footprint of the heat source

Example - area of the mating surface.

Assume uniform heating across entire mating surface of the heatsink

Mounting hole locations

Not essential for thermal simulation with exception for liquid cooling designs

Maximum allowable temperature

Defined in two ways: maximum temperature of the heat source (°C) or thermal resistance (°C/W)

Assume 80°C maximum temperature

Size limitations of heatsink

Assume reasonable limitations based on the size of the heat source

Ambient temperature

Assume room temperature

Additional Information Required For Natural Convection

Cooling without any existing cooling infrastructure

(i.e. no fan or liquid cooling)

Size limitations of heatsink

Ambient temperature

Orientation of heatsink - Performance can vary up to 20% depending on orientation

Additional Information Required For Forced Convection

Cooling with a fan blowing across the heatsink

Air flow rate

  • Defined as the volume of air being moved, typically defined in CFM
  • Ideally specify a fan model that includes data such as a fan curve, hub diameter, rotor speed etc. as flow rate changes with back pressure

Source / location and direction of air flow

Enclosure geometry

  • Defined as the structure the encapsulates the heatsink and any potential objects (e.g. large components) that could block any airflow towards the heatsink.
  • Otherwise assume no objects obstructing flow and no enclosure

Additional Information Required For Liquid Cooling

Mounting hole locations

Coolant channel may need to be designed around the mounting holes.

Coolant flow rate

Defined as volume of coolant passing through the cold plate.

Coolant inlet / outlet connection type and locations

E.g. barbed, press fit, welded, threaded connection… on opposite/same side.

Coolant inlet temperature

  • Defined as temperature of the coolant at the entrance of the cold plate.
  • Assume room temperature.

Maximum allowable pressure drop

  • Defined as difference in pressure between the inlet and outlet, or resistant flow experiences.
  • Assume reasonable pressure drop based on performance requirement.

Type of Coolant

  • Example - water, refrigerant, etc.
  • Assume water.


Use Our Design Services or Send Us Your CAD Drawings

Start the conversation with our thermal design solution professionals, by using our thermal design check list, to analyze and solve your thermal challenges.

5225 Orbitor Drive Suite 2

Mississauga, Ontario Canada, L4W 4Y8