For the most part, in recent years lighting engineers have focused on optics, new functions (AFS, ADB…) and the software and electronics revolutions. Compactness and mass reduction have been important for some time, but things like heat sink volume reduction weren’t a priority and the tools to do it effectively and efficiently didn’t exist. When I visit a set maker, the engineers are proud to present their huge improvements in lighting performance, in lens dimensions, in integrating new functions…but now more than ever, since now the tools exist, I am every time surprised by the weak progress on heat sinks, volume and weight reduction.
To better know the simulation tools, I organised a meeting with Mentor Graphics’ experts. I was impressed by the possibilities their simulation tools unlock for optimisation and reduction of the total cycle time. Now, today, we have two levers to work on volume reduction: simulation and new materials. They can help the engineers to dramatically reduce the dimensions of the heat sink.
It’s not just for packaging constraint compliance, either; an efficient heatsink can allow an increase of drive current for LEDs, increasing lighting performance and saving energy.
This week’s in-depth paper describes the benefits of thermal simulation software—Mentor’s FloEFD—in terms of time savings: user time divided by almost five, one thermal engineer over twice as productive. Now can minimise the volume and the mass of heat sink dramatically just by making automatic DoE optimisation of heat sink’s fin geometry, and definitely today it is possible, with the help of software, to have an improvement for the heat sink design.
I also remind you the report on the DVN Munich Workshop is now available. You will find a summary of each lecture, and around 140 pictures of speakers, networking, award ceremony and exhibition booths.
On the DrivingVisionNews website, you will also find the presenters’ lecture slides.