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Heat Transfer Application Question

  1. Aug 29, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone I have a quick question regarding heat transfer. I have yet to study heat transfer yet but I have a basic understanding of the mechanisms from general physics courses.

    My particular question is regarding airflow across a surface and its ability to cool a heat source. The situation I am currently thinking of is the heatsink located on a computer's processor. Provided that a heatsink offers a means to transfer the processor's heat to a space where dissipation is easier, does greater airflow across the heatsink necessarily mean a greater heat transfer rate and therefore a lower steady state temperature for the processor?

    Any input is appreciated and an analytic approach is always loved. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2012 #2
    Yes, greater airflow means greater rate of heat transfer, and a lower steady state temperature (assuming your air is colder than the heat sink).

    It can get complicated, though, if you start blowing air too fast. This could cause it to start swirling around (turbulence), and result in less actual airflow contacting the heatsink.
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