Thermal Conduction of my Playstation 3 (Keeping it cool!)

  • Thread starter ceyhanb
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  • #1
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Hello All,

I have been trying to figure this out for quite some time now.

Obviously, from a mechanical point of view, it is best to keep to keep the Playstation on a hard surface to ensure unrestricted air flow into the cooling intake vents.

But, still remains, is a deeper question. What material should be used as the "hard surface"? Wood? Plastic? Metal? What would be the optimal coefficient of thermal expansion? Will aluminum foil help?

By simple experimentation using my hands to touch the system after playing the same game for a couple hours, it seems that if I keep the playstation vertical, it remains cooler than if I placed it on a thin glass table. Keeping it on concrete floor also kept it much cooler. Does the size of the heat sink matter? (eg. thick glass table vs. thin glass table).

Hopefully I'm not a madman, trying to figure this out.

Cey
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Gokul43201
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I don't own a playstation (nor have I seen one up close), so can not speak from intimate knowledge of its geometry and construction. Having said that, I'm still quite certain that coefficient of thermal expansion is mostly irrelevant. My guess is that the PS has an internal heat sink and a fan. Forced convection, in that case, is likely the dominant mode of heat loss. So to ensure optimal cooling you'd want to make sure you did as little as possible to impede that - maybe have the PS suspended from strings in mid-air, in a place with ample air-flow! =)

If that's not the dominant mode of heat loss, and the case of the PS gets pretty warm, then an external heat sink would be useful, like having the body make good contact to a large chunk of metal - a think slab of copper would be better than Al foil (better still if you could mill out fins on the slab). A metal table would be better than a wooden or plastic table. You want a heat sink object with high thermal conductance and large heat capacity (like a block of metal), as well as, if possible, large surface area.
 
  • #3
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The only thing I would say to that is that if you are milling fins for the outside heat sink because conduction is your primary mode of heat loss, be careful because sometimes fins can cause heat to "build up". There's a law of diminishing returns when you add more fins.
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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I don't believe that the type of surface you keep your PS3 on makes a large difference in the cooling. The temperature of the surface might. For instance, if the concrete was cooler than the table it would work better. Simply keeping an unrestricted airflow and maybe spraying some cleaning air from a can to get the dust and stuff out should keep your PS3 working fine.
 
  • #5
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Aluminium would help , you can even use much aluminium and flip the edges up so that the part which is in touch with air is more
 

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