Finding an optimal solution for power electronics cooling is challenging and often requires many iterations. Thermal management is an integral part of product development, particularly in power electronics. Proper thermal management design significantly impacts product performance and size, but it also affects the product’s estimated lifespan and environmental footprint.
CooliBlade has developed a novel NEOcore technology that uses an integrated thermal channel made of aluminum. The technology is based on a phase change phenomenon inside a solid aluminum structure. It creates a thermal highway for heat to flow from the hot component to the ambient air. CooliBlade’s rapid product development offers a straightforward path from a quick feasibility check to testing with a working prototype and swiftly entering the actual production phase. In this blog post, we go through the steps of our rapid development cycle.
- A quick feasibility check
The first phase of rapid product development is to estimate whether NEOcore technology is feasible for the customer case. Customer will specify their needs using our free evaluation tool, and CooliBlade thermal management experts will give initial feedback about the expected performance and feasibility. In the evaluation, we do a quick feasibility check by calculating thermal budgets based on the customer’s own specs and NEOcore technology technical performance.
- Concept design and thermal simulation
The second step is to create a concept for the thermal management solution. The outcome is an initial cooling concept, where the optimal cooling performance is adapted to the customer specific requirements, including product size and form factor, component layout, and usage environment.
Thermal simulation is one of the critical phases when developing cooling solutions for power electronic products. FEM (finite element method) thermal modeling optimizes the device’s thermal management performance. The outcome from the thermal simulation gives confidence regarding the actual heat dissipation capability of the system. The thermal simulation results can also be used when comparing different concepts and ending up with the most optimal solution.
- Prototype design and assembly
When the concept studies and simulations confirm the feasibility and initiative performance of the NEOcore design, it’s time to enter the actual prototype design phase. Prototype design and thermal simulations go hand-in-hand in finding the optimal way to cool the product. Mechanical engineers work with thermal management experts to find the best solution from the cooling performance and manufacturability point of view. Mechanical designs and simulations are used together efficiently to find the prototype’s optimal form factor. Our seamless development process includes a quick transfer from the design phase to the production of prototypes. Typically, the prototype manufacturing and assembly take 2-4 weeks after finishing the design phase.
NEOcore technology gives a lot of design freedom regarding product shape, size, and weight, but most importantly, it ensures the optimal performance of the product. The ability to quickly adapt the length and diameter of the NEOcore thermal channel combined with different fin geometries makes the NEOcore technology platform suitable for both natural and forced convection applications.
- Prototype testing and evaluation
The final step in prototype development is testing and confirming the device’s performance in the laboratory or customer test environment. CooliBlade has extensive laboratory measurement set-ups available for comprehensive performance testing of the prototypes. The laboratory measurement set-ups can be used for natural and forced convection cases where the environment can be controlled and temperatures monitored via a fully automated cloud-based data logging system. The test can be carried out in two phases where the CooliBlade technical team does the first tests, and the final tests are carried out at the customer site.
- Production ramp-up
Typically, one more design iteration round is needed based on prototype test results. It is the DFM (Design for Manufacturing) phase, where the design is fine-tuned and optimized for high-volume manufacturing. The outcome of the DFM round is a production-ready design where all the production documents and test procedures are defined together with the customer. The production ramp-up phase includes pilot batch delivery and testing before the final production ramp-up and higher volume deliveries.
CooliBlade’s NEOcore technology is designed for easy adaptation and customization. The basic structures are designed to be used in large volume production, still giving flexibility for customer specific designs. Fast development and prototyping process combined with scalable and flexible production capability make CooliBlade OEM products very attractive for the most demanding cooling applications. Cost and time savings in the development and production ramp-up phase are significant for CooliBlade’s customers.
CooliBlade fast and transparent development process from prototyping to production
How to begin?
CooliBlade offers next-generation solutions for the most demanding power-electronics applications. NEOcore thermal channel is the key technology in revolutionizing thermal management. Our team is ready to start product development to find the optimal cooling solution for your high-power application. To check the feasibility of NEOcore technology in your application, you can use our free evaluation tool to fill in your design specifications. We will make a quick feasibility check about your case and send our initial proposal in a couple of days. Let’s take your products to the next level with our transparent and seamless development process.
Chief Technology Officer