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Projects => Beginner Project => Topic started by: jtzim07 on October 05, 2006, 11:19:10 AM

Title: dumb noob
Post by: jtzim07 on October 05, 2006, 11:19:10 AM
this is a total noob question, but what is a heat sink for?
Title: Re: dumb noob
Post by: ubersam on October 05, 2006, 01:38:12 PM
It helps heat generating devices dissipate heat. For example, the cpu in the computer you are using generates plenty of heat, without a heatsink (and a fan to blow off the heat) on its core, it will inevitable burnout. For more detailed explanation, google is your friend.
Title: Re: dumb noob
Post by: Peter Snowberg on October 18, 2006, 10:18:21 PM
Please don't ever worry about questions like that. In the beginning everyone has that same question.  :icon_smile:

When transferring energy there are two terms you'll see quite a bit. The first is "source" and the second is "sink". These apply to current as well as heat. Think of a "sink" as a place for the energy to go to.

Some devices (like voltage regulators and big power transistors) generate so much heat that they'll cook themselves if you don't supply a place for that heat to go.

Much of the time a heatsink is just a way to get a lot of surface area in a small space. The more surface area, the more convection will help to remove that heat. If you can't get enough surface area for convection to do the job, then the next step is often to add a small fan like the computer CPU example Ubersam just used.