The increasing power densities in electronics enclosures precede the ever-increasing focus on thermal solutions for these enclosures. In many electronic industries, the ability to cool equipment by natural convection means is of utmost importance. There are several reasons for the need to cool equipment without using mechanical devices such as fans and these include: reliability, mechanical noise and vibration, ability for dust and humidity to enter the system, equipment and energy cost, and electrical interference. Some industries trying to stay away from forced convection solutions are reaching the limits of natural convection solutions, whilst others have already passed this limit and are forced to use mechanical means for cooling. This paper presents a study investigating the limits to naturally cooled systems by looking at the thermal bottlenecks and how they could be overcome.

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