Natural Conviction Heat Sinks for Efficient Cooling
The most common indication for a Natural Convection Heat Sink is the elimination of fans/blowers from the system. Fans provide an additional failure point, thereby reducing the system’s reliability. Fans also increase the noise of the system, can introduce dust and contaminants, and require additional power. For any one of these reasons, a system designer may wish to exclude fans from the system and use natural convection heat sinks.
Since the air passing over the fins rises upwards as it absorbs heat from fins, the heat sink has to be positioned in such a way so as to align the individual fins along the vertical. Also, the gap between two fins has to be larger to allow for the required air flow. Such constraints have to be taken into account when considering using a natural convection (or passive cooled) heat sink.