There was a question here a few days ago about the dimensions for a
heat spreader for an amp. I noted that in my opinion finite element
software was the best way to solve this. Today, I decided to look for
some software. My preference was free and open-source, but I did not
find anything that looked very attractive. The commercial products are
on the whole quite expensive (well over $1000). Then I came across
LISA, which is designed for thermal modelling. A version limited to
1300 nodes is free, but even the full commercial version is only $50.
I've not looked at it myself, but would be worth investigating by
those interested in the topic.
Note, technical support is also free, even to those using the free version.
This is Windows-only software, which is a bit annoying for someone
like myself. But I know many people are happy with Windows.
I've just been made aware of this link
which has a list of 25 open-source pieces of software for engineering
- one is "Sage" which I spend some of my spare time developing.
However, whilst I could find lots of finite element software in that
link, nothing looked very suitable for modeling heat-sinks to me. But
LISA looks as though it can do it, and at either free or $50, if it
works its a pretty good deal. $50 is a lot less than one would pay for
the semiconductors of a high power amp.
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