The thermal interaction of an electrical and an optical component located on the same vertical circuit board is studied experimentally. The effects of component proximity and convective flow rate on overall power dissipation from each component are analyzed. The components are represented by isothermal heat sources mounted to a standard 1.59mm (0.0625 in) thick FR4 circuit board. In natural convection situations, when the spacing between components is great enough that the component thermal footprints do not interfere, the power dissipation reaches a maximum “plateau” value that is independent of spacing. If the components are located close enough together that their thermal footprints interfere then the total power dissipation is highly dependent on component spacing (relative location of the electrical source and the geometric positioning of both sources). In forced convection, the total power dissipated increases with both Reynolds number and component spacing. As in natural convection, the relative location of the electrical sources and the positioning of the sources are found to have a strong influence on power dissipation.

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