A numerical simulation of the buoyancy-induced flow around microelectronic components mounted on a circuit board has been performed using the finite element method. The circuit board is modeled by a vertical plate on which rectangular strip heating surfaces are mounted. Computations have been performed in two-dimensional plane applying a simplifying assumption that the circuit board and the strip heating surfaces are infinitely long. The Navier-Stokes, the flow continuity and the energy equations for laminar flow have been considered in the finite element discretizations. Results of the computations are presented in the form of temperature contour plots and velocity vector plots in the flow field. The convection heat transfer coefficients at the surface of the microelectronic components are presented as a function of their height. The convection coefficients computed have been compared with experimental correlations of free convection heat transfer found in the literature.

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