Temperature Cycling for Circuits

What happens when something is exposed to extreme heat and cold?  A manufacture of power inverters needed to discover the answer to that question by putting product under extreme temperature conditions.  Some companies in the automotive or aerospace markets request thermal cycling to see how well the product can hold up in extreme conditions.  In this instance, he had to test a ½” X ½” (13 X 13mm) power inverter.  He called EXAIR to ask about our Vortex Tubes to see if it would work in his application.

The Vortex Tube uses compressed air as a power source.  It has no moving parts, but it can produce hot air from one end and cold air from the other.  It has an adjustable valve to change the temperature drop or temperature rise with a turn of a screwdriver.  It can hit temperatures as cold as -50 deg. F (-46 deg. C) and as hot as 260 deg. F (127 deg. C).  As soon as you apply compressed air to a Vortex Tube, you get instant hot and cold air at the ends.

The EXAIR Vortex Tube. Cold air from one end; hot air from the other. Fully adjustable.
The EXAIR Vortex Tube. Cold air from one end; hot air from the other. Fully adjustable.

The Vortex Tube was perfect for his application.  Currently he was placing the inverters inside a freezer to cool them.  Then he would run electricity through them to heat them.  The cycle rate was too long, and it would take him over a month to get the desired cycles.  With two of the model 3208 Vortex Tubes, he set one to the specified cold temperature and the other to the specified hot temperature.  By placing a three-way solenoid valve between them, he cycled the cold and hot air onto the power inverters.  With his new system, he was able to reduce the overall time to reach the cycle rate from a month to only a week. A significant increase in productivity for the testing process.

If you believe that you may have an application that needs cold or hot air, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR at 1-800-903-9247.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

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