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PCB Heat Management

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Dave, Aug 22, 2007.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hi, this is my first full eletronics project so this truly is a
    beginner question. I'm making a device that uses a PCB to power 6
    loads that will equal a maximum of 100 watts. And I'm wondering,
    assuming the loads can go either way, should I go with 12 or 24 volts
    for my power source.

    Based on the I=P/V equation, a 12 volt power supply would result in
    about 8 Amps on the board, and a 24 volt power supply would result in
    just over 4 Amps on the board. Which is best? Would it make sense to
    use a 24 volt power supply instead of a 12 volt one? How do you
    compare the dangers of higher amps vs higher volts and what would I do
    to make a 100 watt device like this safe?
  2. Amps need copper to carry them. Volts need space between
    copper to keep them apart. But the minimum board space for
    24 volts is a lot less than the copper width generally
    needed to carry 8 amps. So, just from a board design
    standpoint, I would prefer a 24 volt system.

    Then you have to look into the cost, efficiency and
    availability of control devices and interconnects for the
    two cases. I am pretty confident that you will find that in
    almost every respect, the 24 volt system comes out ahead.

    But don't take my word for it. Do a rough design for both
    cases and compare them.
  3. Generally speaking, the 24V system would be preferable, as the less
    current through your PCB, connectors and wiring etc the better. e.g.
    you might find that the lower current gives you more options with
    regards to what connectors you can use, and how long you can run the
    cabling to your load etc.
    voltage between 12V and 24V, so unless there is something specific
    (some component spec perhaps) that prohibits 24V operation, I would go
    with 24V.

    You'll need to provide further details if you want more detailed help.

  4. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Thanks, I have been preparing to convert my project from 12 to 24
    volts for a while. It seems to make sense... I just wanted to run it
    by someone first.
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