Heat Dissipation and Air Conditioning

Some remarks about the cooling of amplifiers in racks

The values of heat dissipation, provided by most amplifier manufacturers are normally being used to answer the question, how much cooling of a closed rack is necessary. However, whether costly air conditioning is really necessary cannot be easily answered and may be subject to the following considerations:

  • An amplifier is designed to operate normally at about 25°C ambient temperature without additional cooling
  • Lid or bottom of the amplifier chassis, as well as the side panels may not be removed to ensure a constant and effective flow of air
  • Good ventilation of the rack is normally sufficient
  • Air conditioning may be necessary to provide cooling, if the hot air is not being vented from the amplifier rack
  • Amplifiers generate the most excess heat while being driven between 40 and 60 percent – no matter which amplifier class is being used. Therefore, it is reasonable and sensible to use the heat dissipation values of approximately 1/3 power.

Please note: 1/3 power is a very high value that may occur only in case of an alarm being set off. Therefore, in most applications, a good ventilation will be more than enough to provide safe operation.

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    • Bittner Audio
      June 2005