Nice to see Mentor building bridges to expand the applicability of CFD software. This kind of thermal analysis has to be critical in terms of optimizing the use LEDs in designs and the ability to predict heat transfer on a subsystem level can only serve to create more efficient and higher quality products.
Fantastic synthesis of Theory and Experiment. This interplay between experimentalists and theorists is just what is needed to get an accurate snapshot of the actual system. The theoretical modeling provided by CFD brings us very close to visualizing the system under study, but only when actual measurements are used to carefully calibrate and verify the CFD models. Calculating overall system performance using component values measured in isolation runs counter to the systems reality that the integrated system is often greater than the sum of the parts. Especially when it comes to energy efficiency, I hope we continue to see more stories like this one.
Cost savings has driven the change to LED lighting; they use less electricity and while expensive on the initial purchase will last much, much longer than conventional lights.
I'm in North Charleston, SC commissioning several projects. North Charleston uses LED traffic signals. Almost every single red and green LED array in the city has at least five LEDs that don't function. In some cases, more than 75% of the LEDs do not turn on. While LEDs do eliminate the single-point failure of incandescent bulbs, 75% failure is unacceptable.
I don't know if it's thermal problems of the LEDs or their circuit boards, environmental aspects of high heat and humidity of this region, or something else. but driving around North Charleston makes me think LED lighting still has bugs to stomped out.
Call me obsessive, but I’ve always thought an LED should last longer than a human if treated correctly.A continuous light at 80K hours is around 9 years.If we kept the junction under 80C or some other less severe level, could we get a lifetime (>100 years) from them?Could they not be “the light that just does not burn out”?
The alterantives to consider for the heavy LED failure rate in the traffic light failure is that teh LEDs themselves may not have been quality LEDs from a reputable supplier. There are a considerable amount of low quality LEDs that do not perform as well as the more expensive offerings. Also, it may be the substrate that they are mounted on, the solder joint and several other failure modes. I worked in the automive industry on LED headlights and tail lights. I am sure you have noticed the dead LEDs in the tail lights of the truck ahead of you. The quality and durability of these LEDs and the assembly as a whole where not very good. They have improved and so will the LEDs and sub-assemblies in the street lights. Unfortunately early adopters are the guinea pigs for QC.
Interesting point about some LEDs being better than others in terms of quality. I suppose that's true with any component. Any rough guidelines engineers need to consider to help them spec the proper LED supplier?
That's a very surprising statistic, TJ. At the rate of 75 percent, I would think the city would reconsider either its supplier or the use of LEDs period. Given the difficulty of fixing and replacing traffic lights, I would imagine a more reliable source -- even if more expensive -- would pay for itself.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.