When electronics enclosures must be sealed to keep out dust, dirt or moisture, heat is trapped inside during operation. Heat pipes are one solution to removing damaging heat.
For outside applications, the thermal load on the enclosure needs to incorporate the solar load or flux, which causes significant heating of approximately 1,000 W/m2. Natural convection from the enclosure can help reduce the overall thermal load. When heat loads exceed approximately 1,000 W, the heat-pipe heat exchanger may not be the most cost effective solution. Plate-and-frame, cross-flow or counterflow heat exchangers are more appropriate for higher power levels.