Small Cell Outdoor Cabinet
A small cell cabinet design was developed with two different thermal solutions. Both solutions are thermally simulated and compared using 6SigmaET CFD software.
Wireless Communications Providers and Network Developers
In simple terms, small cells are smaller versions of traditional wireless cell sites (macrocells).
Generally, the build rate for macrocells is decreasing and small cells is increasing. This is because networks are evolving towards small cells for deployment of LTE Advanced and 5G.
For many small cell deployments, active electronics such as BBU’s and rectifiers need to be co-located at outdoor sites with the small cell pole and RRU’s.
These active electronics require a sealed environment and can dissipate significant heat. As a result, they are frequently housed in outdoor electronics cabinets.
The cabinet solution must:
- Efficiently cool the active electronics
- Be easy to deploy
- Be affordable
A small cell cabinet design concept was developed with two different thermal solutions. Both solutions are thermally simulated and compared using 6SigmaET CFD software.
Primary takeaways of this simulation work were:
- Electronic data transfer from CAD (Solidworks) to an analysis tool (6SigmaET) speeds overall solution time, even for detailed CAD models
- Some common wireless active electronic components can have intake temperature limits (55 C for example) that drive thermal design
- Use of air flow containment to create a ‘cold aisle’ in the system can significantly reduce equipment intake temperatures