Small Cell Outdoor Cabinet

Thermal Solution

A small cell cabinet design was developed with two different thermal solutions. Both solutions are thermally simulated and compared using 6SigmaET CFD software.

Small Cell Outdoor Cabinet Design
Small Cell Outdoor Cabinet Thermal Testing

INDUSTRY/CUSTOMER

Wireless Communications Providers and Network Developers

BACKGROUND

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.

CHALLENGE

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

SOLUTION

A small cell cabinet design concept was developed with two different thermal solutions. Both solutions are thermally simulated and compared using 6SigmaET CFD software.

RESULTS

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

LEARN MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Download project details and see
the thermal performance results

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