Hey guys, I have a quick question. So if you've been reading my threads lately you know I'm building an aluminum bodied robot that uses 24v to drive the wheels. So to convert that to 5v for my microcontroller, I'd need some kind of transistor. And this transistor is going to get HOT!! So my question is, could I simply touch the back end of the transistor to the body of the robot to act as a giant heatsink?
And by touch, I mean securely attach it with some kind of heat conducting glue.
I guess it's the voltage regulator you keep calling a transistor?
A few points worth having in mind:
Heat conducting glue has a high W/K rating, so better bolt it on and use a very skimpy layer of heat conducting silicon grease.
The body comes nowhere near the low W/K rating of a large quality heatsink for a number of reasons (the surface are is much larger on a finned heat sink and the body is not optimized for the passing air flow to really be used well like in a finned heat sink and it's all a question of surface area and air flow).
Using the body is good up to a certain power rating (different for each body/box).
It's not very difficult (but somewhat time consuming) to measure the W/K of a box or a robot body - it just takes adjustable power, a variable (or several) load(s), and a thermometer.