The reliability of the majority of electrical and electromechanical systems depends on their ability to dissipate heat generated by their internal components. Application of parallel plates for cooling electronic equipment is one of the most common methods of heat dissipation through convection and radiation. Others have investigated the optimum spacing between vertical plates for the case of maximum natural convection heat transfer. The goal of this study was to determine the optimum spacing for the maximum radiation heat transfer.

Analytic calculations were carried out to determine the optimum spacing. A mathematical interpolation was used to simplify the view factor correlations and from this an exact correlation was obtained to determine the optimum spacing for radiation heat transfer. It was concluded that for a known plate surface area, the optimum spacing for the maximum radiation decreases when the ratio of height over length of the plates increases. For fixed geometric parameters, the optimum spacing for radiation will display a skewed parabolic distribution when the surface emissivity of the plates was increased.

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