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Heat Transfer Mechanisms in Loudspeakers; Analysis, Measurement and Design

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Voice coil heating is a major cause of loudspeaker damage and failure, and thus, a major limitation to power handling capacity. It increases according to electrical input and according to the overall thermal resistance, or temperature rise per unit input power of the voice coil. The overall thermal resistance is a direct result of a variety of heat transfer mechanisms, including conduction, radiation, natural convection, forced convection and heat storage. An analysis, including transient behavior, is presented. This analysis includes a description of all contributing factors and provides a final equation for voice coil temperature as a function of electrical input and loudspeaker parameters. Data and data-gathering methods are presented and discussed in support of the analysis, including transient heat transfer. Lastly, various designs are discussed, including several unique and patented inventions.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society