Welcome to another Raspberry Pi post, And today we shall talk about the most efficient methods to cool your Raspberry Pi SBC !
Overheating is as disastrous in machines as cancer in humans, I, Myself has lost 2 Laptops and 5 SBC’s to overheating. Heat can cause your PI to throttle down the CPU as-well as reduce its lifespan drastically. Today we shall compare the 5 Methods to cool down our favorite PI, Lets Begin :
5 HeatSinks :
Heatsinks are a common and cheapest way to cool down your PI. Heatsinks designed specifically for Raspberry-Pi are available throughout the internet for $1-$2 bucks easily. Most efficient material for heatsinks are Copper and Aluminium. The best idea is to get a 3-piece combo heatsink, As the USB hub and 3.3v linear regulator gets more hot than CPU itself. Copper heatsinks are a but costly,but they work wonders. Also it gives your pi a sleek-n-sexy look (not that it needs any more), Installing a heatsink should be the first step in cooling your Pi. Below are the results of using a heat sink :
4Miniature Fans :
Small,High RPM GPIO powered fans are an another option in efficiently cooling your pi. These mini fans require 5V and do not cause a major power surge through your board. Connect them to pins #3 & #4 and let them work miracles. The only (partially) bad thing about these fans are that they create noise, which can get irritating if your Pi is within hearing vicinity. If you like these fans, The best option to get them would be with an airflow optimized case, Like this one here.
3Adhesive/Thermal Compound :
Ahh, The most controversial topic. Adhesive tapes are double sided sticky tapes that sometimes come with heatsinks. Their job is to transfer heat from component to heatsink efficiently. A much better alternative to them are Thermal Compounds, the ones that are used with laptops and PC’s, I.e Artic Silver 5 or similar. These thermal compounds are much more better at transferring heat, but you need some mechanisms to keep the sink pressed at component, as they don’t provide the stickiness compared to their adhesive counterparts.
You May Like : 3 Best Overclock settings for your Raspberry Pi 3.
2Peltier Thermo-Electric Cooler Module :
These little pads are known as Peltier modules, Very often used in Micro-DIY refrigerators projects.These unique electronic components can generate a temperature differential when powered. That is to say, apply 5V to the red (positive) and black (negative) wires and one side will get cold while the other side gets hot. I kidd you not, 4 of these lil’fuc*ers can chill your beer in 2 minutes flat. If you’re interested, Adafruit sells these modules designed for RPI specially, Get the here.
1Holy Grail of Raspberry Pi Cooling Systems. The Monster :
Warning : This much cooling can effect the operations of your Raspberry Pi CPU, Use only if necessary.
Whats better than any of these things ? All of these things ! Get the Peltier-Thermo electric module + Heatsink + Fan in one clean packed case. Want temprature differences of more than 65. Degrees Celsius ? This is made for you. An pioneer of engineering compiling active and passive cooling for your raspberry Pi. Altough a bit expensive, starting at $35, This cooler module is guaranteed to never let you down. Perfect for RPI projects like automobile, Satellite systems, etc. Get it here !