Thermal-Fluid-Structure Interaction Modeling of Outdoor Digital Displays

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Monge Jimenez, Luis Diego
Joshi, Yogendra
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Digital displays deployed in outdoor applications require robust cooling solutions capable of handling transient ambient temperatures and solar irradiances. One of the most important components in the outdoor displays is the liquid crystal display (LCD). This thesis studies two generations of 75” outdoor digital displays designed and produced by Manufacturing Resources International. The cooling configuration inside the display is investigated in this thesis. The thin and flexible assembly experiences deformations due to the thermal expansion caused by the solar irradiance. At the same time, pressure differentials caused by the cooling configuration inside the unit lead to flow-induced structural deflections. Severe deformations could cause flow obstruction of the cooling cavities around the LCD, leading to increased temperatures on the display potentially damaging the LCD. This thesis presents Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer (CFD/HT) models paired with static structural simulations in order to characterize the behavior of the displays. These computer models were pivotal to the determination and prediction of the total deformation and modal shape of large LCD panels. Validation of the CFD/HT and structural simulations is crucial when using simulations to drive design decisions. Thermocouples were installed on the units in order to record LCD surface temperatures, while LCD deflections were measured with a Manual Insulating Glass (MIG) gauge. Pressure sensors were also employed to validate the pressure contours from the CFD/HT simulations. By understanding these deformations, design choices can be made to prescribe parameters optimizing the cooling of the unit. At the same time, these decisions ensure that the components remain as flat as possible, providing good image quality and the best experience to the end user.
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