Thermal runway

Thermal runway

Thermal runway 04/10/16

 

Have you ever wondered if an increase in temperature could cause a further increase in temperature? This simple idea is the basis of a phenomena known as a thermal runway. In Chemical Engineering, a thermal runaway can happen if a reaction rate increases due to an increase in temperature, which causes a further increase in temperature and spins out of control. In Electrical Engineering, joule heating may diminish resistive elements which further increases current which further increases heating.

 

If one thinks about it, couldn’t this phenomena simply be modeled with differential equations?

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