Liquid Processor Cooling Innovation May Save Consumers Billions

University of Alabama in Huntsville researchers have developed a new cooling apparatus that could bring many changes.

Dr. James E. Smith Jr., Cuong Nguyen and Xiaolin Wang have invented a way to cool down processors without electricity, using liquid, and is more cost-efficient than the everyday cooling systems currently being used.

Cooling is possible because of the excellent heat-transfer characteristics of Fluorinert FC-72.

TechRepublic writer Michael Kassner explains that the process works because “heat from the computer processor vaporizes the Fluorinert liquid. Then the vapor being lighter moves upward to the heat exchanger. The FC-72 transfers its heat load to the exchanger, which in turn transfers the heat to the surrounding air. Removing heat causes the FC-72 to condense into a liquid that flows into the holding tank below the heat exchanger. From the holding tank, the liquid FC-72 travels to the processor where the cycle is repeated.”

The researchers made progress due to a $10,000 grant from UAH Charger Innovation Fund last year. The team has estimated that computer manufacturers could save up to $600 million and consumers could save more than $6.3 billion per year if the cooling innovation is used in future computers.

“Our system can absolutely work, and it can work for 12 hours in a stable condition,” Nguyen said.

This type of cooling system could possibly be used for propulsion systems for space travel and 21st century power delivery systems. Since the project is in the early stages, there are a large number of people who still need convincing.