Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mini Refrigerator To Cool Your PC

Researchers at Purdue University are developing a new miniaturized refrigeration system that is small enough to fit inside laptops and personal computers, the new cooling technology could boost performance while shrinking the size of computers.

The main focus of the Purdue research has revolved around learning how to design miniature compressors and evaporators. So far the researchers have only developed an analytical model for designing tiny compressors that pump refrigerants using penny-size diaphragms. However their initial research looks promising.

The mini compressors will be made with elastic membranes of ultra-thin sheets of a plastic called polyimide and coated with an electrically conducting metallic layer. The metal layer allows the diaphragm to be moved back and forth to produce a pumping action using electrical charges, or "electrostatic diaphragm compression."

Miniature refrigeration has a key advantage over other cooling technologies, Eckhard Groll, a professor of mechanical engineering said. "The best that all other cooling methods can achieve is to cool the chip down to ambient temperature, whereas refrigeration allows you to cool below surrounding temperatures," he said.

The ability to cool below ambient temperature could result in smaller, more powerful computers and also could improve reliability by reducing long-term damage to chips caused by heating.

We all know cooling is a essential part of any PC. Air cooling has always been fundamentally flawed as it takes bulky heatsinks and added fans to move enough air to adequately cool CPUs. And as mentioned above you are limited to cooling to an ambient temperature.

Water cooling has been a viable alternative for many years, however there is still the trade off of adding components as well as the slight risk of leaks.

Refrigeration has been looked at before, however where there is a large temperature variance there is inevitably going to be condensation. No where did I see that the two researchers had solved that problem, nor is the issue addressed in any way. So until they address that issue and we see some working models, I'm not going to get my hopes up!

Source: Science Daily

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you