Sometimes, new technology makes an impact because it does something better than its currently existing counterparts. Sometimes, however, that innovation can be so impactful that it’s almost as though the new technology has completely revolutionized its respective field. Heat exchangers started off as the first example, providing a more efficient and cost-effective way for companies to consistently cool their technology and equipment. It turned out, however, that the innovation made possible thanks to the help of heat exchangers has had a much bigger impact than many people realized at first. That impact is due to the fact that heat exchangers improve thermal management not just by managing waste heat better than past alternatives, but by doing so in a simpler and more sustainable way than their predecessors.
A Look at Traditional Cooling Concepts
Before heat exchangers, electrical thermal management was still a vital concern for most contemporary industries. However, it was a concern that was much more complex to address. The only viable solutions were air conditioning and air compression units, both of which involve chilling air and circulating it through an enclosure. It’s an effective solution, to an extent, but the complicated machinery requires frequent maintenance and repair, and it takes large amounts of energy to keep operational.
Simpler, but More Effective, Methods
One of the most notable things about the rise of heat exchangers is that they didn’t improve electrical thermal management by making it more complex. On the contrary, heat exchangers reduce operational costs and concerns while enhancing the efficiency of thermal management by reverting to more simpler methods of transferring waste heat, such as:
- Convection (natural and forced) – Rather than combatting waste heat, convection is the process of allowing the heat to naturally flow away from the components that generate it. Some heat exchangers facilitate the heat’s movement with the help of one or more small fans (known as forced convection), depending on a specific application’s needs.
- Conduction – Some types of heat exchangers also utilize conduction, or the spreading of heat from one substance (such as a cold plate) to another (such as cooling fluid). Conduction also occurs naturally, and within a heat exchanger, it allows for a greater amount of heat dissipation without any additional need for maintenance or energy.
- Phase-Change Cooling – Phase-change cooling is another natural way of transferring heat without allowing any rise in temperature within an electrical enclosure. It involves taking advantage of a cooling fluid’s latent heat of vaporization, or the point at which it absorbs enough heat to vaporize. When this occurs, the heated, less dense fluid flows to a cooler area of the heat exchanger, then dissipates the heat, condenses back into liquid, and flows back through the loop to continue the cycle.
For more information about the simple cooling methods that make heat exchangers revolutionary, call Noren Thermal Solutions in Taylor, TX, at 866-936-6736.