Back when basic computer processing equipment took up entire rooms full of space, using comparably large air conditioners and other solutions to cool it didn’t seem out of place. However, it didn’t take long for computers, electronics, and virtually every other form of technology to advance to a point where such large solutions were no longer viable. Computers that fit on your lap or in your pocket can’t be reliably cooled using HVAC equipment, and many technology designers were hampered by this until heat exchangers became a more viable thermal solution.
The relationship between computing and cooling
In all electronic applications, the need for high-performance and efficient electrical cooling is paramount. Without the means for eliminating or transferring waste heat, the enclosures within each application would quickly overheat and be rendered inoperable, or completely useless. The more advanced computing technology has become, the powerful it’s grown, and the more waste heat its components produce. When heat exchangers became popular thermal management solutions, technology designers quickly took advantage of the ability to effectively cool electronic components using more efficient, less costly, and much smaller heat exchangers.
Liquid cooling in smaller packages
The reason HVAC solutions are large is because they have to be. An air conditioner needs room to accommodate the machinery and chemicals that chill the air and circulate it, and miniaturization can only go so far. Liquid cooling has been popular for a while, but creating custom setups to accommodate it wasn’t possible or financially feasible for mass production. This is where heat exchangers came in. Many forms of heat exchangers utilize methods such as phase-change cooling, which brings the high-performance advantages of liquid cooling to a wider variety of applications. After absorbing waste heat within the heat exchanger, the fluid inside evaporates and flows to a cooler area of the unit. After dissipating the heat, the fluid condenses back to liquid, and continues the heat transfer process within the loop.
The versatility of custom heat exchangers
Because heat exchangers can achieve high levels of waste heat transfer using minimal equipment (i.e., heat pipes, custom cold plates, and more), they can be utilized for advanced applications that leave minimal space for thermal management. Heat pipes can bend and be flattened, cold plates can have their flow paths customized, and the heat exchangers’ efficiency and operational capacity won’t suffer for it. For more information about custom heat exchangers for high-performance computer processing, call Noren Thermal Solutions in Taylor, TX, at 866-936-6736.