High-Performance, Passive Phase-Change Cooling

There are many different methods that modern electrical cooling systems can utilize to utilize to address waste heat. However, not all cooling methods are created equally, or are able to achieve the same high-level thermal management performance that most modern applications require. For example, more traditionally relied-upon solutions, such as air conditioners or compression units, may be some of the more established thermal management options, but that’s largely due to them being some of the oldest solutions. Today, more advanced electrical cooling units often use more natural and streamlined methods, such as phase-change cooling.

How to harness phase-change cooling

Phase-change cooling describes the process of utilizing an eco-friendly cooling fluid’s latent heat of vaporization. As the fluid absorbs electrical waste heat, it prevents any rise in temperature within the heat exchanger unit. Once it absorbs enough, it evaporates, becoming significantly less dense so it can carry the heat away from electrical components. Once it releases the heat into a heat sink or other depository, the fluid will condense back into liquid, regain its density, and flow naturally back to the source of waste heat. Containing this process within a tightly controlled loop gives heat exchangers and other custom thermal solutions the ability to consistently and efficiently cool electrical enclosures of all sizes.

How to customize natural heat transfer methods

What gives phase-change cooling its many different advantages over more traditional cooling methods is the ease with which it can be harnessed. Because phase-change cooling can be accomplished with an eco-friendly fluid (like water) and a smaller, more efficient heat exchanger, it can provide more easily adaptable cooling solutions than more traditional methods. For example, heat pipes can be designed to provide pathways for the fluid and heat to flow smoothly and rapidly. The pipes can bend and lie flat or in any defined plane without negatively impacting the heat exchangers’ cooling capability, or the process of phase-change heat transfer.

How to optimize thermal management performance

The key to optimizing thermal management performance for any given application isn’t just finding the most efficient cooling method, but also ensuring it’s an appropriate fit for the application. For instance, with modern heat exchangers, methods such as phase-change cooling, natural/forced convection, and conduction can be harnessed in the form of heat pipes or cold plate-based heat exchangers. Depending on the application’s specific needs, the unit may need to achieve below-ambient cooling to prove effective. For more information about the high-performance capabilities of harnessing phase-change cooling, call Noren Thermal Solutions in Taylor, TX, at 866-936-6736.