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Method for remote air-cooling with a thermoelectric module in a PC-chassis design

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006380D
Publication Date: 2001-Dec-28
Document File: 6 page(s) / 154K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for remote air-cooling with a thermoelectric (TE) module in a PC-chassis design. Benefits include improved thermal performance and improved reliability.

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Method for remote air-cooling with a thermoelectric module in a PC-chassis design

Disclosed is a method for remote air-cooling with a thermoelectric (TE) module in a PC-chassis design. Benefits include improved thermal performance and improved reliability.

Background

              The conventional PC-chassis design, shown in Figure 1, utilizes external ambient air to cool an IC device. The typical external ambient temperature ranges from 25 to 35º C. When the ambient air enters the chassis, the air may be pre‐heated by the surrounding components before the air reaches the IC device that requires cooling. The pre‐heating effects bring the air up to 45‐55º C before the air enters the IC cooling solution. Because of this situation, the IC cooling solution design must be based on an ambient air as high as 55º C. However, the IC device operation temperature can be lowered by 1º C for every 1º C reduction of the ambient air temperature using the same IC cooling solution. Therefore, a good conventional PC-chassis design avoids the pre‐heating effects and lowers the temperature of air entering the cooling solution as much as possible.

              The conventional state-of-the-art solution, shown in Figure 2, utilizes a fan duct to bring the external ambient air directly to the IC cooling solution so that pre‐heating because of the surrounding components is minimized. However, the temperature of the air entering the cooling solution is still gated by the external ambient temperature. The lowest air temperature achieved by the conventional state-of-the-art PC-chassis design is the same as the external ambient temperature.

General description

              The disclosed method is a PC-chassis design that features a sub‐ambient environment temperature near the IC cooling solution. The IC device operates at a much lower temperature than in the conventional PC chassis.

              The key element of the method includes a PC-chassis design with a flexible pipe. The flexible pipe is connected to both the IC cooling solution and the thermoelectric (TE) module. A chilled air from the TE module flows through the IC cooling device, then back to the TE module to form a closed loop.

Advantages

              The advantages of the new PC-chassis design include:

·        Air entering the IC device is maintained at a sub‐ambient temperature so that the IC device operates at a much lower temperature than is possible in a typical room‐temperature environment.

·        Heat generated by the IC device and the TE module is directly dissipated to the exterior of the PC chassis without affecting the other components inside the same PC chassis.

·        The high heat flux generated by the IC device is spread out by the heatsink and diluted through the air inside the flexible pipe. Because of the circulation of air inside the flexible pipe, the heat flux that reaches the TE module is reduced to a much lower level that can be handled by the conventional TEC technology.

·        Because the flexible pipe is completely sealed, a high‐thermal‐conductive gas (such as He) ca...