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Redundant Mechanically Cascaded Refrigeration System for Electronics Cooling Application

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013921D
Original Publication Date: 2000-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 5 page(s) / 75K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Now that the limitations of bulk CMOS scaling are imminent, other means to enhance circuit performance are being investigated. One of those means is to operate the circuits at low temperatures. Towards this end, standard vapor compression refrigeration systems are being used to cool central processors in computer systems, namely the high end of IBM's S390 servers. To assure continuous computer operation in the event of a refrigeration system fail, redundancy is incorporated by using a dual circuit evaporator and two Modular Refrigeration Units (MRUs) as shown schematically in figure 1. MRU #1 MRU #2 Condenser Condenser

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  Redundant Mechanically Cascaded Refrigeration System for Electronics Cooling Application

    Now that the limitations of bulk CMOS scaling are imminent, other means to enhance circuit performance are being investigated. One of those means is to operate the circuits at low temperatures. Towards this end, standard vapor compression refrigeration systems are being used to cool central processors in computer systems, namely the high end of IBM's S390 servers. To assure continuous computer operation in the event of a refrigeration system fail, redundancy is incorporated by using a dual circuit evaporator and two Modular Refrigeration Units (MRUs) as shown schematically in figure 1.

MRU #1 MRU #2

Condenser

Condenser

Compressor

Compressor

Dual Circuit

Evaporator

1

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Condenser

Condenser

High Side Comp

Evaporator /

 Low Side Comp

High Side Comp

Condenser

 Low Side Comp

Evaporator / Condenser

Dual Circuit

Evaporator

Figure 1

Figure 2

Mechanically Cascaded Refrigeration (MCR) systems offer the potential to cool an S390 processor dissipating in excess of 1000 watts at a reference (evaporator surface) temperature below -80 oC. This system couples two vapor compression cycles together: the evaporator of the (relatively) high temperature cycle removes heat from the condenser of the (relatively) low temperature cycle. If MCR systems were to be deployed with today's concept of redundancy, they might look like the schematic in figure 2.

    The size and weight of the resulting MCR MCU may be prohibitive from a field serviceability point of view: too large and/or heavy for a field engineer to transport. Furthermore, hardware/inventory cost is compounded by the need to have two of everything, namely two condensers and two evaporator/condensers. The invention described herein discloses a redundant scheme that (a) reduces cost by reducing the total number of components required and (b) modularizes the system in a way that that is conducive to field serviceability.

2

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    Figure 3 illustrates the proposed modular arrangement of a r...