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Air-to-Water Heat Exchanger With Reduced Condensation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022460D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-16
Document File: 4 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Water cooling of computer hardware is making a comeback. One way to water cool computer hardware is to recirculate cool air in the electronic enclosure. The recirculating air is cooled by a water-to-air heat exchanger that is fed cold water from outside the enclosure. But cold water causes condensation and water dripping problems. This invention teaches a means of avoiding the problem of moisture condensation and dripping.

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Air-to-Water Heat Exchanger With Reduced Condensation

The invention rearranges the heat exchanger manifolds so that both the inlet and the outlet manifolds are at the air inlet end of the heat exchanger where the air is hot and will therefore not cool down enough to condense moisture on the manifolds. The only other place where the moisture can condense is at the downstream end U-bends in the heat exchanger. The U-bends can be insulated to eliminate all locations where moisture can condense and drip. Present state of the art is to insulate the manifolds. That is costly. This invention achieves a condensation free design by simple rearrangement of manifolds and insulating the heat exchanger U bends. Electronics cooled by air flowing through finned heat sinks requires that the cooling air be cold. Also, we don't want to dump the warmed air back into the computer room and thus increase the heat load on the room airconditioners. IBM is designing computers with air-tight electronic enclosures and cooling the air recirculating in the enclosures by an air-to-water heat exchanger. The cooling water will be provided by a source external to the electronic enclosure. The air-to-water heat exchanger will typically be in an enclosure, called the side car, attached to the electronic enclosure. Blowers in the electonic enclosure will blow warm air in to the side car. The air exiting the side car and entering the electronic enclosure will have been cooled by the air-to-water heat exchanger in the sidecar. The figure below shows the horizontal cross section of a present state of the art side car. The water manifolds are vertical and are connected by the horizontal tubes in the fins. The air entering the side car is...