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Air-to-water Heat Exchanger With Water-leak Detection and Condensate Management

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022461D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The higher heat loads in high-performance mainframes are forcing the use of recirculating air, well below the dew point in the computer room. When water is brought into a mainframe computer to cool the recirculationg air, utmost care is required to ensure that the water does not leak and flood the electronic enclosure. In addition, the water condensed on the heat exchanger has to be properly disposed off with the minimal inconvience to the customer. This invention teaches a means of reducing the water leak incidents and a means of reducing the extent of water condensation on the air-to-water heat exchanger.

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Air-to-water Heat Exchanger With Water -leak Detection and Condensate Management

Cold water from a source outside the electronic enclosure is flowed through an air-to-water heat exchanger inside the electronics enclosure to cool the air inside the enclosure. The invention provides a scheme for insulating the inlet and outlet manifolds of the air-to-water heat exchanger to prevent condensation on the manifolds. Water leak detection is achieved by embedding two parallel wires in the insulation and measuring the electrical resistance between the wires. Condensate is managed by collecting it in a drip pan and draining it to an evaporator outside the electronic enclosure.

    Electronic hardware can be air cooled by air recirculating in a sealed enclosure. The recirculating air can be cooled by air-to-water heat exchanger that uses cold water from a source outside the enclosure. This invention pertains to the situation when the cold water flowing into the heat exchanger is well below the dew point of room air.

    Air to water heat exchangers have two manifolds: the inlet manifold and the outlet manifold. Water flows from the inlet manifold into parallel tubes embedded in very closely spaced metal fins. The water flowing in the parallel tubes is collected in the outlet manifold and returned to the water source outside the electronic enclosure. It has been our experience that water condenses mostly on the water manifold side downstream of the air flow. And it has been our experience that there is no water condensate apparent on the metal fins and the tubes inside them. In other words, the only condensation that we have to control is on the manifold do...