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Browse Prior Art Database

Phase-change Thermal Pack for Portable Computing Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000116336D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mehta, A: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is the use of a replaceable thermal pack containing a material changing phase from a solid state to a liquid state to control the temperature of one or more heat-generating components within a computing system. This method is particularly useful in controlling a temperature within a laptop computer, where the use of forced-air cooling is particularly undesirable because of the power required to drive a fan.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

Phase-change Thermal Pack for Portable Computing Systems

      Disclosed is the use of a replaceable thermal pack containing a
material changing phase from a solid state to a liquid state to
control the temperature of one or more heat-generating components
within a computing system.  This method is particularly useful in
controlling a temperature within a laptop computer, where the use of
forced-air cooling is particularly undesirable because of the power
required to drive a fan.

      Figs. 1-3 are fragmentary cross-sectional elevations showing
the application of this method.  Fig. 1 shows a thermal pack 1 being
placed directly against a heat-generating module 2; Fig. 2 shows a
thermally-conductive heat spreader 3 placed between the thermal pack
1 and the module 2; and Fig. 3 shows a clamping heat spreader 4
extending along the surface of the module 2 and mostly around the
thermal pack 1.  In each case, module 2 extends outward through a
slot 5 in a cover 6, providing for the easy replacement of the module
by the user.

      The material filling thermal pack 1 may be a wax, a solder, or
any material in a solid state at room temperature, having a melting
point close to the desired operating temperature of the module 2
which is to be cooled.  For a typical microprocessor, this
temperature is about 70-100 degrees C (Celsius).  When the computing
system is turned on, module 2 begins to generate heat, starting the
process of melting the material within therma...