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Dynamic heat driven cooling pump system for Computers Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241161D
Publication Date: 2015-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 138K

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This disclosure can be used to reclaim energy loss in places where unwanted/wasted heat is produced, such as the chip itself, power supplies, regulators etc, and convert that heat into mechanical energy with the aid of a temperature differential. This can be used to pump liquid coolant such as water to result in better and quieter cooling compared to traditional air cooled systems. This disclosure is based on the operation of a Stirling Engine.

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Dynamic heat driven cooling pump system for Computers

Today's computer systems have tightly packed ICs, Hard Drives, Memory etc that have permissible operating temperature limits. Computer components generate heat and are susceptible to damage from overheating. Over heating results in reduced lifespan and possibly permanent damage to the component. The generated excess wasted heat needs to be eliminated for disruption free Server/ data center operation. Various cooling systems are in use today. Cooling costs account for a significant portion of the energy consumption of a typical data center. Hardware typically accounts for a quarter of the total cost of ownership of a Server. The rest of the cost of managing Servers revolves around power and cooling, maintenance, upgrades etc. Minimizing Power and cooling costs results in a significant impact to the Total Cost of Ownership of a Server. 'Smart' cooling technology trends today include forced air, liquid cooling, recycled water etc. But most current technologies still employ cooling devices which use electricity and add to the power burden. Liquid cooling provides a means in which thermal resistance can be reduced dramatically compared to air cooling. The proposed disclosure is a cost effective thermal solution to this energy consumption shortcoming The proposed cooling system uses an embodiment of the Stirling Heat Engine as a means to drive a dynamically controlled liquid cooling system as a pump to replace or assist in the cooling of semiconductor chips. The design may use the wasted heat of the chip(s) being cooled as feedback to dynamically control the speed of the pump

Previous articles have shown the feasibility of using a Stirling Engine to air cool a computer chip heat sink in operation.

A Stirling Engine is a heat engine that uses an external heat source or sink to achieve a temperature differential in order to generate mechanical movement. It operates by cyclic compression and expansion of a gas at different temperature levels and satisfies Carnot's cycle criteria for thermal engine operation. Various embodiments of this engine exist in the industry today. In this disclosure, the heat source powering the Stirling Engine is a part of the system that typically generates heat in the Server. Usually, the heat from these sources burdens the cooling system and increase the cost of cooling. Here, the heat energy is harvested to power the Stirling Engine which in turn becomes part of the cooling system thus reducing costs and power burden. The Stirling Engine can be used to drive a coolant pump to directly or indirectly cool the chip or array of chips.

In the direct cooling technique, the chip is immersed into a cooling liquid. A closed loop system is realized. In the indirect cooling technique, micro-channels can be placed on the chip for indi...