Posts Tagged ‘Green’

The fanless spinning heatsink: more efficient and immune to dust

12 Jul

There’s a fundamental flaw with fan-and-heatsink cooling systems: no matter how hard the fan blows, a boundary layer of motionless, highly-insulating air remains on the heatsink. You can increase the size of the heatsink and you can blow more air, but ultimately the boundary layer prevents the system from being efficient; it’s simply a physical limitation of fan-and-heatsink cooling systems in specific, and every kind of air-cooled heat exchanger in general, including air conditioning and refrigeration units.

But what if you did away with the fan? What if the heatsink itself rotated? Well, believe it or not, rotating the heat exchanger obliterates the boundary layer, removes the need for a fan, and it’s so efficient that it can operate at low and very quiet speeds. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger [PDF]. Developed by Jeff Koplow, a researcher at the US government’s Sandia National Laboratories, the new heatsink (which has also been dubbed the “Sandia Cooler”) basically resembles a big, metal fan. The cooler consists of a static metal baseplate, which is connected to the CPU, GPU, or other hot object, and a finned, rotating heat exchanger that are cushioned by a thin (0.001-inch) layer of air. As the metal blades spin, centrifugal force kicks up the air and throws it up and outwards, much like an impeller, creating a cooling effect.

rotating heat exchangerThis new technique is so efficient that if these heat exchangers can find widespread adoption in computers and air conditioning units, Koplow estimates that the total US electricity consumption could drop by 7%. Furthermore, if you’re a computer geek, there’s another big advantage of the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger: it’s intrinsically immune to the build up of dust and detritus. The Sandia Cooler may also be the technology that smashes down the “Thermal Brick Wall” that is preventing computer chips from moving beyond 3GHz.

So when can you get your hands on one? Koplow is now working on a design that can be mass-produced — and hopefully he’ll soon be able to bring this awesome piece of technology to market.

Read more at New Scientist or read the research paper


2010 will be remembered as the year the Arctic Ocean became a trade route [Environment]

02 Sep
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union built nuclear-powered ice-breakers, hoping to open a shipping route through the Arctic. They needn't have bothered — there's no ice left now in the summer, opening the fabled Northeast Passage to shipping. More »

Morgan Solar Technology Saves Costs

09 Sep
Morgan Solar Technology Saves Costs

Morgan Solar touts that their new technology is able to reduce costs by up to 75% when compared to traditional concentrating-solar solutions. Pretty bold claim - read on below to know how it functions.

Unlike current concentrating-solar designs which use lenses or reflectors to direct the sunlight onto solar cells, Morgan Solar’s uses what it is calling a “Light-guide Solar Optic” made of acrylic which concentrates sunlight 750 times onto multilayered solar cells at the edge of the plastic. The company says that their system eliminates the bulkiness of traditional CPV systems, is extremely low cost, uses no toxic materials and is 100% recyclable. Two triangular optics are put together in a package about the size and shape of a CD case, each drawing light to one corner of the concentrator. A panel will consist of 80 to 100 of these CD-case-like arrangements. By guiding light to the edge – not the bottom – of a panel, the concentrator releases heat instead of trapping it and doesn't overheat.

Well, I'm in full support of such advancements in green technology - hopefully Morgan Solar gets these out of the door ASAP.

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