Curtin scientists claim systems cooling breakthrough

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Curtin scientists claim systems cooling breakthrough

Faster machines on the horizon.

A team of researchers at Perth's Curtin University of Technology have developed a new method of providing efficient cooling for electronic components and circuitry that may enable faster and more powerful computers.

Essentially, electronic cooling requires some kind of fluid to flow through a heated surface, carrying the heat away from that surface in order to keep the temperature of the heated object below a certain critical limit.

Curtin's research team, led by the university's head of mechanical engineering, Associate Professor Tilak Chandratilleke, has developed a method of creating a jet without having additional fluid circuits - a periodic fluctuating jet rather than a continuous flowing jet.

An oscillating diaphragm keeps injecting a pulsing jet onto the fluid stream, giving a much better heat transfer.

Known as a synthetic jet, or pulse jet, it increases the heat transfer in the channel by up to four and a half times, a necessary step in the development of faster computer processors and more powerful electronic devices.

Professor Chandratilleke told iTnews that the capacity for heat removal has not changed in recent years "while the demand for heat removal has increased tremendously". 

"The previous methods used are not efficient enough to remove this heat now," he said.

"This combination, which we refer to as a hybrid system, is much more effective in that sense, and the biggest advantage is that this technique does not require additional fluid circuits to create the jet," he said.

The Professor and his team are almost three years into the project and are currently working on a prototype that will validate their findings in a lab environment.

"It is definitely a promising arrangement and we see fantastic potential in it," he said.

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