Electronic devices are commonly used in almost every commercial and residential sector. However, the one major issue with all high-power electronics is heat management. They release a lot of heat when used, and it is imperative to ensure that heat is transferred away from them to add durability.
Multiple cooling methods are used in association with these devices, and they help in heat dissipation, but these days the idea of using liquid cold plates has taken a toll on the electronics industry.
Liquid cold plates consist of a liquid coolant which can be water or any other fluid primarily used to cool electronic components. The plates are made using metals like copper or aluminum and have channels and fins that offer more surface area that helps transfer heat.
Liquid cold plates are used for electronics because they tend to provide a high level of heat dissipation and are compact; hence, they fit within the electronics very easily.
If you are interested in knowing about the applications of liquid cold plates and their advantages when used in association with different applications, you can go through this guide below:
II. Application 1: High-performance computing
Liquid cold plates are widely used in high-performance computing and help cool down the CPUs and GPUs. Cooling down these components through liquid plates is relatively simple, and the liquid coolant circulates through the cold plate, which is directly in contact with the components. This liquid coolant absorbs the heat released and moves it away from the components.
This method allows heat dissipation which is backed by multiple advantages. Compared to traditional air cooling, liquid cold plates offer a high level of thermal conductivity; hence, the heat absorption rate is higher for cold plates than for air.
Computing devices are densely packed, so air can't reach all areas and absorb the heat. The liquid coolant works in densely packed regions, removing the heat from every corner.
III. Application 2: Electric vehicle battery cooling
Electric vehicle batteries also comprise liquid cold plates, and the coolant in the plate absorbs all the heat within the cells and helps dissipate it to keep the batteries cool.
Using a liquid cold plate for electric vehicle batteries has many advantages. The major benefit of it is that compared to the traditional air cooling method, it absorbs heat more quickly. Hence, the performance of the battery increases.
Moreover, choosing liquid cooling also ensures that the temperature through the entire surface area of the battery is consistently maintained and cells are cooled down evenly. This aspect of liquid cooling even prolongs the life of the battery.
The battery of an electric vehicle has minimal space, which needs to be cooled down, and the air cooling method fails here because air needs more space than liquid. So, liquid coolant covers the entire area efficiently, keeping the batteries cool.
IV. Application 3: Data center cooling
The data center comprises multiple data servers, generating a lot of heat, which requires an effective cooling mechanism.
When a liquid coolant is used, it flows through the cold plates, and these liquid cold plates are mounted over the servers so that they can directly absorb all the heat. The coolant with the absorbed heat then moves to the heat exchanger, and here heat dissipation is carried out.
Compared to traditional cooling methods, liquid cooling is a better option because it is effective and hence can absorb more heat than air. On the other hand, it flows easily through all the spaces, and even if there are complex components in between, the liquid can pass through them too.
Liquid cold plates are even environmentally friendly, and these cooling systems tend to use less energy than air cooling methods which require more energy.
V. Application 4: Power electronics cooling
Power electronics like converters and inverters also need a mechanism to keep the heat away from them, and here the role of liquid cold plates is quite essential.
These power electronics are composed of a liquid cold plate as a direct contact. Hence, when the heat is produced, it is absorbed by the liquid coolant, which transfers it to the heat exchanger, and the heat is dissipated.
Choosing liquid cold plates compared to air cooling is reliable because it offers a uniform cooling mechanism. Hence, the durability and lifespan of the power electronics increase. On the other hand, multiple environmental factors like dirt, moisture, and dust even stay away from liquid cold plates, which does not happen in the air cooling methods.
The performance of the power electronics comprising liquid cold plates is also higher because it ensures that the temperature doesn't exceed even when they operate at a high power. Air cooling systems make noise, whereas the liquid cold plates carry out the cooling process in silence, and multiple industries need a silent cooling mechanism.
Liquid cooling systems offer flexibility with power electronics, and multiple configurations and designs can easily be compatible with these systems. Also, reduced thermal stress helps increase the power electronics' life and even reduce maintenance costs.
VI. Application 5: Aerospace and defense electronics cooling
Aerospace and defense electronics also produce heat, requiring timely cooling to ensure their effective performance. Air and liquid cooling both can be opted, but liquid cold plates are far more beneficial than air cooling.
The liquid coolant is present in the liquid cold plate, and it helps absorb the heat generated by radar systems or avionics; this coolant keeps circulating within the channels present in the plate, and this plate is mounted with the electronics to absorb their heat.
The coolant keeps on passing through the entire space and absorbs all the heat within itself, and after carrying it away from the components, it dissipates the heat either in the surroundings or there might be a secondary coolant present within the electronics. After dissipating the heat, the coolant returns to its actual place and repeats the same process.
The idea of choosing a liquid cold plate instead of air cooling in aerospace and defense electronics is better because these electronics are subjected to extreme temperature conditions. Hence, they need a very effective cooling method due to these environmental factors and liquid cold plates offer this.
Aerospace and defense electronics are usually critical in terms of security, so an extra layer of security is introduced by having a liquid cold plate, which helps protect it against threats.
Heat dissipation using liquid cold plates is higher than air cooling, which is very much needed for defense and aerospace applications as these electronics generate a lot of heat. These plates are compact; hence, when fixed and used for these electronics, they offer a compact structure and ensure their longer lifespan.
Liquid cold plates have multiple varieties and types, and every plate is suitable for a different application. Hence, it is important to select the right liquid cold plate to have the desired output.
It is imperative to ensure the protection of electronics against heat, and this can be done by choosing the right cold plate from the right manufacturer. If you are also looking for liquid cold plates to cater to your electronics, you can always get in touch with Kingkatech and get high-quality thermal solutions at affordable prices.
Reprinted from Kingka Tech - “Top 5 Applications of Liquid Cold Plates in Electronics Cooling”