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How Do Liquid Cold Plates Work?

Technology is advancing rapidly. Good thermal management is critical. About 55% of electronic failures are due to poor thermal management. Trumonytechs makes Liquid Cold Plates. They are important in industries like aerospace, automotive, and electronics. These devices use a liquid to transfer heat away from critical electronic parts. This improves performance and extends the device’s life. Our expertise in developing customized cooling solutions allows us to meet the specific needs of our customers, ensuring that high-powered electronic equipment operates within a safe temperature range. This presentation will explore the abilities of liquid cooling panels. It will also explain why they are becoming more important. They are key for managing the heat of modern electronics.

HOW DO LIQUID COLD PLATES WORK-water cooling plates

Table of Contents

What is a Liquid Cold Plate?

Cold plates hold a key role in advanced cooling systems. These systems manage the heat made by electronic devices and power electronics. The core idea is to promote heat transfer from hot parts to the coolant. The coolant then removes the heat and spreads it. This approach works well for applications. In these cases, air cooling is impossible due to space, weight, or performance limits.

The construction of a liquid-cooled panel involves several key components:

Base material: Usually made of a high thermal conductivity metal such as aluminium or copper. These materials are chosen for their ability to absorb and transfer heat quickly.

Tubes: These are embedded in the plate and form channels for the coolant. They can be made from many materials. These include stainless steel or flexible polymers. The choice depends on the thermal needs and chemical compatibility of the application.

Coolant: Picking the right fluid is critical. It varies based on conductivity and other properties. Common fluids include water and glycol-water solutions. There are even more specific fluids, such as dielectric coolants. These are for applications needing electrical insulation.

The effectiveness of a liquid cold plate depends on the tight fit of these parts. They form a loop where the coolant absorbs heat from the electronics, is pumped to a heat exchanger, and then returns to the cold plate. This flow is continuous. It keeps components at best temperatures. This improves their performance and longevity.

liquid cold plates manage heat well. They are important in many technical applications. They ensure that systems run smoothly and reliably, even in tough conditions.

How Do Liquid Cold Plates Work-water cooling plates

How Do Liquid Cold Plates Work?

Liquid cold plates are high-tech heat sinks. They move heat from electronics to a coolant. The coolant then carries the heat away, preventing overheating and damage. A liquid cold plate’s effectiveness depends on its heat conduction ability and the efficiency of the coolant’s path.

Heat Absorption Process

The process begins with the electronic component generating heat during operation. The heat is conducted from the component into the base material of the cold plate. The plate is typically made of highly conductive metals, like aluminum or copper. The base material acts as a heat spreader. It distributes the heat more evenly across the surface of the cold plate.

Embedded within the cold plate are channels or tubes through which the cooling fluid flows. The coolant absorbs the heat from the hot spots. This cools the base material and the attached electronics. The heated coolant is then pumped out of the cold plate to a heat exchanger. There, it releases the absorbed heat before returning to the cold plate to continue the cooling cycle. This circulation is often facilitated by a pump that ensures a constant flow of coolant through the system.

Thermal Conductivity and Performance

The cold plate’s material’s thermal conductivity is crucial. Higher conductivity means better heat transfer to the coolant. This is why materials like copper have a thermal conductivity of up to 401 W/mK. They are preferred for applications needing high cooling performance. But, aluminum is more commonly used due to its lower cost and lighter weight.

Types of Cold Plates

Machined Cold Plates – These are made from a single piece of metal that has been machined to create channels for coolant flow. They are used in applications with complex flow paths. They can be customized for specific cooling needs.

Brazed Cold Plates – Featuring a more robust construction, brazed cold plates have channels that are formed by brazing metal together. This method is for high pressure and temperature. It has great reliability and heat performance.

Each type of cold plate serves different industrial applications. They serve aerospace electronics, where weight is critical, and high-performance computing, where cooling is key. Choosing the right cold plate lets manufacturers optimize thermal management. They can tailor it to their specific needs.

Design and Customization of Cold Plates

Customizing liquid cold plates is critical. It tailors cooling to meet the specific needs of many applications. These range from consumer electronics to large industrial systems. The design process starts with understanding the cooling needs of the component or system. This requires creating a thermal map.

Thermal Mapping and Circuit Configuration

A thermal map is a detailed analysis. It identifies the hot spots and heat distribution across the device. This map guides the engineering of the cold plate, particularly in terms of the layout and geometry of the cooling channels. The configuration of these liquid circuits is crucial as it determines the efficiency of the heat transfer. The path, flow rate, and turbulence of the coolant are optimized. This maximizes cooling while minimizing pressure drops and energy use.

Material Selection

Choosing the right material for a cold plate is pivotal in the design process. The two most common materials are:

Aluminum: People prefer aluminum for its light weight and great thermal conductivity. It is cheap and cools well for most uses. Its ease of manufacturing also allows for more complex channel geometries.

Copper: They are chosen for applications needing superior thermal conductivity. Copper cold plates are perfect for high-heat-flux environments. However, copper is heavier and more expensive than aluminum. This makes it less suitable for weight-critical applications.

Design Considerations

In addition to material selection, the design of flow paths and circuit complexity are vital considerations. The cold plate must balance efficient cooling with mechanical and structural integrity. Flow paths need to be designed to ensure even distribution of coolant across all critical areas to avoid hot spots. Also, the circuit’s complexity can affect both performance and manufacturability. More complex designs generally cool better but cost more to make.

Liquid cold plates can be carefully designed and customized. They can be adapted to meet any application’s cooling needs. This ensures the best performance and reliability. This tailored approach helps manufacturers. They use it to overcome diverse thermal challenges. These challenges are found in many sectors.

Applications of Liquid Cold Plates

Cold liquid plates are key to thermal management. They are used in high-stakes industries. In these fields, good heat dissipation is crucial for performance and safety. Their ability to manage heat effectively makes them indispensable in several key sectors:

High-Performance Computing: Liquid cold plates are vital in high-performance computing. This includes data centers and supercomputers. These systems generate significant amounts of heat due to high computational workloads. Liquid cold plates cool CPUs, GPUs, and other key components. They maintain optimal temperatures and boost energy efficiency. This cooling method is very helpful. It allows for more compact and dense server designs. They won’t overheat.

Electric Vehicles (EVs): The electric vehicle industry is adopting liquid cold plates. This is driven by the need to cool batteries, power electronics, and motors well. Good thermal management extends battery life. It also makes EVs safer and better. Cold plates in these applications are usually designed to handle the higher cooling demands of fast-charging sessions and long high-power operation. These demands are critical to the commercial success and user acceptance of electric vehicles.

Aerospace and Aviation: Aerospace applications demand reliable and efficient cooling. This is due to the sensitive nature of the involved equipment. Liquid cold plates are used in satellites, aircraft, and other aerospace equipment. They dissipate the heat made by onboard electronics and avionics. These applications benefit from the cold plates. They can operate under varying gravity and manage the heat of space equipment well.

Medical Equipment: In medical technology, liquid cold plates are crucial. They are used in equipment such as MRI machines and laser treatment devices. These applications require precise temperature control to ensure accurate readings and effective treatments. Using liquid cold plates helps maintain the needed precision. They do this by providing consistent cooling to critical parts.

Choosing the Right Coolant

Choosing the right coolant is a critical decision. It affects the efficiency and reliability of the cooling system in liquid cold plates. Coolants vary widely in their thermal properties. They also vary in how well they work with system components. This makes the choice pivotal for thermal management.

Types of Coolants

Water: Water is often chosen for its high thermal conductivity and heat capacity. It is an excellent coolant for many applications. However, its use is limited by its freezing point and potential for corrosion. It needs additives or a mix in many cases.

Glycol Solutions: These situations often need lower freezing points. So, solutions like ethylene glycol or propylene glycol mixed with water are common. These mixtures also prevent corrosion. They can operate at a wider range of temperatures, but they usually have lower thermal conductivity than pure water.

Factors to Consider

Thermal Properties: The coolant’s ability to absorb and transfer heat is paramount. This includes thermal conductivity and heat capacity. They determine how well the coolant can take up and carry away heat.

Environmental Conditions: The operating environment’s temperature extremes influence coolant selection. For example, in cold places, a coolant with a lower freezing point is needed. It prevents system damage.

System Compatibility: The coolant must be compatible with the tubing and pump. It must not degrade or leak. Also, we need to consider the coolant’s electrical conductivity. This is especially important in applications with sensitive electronics.

Case Studies

Trumonytechs, as a pioneering manufacturer of liquid cold plates, has been at the forefront of this revolution. Our tailored solutions cater to many uses. They range from electric vehicles to high-demand data centers. They ensure the best performance and efficiency. The examples below will show how our new approaches have solved hard thermal challenges. They brought big benefits to our clients and proved our leadership.

Electric Vehicles (EVs): Trumonytechs played a key role. They revolutionized the cooling systems for a top electric vehicle maker. Our team designed and made a custom liquid cold plate. It worked well with the battery packs used during high-demand operations, such as fast charging. This system had advanced microchannel technology. It greatly improved heat transfer. This led to a 40% boost in cooling efficiency compared to air-cooled solutions. The impact was big. It improved battery life and enabled faster charging. This is important in the competitive EV market.

Data Centers:In another application, Trumonytechs helped optimize the thermal management of a major data center. The center is operated by a famous cloud service provider. We developed a custom liquid cold plate system. It cools high-performance servers directly. This system addresses the problem of heat buildup due to continuous high-load processing. This solution cut cooling energy needs by 25%. It let the server arrangement be denser and the capacity be bigger without expanding the footprint. This strategic enhancement improved the data center’s efficiency. It also bolstered its sustainability credentials.

Conclusion

This article has covered the pivotal role of liquid cold plates in modern technology. We’ve focused on their importance in high-performance computing, electric vehicles, and other critical industries. They manage heat well. They have good thermal conductivity and well-designed flow paths. These traits boost the performance and longevity of electronic parts.

At Trumonytechs, we pride ourselves on our expertise in designing and making cutting-edge liquid cold plates. They are tailored to meet our client’s specific needs. We invite you to contact us. We can discuss how our new cooling tech can improve your apps’ efficiency and reliability.