GammaPC - Spray Cooling
Spray Cooling Technology
Currently, GammaPC is not engaged in spray cooling technology. We leave this page here in celebration of past accomplishments, having achieved a world record heat flux of 825 watts per centimeter squared (W/cm2) for any electron device. In this event, we used an IGBT, pushing more than 200 amperes of current through the device. More...
Spray cooling is one of the most advanced technological forms of cooling high-powered electronics in use today. The principle of spray cooling has its root in thermodynamics and the physics phase change energies of liquids.
To heat one gram of water by one degree (C) requires one calorie of energy. But to convert one gram of water from liquid to vapor requires 540 calories of energy. When liquid water is used to cool high-powered electronics systems, typically it goes through a 1-3 degree (C) rise in temperature, thus carrying away 1 -3 calories of heat per gram of water passed through the cooling system. Spray cooling has the potential to carry away 540 times that amount of heat.
In spray cooling, water is mixed with compressed air to create a fine mist, which strikes a heated surface and immediately vaporizes, thereby collecting large amounts of heat from the surface and cooling it. The compressed air carries away the heat into a condenser or to an outlet that can be exhausted into open air (or into a water drain).
In closed systems, the temperature difference from ambient is much larger, so that cooling systems can be significantly smaller. The exhaust from a spray cooled system is typically near 100C, an 80C difference from ambient (20C). In water cooled systems, the exhaust may only be 2-3 degrees above ambient, making the cooling radiator system much larger. Moreover, the mass flow rate in a spray-cooled system is much lower (as much a 200 times lower) than water cooled systems.
In the past, we were engaged in advanced, leading-edge research in spray cooling technology, looking into new applications and developing solutions to modern problems. Spray cooling promises a host of solutions to many modern-day technological problems.
In the future, spray cooling may find an application to hybrid vehicles. New hybrid automobiles use high-powered electronics such as IGBTs and MOSFETs to transfer power between the batteries, the generator and the electric drive motor. Present cooling systems in these vehicles are large, bulky and heavy, and put an additional load on the automotive radiator system, requiring more energy to be expended, with lower overall efficiency. Spray cooling can help to make hybrid vehicles lighter, smaller, more efficient and more economical.