Sandia’s “Cooler” technology offers fundamental breakthrough in heat transfer for microelectronics, other cooling applications

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Sandia National Laboratories has developed the  “Sandia Cooler,” also known as the “Air Bearing Heat Exchanger,” a novel, proprietary air-cooling invention. The new technology has the potential to dramatically alter the air-cooling landscape in computing and microelectronics .
The Sandia cooler or the air bearing heat exchanger, was developed by Sandia researcher Jeff Koplow, who was recently selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to take part in the NAE’s 17th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Koplow said the Sandia Cooler technology, which is patent-pending, will significantly reduce the energy needed to cool the processor chips in data centers and large-scale computing environments. The yearly electricity bill paid by the information technology sector in the U.S. is currently on the order of seven billion dollars and continues to grow.

In a conventional CPU cooler, the heat transfer bottleneck is the boundary layer of “dead air” that clings to the cooling fins. With the Sandia Cooler, heat is efficiently transferred across a narrow air gap from a stationary base to a rotating structure. The normally stagnant boundary layer of air enveloping the cooling fins is subjected to a powerful centrifugal pumping effect, causing the boundary layer thickness to be reduced to ten times thinner than normal. This reduction enables a dramatic improvement in cooling performance within a much smaller package.

Additionally, the high speed rotation of the heat exchanger fins minimizes the problem of heat exchanger fouling. The way the redesigned cooling fins slice through the air greatly improves aerodynamic efficiency, which translates to extremely quiet operation. The Sandia Cooler’s benefits have been verified by lab researchers on a proof-of-concept prototype approximately sized to cool computer CPUs. The technology, Koplow said, also shows great potential for personal computer applications.

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I have only one word: superb!

I have only one word: superb! Thank you for providing us an update about this. This will be beneficial to all consumers and even if they take out installment loans for this, it will be worth it. This is a way of providing better service.

Does this have any bearing on

Does this have any bearing on the advancement of computing beyond electrical savings?


Can this technology be applied to room cooling?