News Column

Patent Application Titled "Separate Control of Coolant Flow through Coolant Circuits" Published Online

May 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors CAMPBELL, Levi A. (Poughkeepsie, NY); CHU, Richard C. (Hopewell Junction, NY); DAVID, Milnes P. (Fishkill, NY); ELLSWORTH, JR., Michael J. (Lagrangeville, NY); IYENGAR, Madhusudan K. (Foster City, CA); SCHMIDT, Roger R. (Poughkeepsie, NY); SIMONS, Robert E. (Poughkeepsie, NY), filed on March 1, 2013, was made available online on May 15, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is International Business Machines Corporation.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As is known, operating electronic components, such as electronic devices, produce heat. This heat should be removed from the devices in order to maintain device junction temperatures within desirable limits, with failure to remove heat effectively resulting in increased device temperatures, and potentially leading to thermal runaway conditions. Several trends in the electronics industry have combined to increase the importance of thermal management, including heat removal for electronic devices, including technologies where thermal management has traditionally been less of a concern, such as CMOS. In particular, the need for faster and more densely packed circuits has had a direct impact on the importance of thermal management. For example, power dissipation, and therefore heat production, increases as device operating frequencies increase. Also, increased operating frequencies may be possible at lower device junction temperatures. Further, as more and more devices are packed onto a single chip, heat flux (Watts/cm.sup.2) increases, resulting in the need to remove more power from a given size chip or module. These trends have combined to create applications where it is no longer desirable to remove heat from modern devices, and electronic system containing such devices, solely by traditional air cooling methods, such as by using air cooled heat sinks with heat pipes or vapor chambers. Such air cooling techniques are inherently limited in their ability to extract heat from electronic components with moderate to high power density. Liquid-cooling of one or more electronic components may be beneficially employed in combination with, or even as a replacement to, conventional air-cooling of components."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A number of issues may arise with a liquid-cooling electronics approach. For instance, different electronic systems or racks of a data center may dissipate different, time-varying amounts of heat.

"In one aspect, the shortcomings of the prior art are overcome and additional advantages are provided through the provision of a method which includes: automatically determining a heat load transferred to coolant flowing through a coolant circuit facilitating cooling of an electronic system; and automatically controlling coolant flow through the coolant circuit based on the determined heat load transferred to the coolant.

"In another aspect, a method is provided which includes: automatically controlling coolant flow to a plurality of coolant circuits facilitating cooling of a plurality of respective electronic systems. The automatically controlling includes for a cooling circuit i of the plurality of cooling circuits facilitating cooling an electronic system i of the plurality of electronic systems: automatically determining a heat load transferred to coolant flowing through cooling circuit i; and automatically controlling coolant flow through the coolant circuit i based on the determined heat load transferred to the coolant.

"Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present invention. Other embodiments and aspects of the invention are described in detail herein and are considered a part of the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

"One or more aspects of the present invention are particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed as examples in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

"FIG. 1. depicts one embodiment of a conventional raised floor layout of an air-cooled data center;

"FIG. 2 depicts one embodiment of a coolant distribution unit facilitating liquid-cooling of electronics racks of a data center, in accordance with one or more aspects of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a plan view of one embodiment of an electronic subsystem (or node) layout, illustrating an air and liquid-cooling apparatus for cooling components of the electronic subsystem, in accordance with one or more aspects of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic of one embodiment of a data center comprising a plurality of electronic systems or racks cooled, at least in part, by coolant flowing through separate coolant circuits, the coolant being provided by a coolant distribution system, in accordance with one or more aspects of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 depicts one embodiment of a control process for controlling coolant flow through multiple coolant circuits facilitating cooling of multiple electronic systems or racks, in accordance with one or more aspects of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a graph of volumetric flow rate verses pressure differential for multiple regulation positions of a proportional valve controlling, at least in part, coolant flow to a respective coolant circuit of a cooling system, in accordance with one or more aspects of the present invention; and

"FIG. 7 depicts one embodiment of a computer program product incorporating one or more aspects of the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: CAMPBELL, Levi A.; CHU, Richard C.; DAVID, Milnes P.; ELLSWORTH, JR., Michael J.; IYENGAR, Madhusudan K.; SCHMIDT, Roger R.; SIMONS, Robert E. Separate Control of Coolant Flow through Coolant Circuits. Filed March 1, 2013 and posted May 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4072&p=82&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140508.PD.&OS=PD/20140508&RS=PD/20140508

Keywords for this news article include: Electronic Components, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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