News Column

Patent Issued for Targeted Liquid Cooling for a System

May 28, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Rinke, Jordan (Live Oak, TX), filed on March 23, 2011, was published online on May 13, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8724322 is Rackspace US, Inc. (San Antonio, TX).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Cooling in many computer systems such as a rack-mounted server system is by way of a fan bank housed in the front or rear of a chassis supporting the servers that pulls air across the servers via air flow channels between the servers. To provide additional specific cooling for certain components such as a central processing unit (CPU) or other critical component, a heat sink, which is typically a metal device including radiators or other structures, can be adapted directly to the component to aid in cooling. In addition, some system components such as a CPU or hard drive may have individual fans in close association to further aid in cooling.

"Other existing cooling methods including water-based cooling and immersion cooling. In water cooling, water flows through blocks that are adapted in place of heat sinks to withdraw heat via the water, which is then provided to an external radiator for cooling. Such water cooling is via a closed system because although water itself technically cannot conduct electricity, impurities in the water can cause electric conduction, such that great care must be taken to avoid contacting water on any electronic components. As a result, such water cooling can require very high maintenance because if a water leak occurs, the underlying equipment is destroyed.

"Another cooling technique is full immersion cooling, where an entire server is sunk into an oil bath. The problem with this cooling technique is that hard drives cannot be located in the bath, so the hard drives have to be located on top of the bath, or must be sealed in environment-resistant enclosures. In addition, an immersion cooling system can take thousands of gallons of oil to be effective, and an entire data center may need to be reconfigured to provide for such cooling."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "According to one aspect, the present invention is directed to a system having servers each configured on one or more circuit boards. Each server includes a processor adapted to a first side of the circuit board and a mass storage adapted to a second side of the circuit board. In addition, a liquid cooling system is present to provide a flow of coolant to be sprayed on the processor and the mass storage of each of the servers. In this way, cooling can be provided without the need for fan-based cooling, and without the need for auxiliary cooling mechanisms such as heat sinks or so forth. The system may include a recirculation system coupled to receive sprayed coolant collected at a collection terminal below the servers. The recirculation system can include a filter, a pump, a heat exchanger, and a return mechanism to return the coolant for further flow to target components.

"To provide for such liquid cooling, the servers can be implemented in a sled having interconnect slots for coupling of the circuit boards. In addition, conduits can be configured within the sled, each having at least one outlet adjacent to a corresponding processor and/or mass storage. In one embodiment, the coolant can be mineral oil, which can be sprayed directly on the processor and/or a spindle of the mass storage.

"Another aspect is directed to a system including one or more racks including servers each implemented on a circuit board, where each server includes a processor, a memory, and a disk storage device. In addition, the system includes conduits adapted about the servers to carry a flow of liquid coolant. Each of the conduits has at least one outlet to spray the liquid coolant onto a target component of a corresponding circuit board to provide cooling to the target component. Each outlet of the conduits includes at least one nozzle to direct the liquid coolant to the target component, which can be one of a processor, disk storage device, or other such component. Using such a system, the servers can be cooled without active air cooling.

"Another aspect of the present invention is directed to a method that includes providing a flow of liquid coolant through conduits positioned within a server system, and spraying the liquid coolant via at least one outlet mechanism of each of the conduits. The outlet mechanisms are adapted to be placed in close proximity to a corresponding target component of one of the servers, to cool the target component."

For additional information on this patent, see: Rinke, Jordan. Targeted Liquid Cooling for a System. U.S. Patent Number 8724322, filed March 23, 2011, and published online on May 13, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Rackspace US Inc.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly

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