|Publication number||US20050061013 A1|
|Application number||US 10/937,017|
|Publication date||Mar 24, 2005|
|Filing date||Sep 9, 2004|
|Priority date||Sep 10, 2003|
|Publication number||10937017, 937017, US 2005/0061013 A1, US 2005/061013 A1, US 20050061013 A1, US 20050061013A1, US 2005061013 A1, US 2005061013A1, US-A1-20050061013, US-A1-2005061013, US2005/0061013A1, US2005/061013A1, US20050061013 A1, US20050061013A1, US2005061013 A1, US2005061013A1|
|Original Assignee||Bond Richard C.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (31), Classifications (13), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims benefit of the filing date of Provisional Application No. 60/501,906, filed Sep. 10, 2003, and entitled Cooling System For Electronic Equipment.
This invention relates to devices, such as computers, that in use generate unwanted heat making it necessary to cool the devices. More particularly, it relates to a method and apparatus for providing cool ambient air directly in front of the devices that need to be cooled.
Computers are sometimes cooled by cooling the air in the room in which the computers are located. When air is used as the cooling medium, variations in airflow occur, particularly when the heat density rises in a region of the equipment room, or when the absolute heat load approaches the maximum load that the air can handle. In an effort to solve resulting problems, systems have been made in which the devices that heat up are placed inside of a closure and the air inside the enclosure is cooled. These systems have been found to be inadequate when the heat density is above about 8 Kw. None of the existing systems are able to effectively operate in an environment in which the heat density is between about 20 to about 40 Kw. Yet, manufactures are starting to make computer equipment in which that much power exists in the system. Currently, when the heat density is high, the systems are provided with greater floor space and larger air handlers and chillers. This approach has led to the creation of “hot spots” in the equipment. The known systems fail when the power level raises to about 400 watts per square foot, or when the cooling requirements vary substantially in a given space.
When airflow in a single rack approaches about 3,000 cubic feet per minute, and an aisle of about 20 racks approaches 52,000 cubic feet per minute, the conventional systems cannot handle the airflow in a computer room of conventional size. The use of larger rooms is expensive and they are still subject to the airflow problems that are created. These problems include the creation of “hot spots” which are regions in the room that are not sufficiently cooled and in which the devices that generate the heat are adversely affected by the heat. There is a need for a cooling system that avoids the problems of the prior art systems and which eliminates the “hot spots”. A principal object of the present invention is to fulfill this need.
The present invention provides an ambient air cooler for use to cool an enclosed space cabinet that contains at least one device that in use generates heat. The enclosed space has an ambient air inlet, an outlet and a device for moving ambient air through the space from the inlet to the outlet. The cooler has an inlet for ambient air, an inner space, an outlet from the inner space, and a device in the inner space that is adapted for removing heat from the ambient air as the ambient air passes through the inner space from the inlet to the outlet. The cooler is adapted to be positioned with its outlet in register with the ambient air inlet for the enclosed space. As a result, the ambient air that is moved through the enclosed space is ambient air that has been cooled by the cooler. The cooler is adapted to remove heat from the ambient air in an amount sufficient that while in the enclosed space the cooled ambient air will remove a desired amount of the heat that it generated by the device in the enclosed space.
In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a cooler is connected to an enclosed space or cabinet substantially immediately in front of the device that generates heat during use. The cooler is preferably a unit that is on wheels so that can be rolled towards and away from the inlet of the enclosed space.
In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the enclosed space has a plurality of compartments and each compartment contains at least one device that in use generates heat. Each compartment has an ambient air inlet, an outlet and an air mover for moving ambient air through the compartment from the inlet of the compartment to the outlet of the compartment. By way of example, the air mover can be a fan or pump positioned in the compartment and adapted for moving the air from the inlet to the outlet of the compartment. In this embodiment, the air cooler is smaller than the entire enclosed space. It has an inlet, an inner space, an outlet and a device in the inner space that is adapted for removing heat from the ambient air as the ambient air passes through the inner space from the inlet to the outlet. This cooler is adapted to be positioned with its outlet in register with the ambient air inlet for at least one compartment of the enclosed space. The ambient air that is moved through the at least one compartment of the enclosed space is ambient air that has been cooled by the cooler. The coolers used with compartments in which substantial heat is generated can be provided with a greater cooling capacity than the coolers associated with other compartments in which less heat is generated. By placing the cooler immediately in front of the compartment which requires the most cooling, “hot spots” in the room are avoided. Also, extreme density cooling (about 20 about 50 Kw. per rack or compartment, or more) may be efficiently and effectively performed.
In the system in which the cooler is sized to cool fewer than all of the compartments in the enclosed space, the cooler may be connected to the housing structure that defines the compartment in the enclosed space. The cooler may be connected to the housing in a variety of ways, including by a hinged connection between the cooler and the housing. Suitable seals may be provided where the outlet of the cooler mates with the inlet of the housing in which the device to be cooled is located.
The method and apparatus of the invention can be applied to any environment which includes equipment that needs to be cooled, but it is particularly suited for cooling electrical and electronic devices in hot environments, or where a uniformly cold environment is not possible or desirable. The cooled air is supplied at the required temperature and it is released into the room in which the enclosed space is located so that it can be recirculated through the cooler and reused. Uniform distribution of the cooling air is accomplished without the creation of “hot spots” and separate air moving equipment is not necessary. Each computer or other device that needs to be cooled has its own fan, or the like, for moving air into and through it, from its inlet to its outlet. Additional fans can be used to boost airflow, but the system does not require additional fans when the equipment to be cooled is adapted itself to provide airflow through it.
Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the description of the Best Mode set forth below, from the drawings, from the claim and from the principles that are embodied in the specific structures that are illustrated and described.
Like reference numerals are used to designate like parts throughout the several views of the drawing, and:
A cooler 22 is provided for cooling ambient air at a location immediately forwardly of the inlet 14. Any device that can cool a fluid can be used forwardly of the inlet 14. In the embodiments shown by
When the cooler 22 is positioned immediately in front of the enclosed space 10, with its outlet in register with the inlet of the housing 12, “hot spots” are avoided and extreme density cooling (e.g. about 20 to about 50 Kw. per rack, or more) may be efficiently and effectively performed. Heat in the ambient air is removed from ambient air by an evaporator E, lowering the temperature of the air that flows through the cooler 22. Flexible or tubing in the cooler 22 with a condenser C that is associated with the cooler 22. A seal may be provided by connect these peripheries of the cooler outlet 38 and the housing inlet 14. The peripheries are generally aligned and the cooler 22 is moved against the housing 12 and then the cooler 22 and the housing 12 are connected together.
The illustrated embodiments are only examples of the present invention and, therefore, are non-limitive. It is to be understood that many changes in the particular structure, materials and features of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is my intention that my patent rights not be limited by the particular embodiments that are illustrated and described herein, but rather are to be determined by the following claims, interpreted according to excepted doctrines of claim interpretation, including use of the Doctrine of Equivalents.
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|International Classification||H05K7/20, G06F1/20, G06F1/18, F25D11/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F1/183, H05K7/20827, F25D11/003, G06F1/20, F25D2400/38|
|European Classification||G06F1/18S, G06F1/20, H05K7/20S30D|
|Feb 10, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WASHINGTON, UNIVERSITY OF, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BOND, RICHARD C.;REEL/FRAME:017548/0283
Effective date: 20041209