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Tools & Technical Reference


What is Liquid Cooling?

 Custom cold plate for liquid cooling IGBT
 Plate-Fin Heat Exchanger for Aerospace Liquid Cooling
 Liquid-to-Liquid Cooling System for Data Center Cooling

Liquid cooling, also known as cooling with liquid, is a very effective way to remove high heat loads from components. Excessive heat can compromise the reliability of a system, and engineers usually turn to liquid cooling when air cooling is no longer providing enough heat removal. Two types of liquid cooling are contact cooling and cabinet cooling.

A liquid cooling loop for contact cooling typically consists of a cold plate, pump, heat exchanger, and pipes or hoses. Heat generated by a component is transferred from the component to the thermally conductive cold plate, and then to the liquid coolant that flows through the cold plate. The heated coolant is then pumped through the heat exchanger, where heat is moved from the coolant to either the ambient air, or, in the case of a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger, to another liquid. The cooled liquid then flows through the pipes or hoses back to the cold plate, completing the liquid cooling loop. Instead of a heat exchanger, a recirculating chiller, a liquid cooling system, or facility water may be used to provide cool liquid to the process.

With cabinet cooling the air within the cabinet is cooled by flowing cold liquid through the heat exchanger and distributing the air within the cabinet via the heat exchanger's fan. As with contact cooling, cabinet cooling may receive the cold liquid from facility water, a recirculating chiller, or another heat exchanger.

Benefits of Liquid Cooling

Liquid cooling has two primary benefits over air cooling. One benefit is higher performance, since the fluids most commonly used for it have much higher thermal conductivity than air. A second benefit is that it is often much quieter and requires less space than air cooling. Since less air flow is needed, electronics can be packed in more tightly.

Liquid Cooling Technologies

Lytron designs and manufactures all the thermal components in a liquid cooling loop, providing Total Thermal Solutions. Lytron's liquid cooling products include both standard and custom cold plates, chassis, chillers, cooling systems, and heat exchangers. Various fluids can be used with the liquid cooling products, including water, deionized water, ethylene glycol, oil, polyalphaolefin, and dielectric fluids. (Please contact Lytron to discuss using other fluids.)

Liquid Cooling Industry Applications

Liquid cooling is used to cool high power electronic devices within many industries, including medical, military and defense, laser, data centers, semiconductor, transportation, printing, and more. (Lytron's liquid cooling applications are outlined within Standard Products.)

Liquid Cooling with Lytron

Standard Liquid Cooling Products

Lytron’s standard products include cold plates, cooling systems, and heat exchangers. Standard products are ideal for prototyping and end-user applications. Use the product selector tools on our website for assistance in selecting the correct liquid cooling product, or call one of our applications engineers at +1-781-933-7300 for sizing help.

Liquid Cooling Links

Lytron offers a number of resources to help you find the right liquid cooling technology for your application. Lytron's interactive Liquid Cooling Product Selectors allow you to enter your specifications to receive a list of recommended technologies, obtain a quote and performance data, and more. Lytron's liquid cooling application notes as well as an online form to Ask An Engineer are also available. Below are some additional liquid cooling references:

Liquid Cooling Thermal Primer 
Designing a Liquid Cooling Loop for High-Performance Systems
Datacom Liquid Cooling Guidelines