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Cooling electronics with a waterkruik

Submitter: Gijs Schoonderbeek
Description: In the early days of designing a new processing platform for the SKA, now known as Gemini, a brainstorm session was held to think about new ways of cooling electronics. With a group of mechanical engineers (Hiddo Hanenburg, Sjouke Kuindersma, Germen Gijlers, Johan Pragt, and myself as electronical design engineer), a list of possible ways of cooling was made. This list ranged from known techniques like air cooling to new ones like jet air and liquid cooling. One of the new ways that came up used a water bottle (“waterkruik” in Dutch). To evaluate this strange idea, a student, Maxime Lequertier, was appointed to see whether it is actually possible to cool electronics with a “waterkruik”.

The outcome was: “It is not as strange as it sounds”. FPGAs can be cooled quite efficiently with water flowing through a special Kapton bag that is lying on top of the electronics on a PCB.

We at Astron should not keep (good) ideas to ourselves. One way of sharing them is by means of a patent (octrooi in Dutch). So a patent request was submitted which has now been awarded. In today's image, the principle of the patent is shown. Who knows, one day we will use membrane cooling for a future telescope.

The image shows the diagrams used in the octrooi where:
1 printed circuit board (pcb)
2 components
3 membrane/foil
4 casing
5 cooling liquid
6 cold liquid IN
7 hot liquid OUT
Copyright: ASTRON
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