What is a Heat Exchanger?


A heat exchanger is a device that allows heat from a fluid (either a liquid or a gas) to

pass to another liquid or gas without the two fluids having to mix or come into direct contact.

A heat exchanger used for cooling components features a water-to-air, liquid-cooled,

closed loop system.

Closed loop liquid cooling is defined as a high capacity, high maintenance cooling system

that uses liquid as the coolant and a heat exchanger for heat removal from the coolant.

The most commonly used coolants are water, deionized water, inhibited glycol and water solutions,

dielectric fluids, and custom design heat transfer fluids.

In a liquid cooling loop, the coolant is pumped through a cold plate that is in contact with

a hot integrated circuit.

The heat dissipated from the component is transferred in the heat exhchanger to the ambient,

resulting in lowering the temperature of the coolant

that gets pumped back to the hot integrated circuit.

For efficiency, heat exchangers are designed to maximize the surface area of the wall between

the two fluids, while minimizing resistance to fluid flow through the exchanger.

Performance of the exchanger can also be affected by the addition of fins or corrugations in

one or both directions, which increases surface area for enhanced thermal transport.

The most common applications include: telecomm, datacomm and other cabinet electronics,

process cooling, power electronics, medical systems, automotive, industrial and HVAC.

For more information on heat exchangers, go to QATS.com.