'Sandia cooler' wants to help CPUs cool off

A redesigned CPU cooling system dubbed the 'Sandia Cooler' could slash energy consumption, while speeding up your home computer and reducing fan noise.

A redesigned CPU cooling system could slash energy consumption, while speeding up your home computer and reducing fan noise.

Sandia National Laboratories (California) researcher Jeff Koplow tells New Scientist air-cooled heat exchangers haven’t evolved much in the last 40 years. But all that’s about to change with his design which he estimates, if widely adopted, could cut the total electricity consumption of the US by about seven percent.

Koplow says even when new-technology chips increase computer processing speed, fans can’t necessarily cool them fast enough to prevent heating. Although spinning the fan faster might help, it creates that pesky hum, that dull sound you can probably hear under your computer right now.

Koplow’s new design, dubbed the ‘Sandia Cooler’, relies on a heat sink system, rather than a fan, to disperse heated air. By heavily reducing the amount of dust that is collected, the system is much more efficient at cooling the CPU.

The technology will be easily transferrable to other cooling appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners, which is why such a dramatic drop in energy consumption can be expected if the system is widely adopted.

Koplow and the Sandia National Laboratories are currently taking licensing requests for the CPU cooling design, and there are plans to take requests for other implementations soon.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).