Adapted from technology that General Electric researchers originally developed for commercial jet engines, GE this week announced a major technology breakthrough, called dual piezoelectric cooling jets (DCJ), which adapts this technology for the cooling of consumer electronics. DCJ will support the next generation of thinner, quieter and more powerful tablets, laptops and other electronic devices.
“DCJ was developed as an innovative way to dramatically reduce the amount of pressure losses and loading characteristics in aircraft engines and power generation in gas and wind turbines. Over the past 18 months we have addressed many challenges adapting this technology in areas of acoustics, vibration, and power consumption such that the DCJ can now be considered as an optimal cooling solution for ultra-thin consumer electronics products,” said Peter de Bock, lead electronics cooling researcher at GE Global Research.
GE’s DCJ behave as a micro-fluidic bellows that provide high-velocity jets of air to cool electronic components. The turbulent air flow of the DCJ increases the heat transfer rate to more than ten times that of natural convection.
Compared to conventional cooling assemblies used in electronic devices today, GE’s DCJ technology enables cooling solutions only 4mm tall, representing a more than 50% decrease in height. In addition, the DCJ is very stingy on power, consuming less than half the power of a comparable fan, and its simple construction will deliver higher reliability leading to millions of dollars in repair cost savings for OEMs.
“With new tablet and netbook roadmaps moving to platforms measuring less than 6mm high, it is clear that consumers are demanding thinner and more powerful electronic devices. GE’s patented DCJ technology not only frees up precious space for system designers, but it consumes significantly less power, allowing as much as 30 minutes of extra battery life. Best of all, DCJ can be made so quiet that users won’t even know it is running. Thermal management is becoming a big problem for many companies trying to miniaturize their electronics, and as a result we are getting strong demand to evaluate the DCJ technology in many markets, from consumer electronics, to automotive, to telecom and industrial sectors,” said Chris Giovanniello, vice president of microelectronics and thermal business development at GE Licensing.
GE is currently providing DCJ demonstration kits for OEMs wishing to evaluate the DCJ technology for their next generation products. In addition, GE has licensed the DCJ technology to Fujikura LTD, a leader in thermal management solutions, known for their reliable and innovative products serving the telecom, automotive, energy, and electronics markets.