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MSI ECOlution Chipset Cooler  (Source: TweakTown)
MSI ECOlution chipset cooler operates on the Stirling Engine Theory

MSI has designed a new chipset cooling fan that is able to operate without electricity. MSI’s new chipset cooler, which is accordingly dubbed the “Air Power Cooler,” offers all of the benefits of a cooler with a fan without drawing any power.   

Energy efficiency of fans can make a large difference, especially in enterprise environments where hundreds of PCs are running at once.  Although passive cooling is always an option, it doesn’t offer the cooling capability of a fan.

The new MSI cooler isn’t a passive cooler but actually uses a fan to cool the chipset without using any electricity. Ironically, the fan gets its power from the very thing it’s trying to remove — thermal energy.

The system is based on a beta Stirling engine. As hot air expands in the system, it applies pressure to the central piston in the heatsink pushing it up. The piston's movement upwards rotates gears which in turn spin the fan. Thermal energy generated by the chipset is converted into kinetic energy.

The fan blows through a common looking finned radiator to disperse the Northbridge’s heat production.

MSI tells DailyTech that the system is able to convert 70% of heat power to kinetic energy. It is important to note that enough heat must be supplied to spin the fan blades. If the chipset isn’t hot enough, the entire system will not run.

MSI is working on the cooler with Taiwanese company Polo-Tech. The powerless fan is expected to make its debut on MSI’s ECOlution during CeBIT 2008.


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RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 12:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And of course the mechanical energy is converted right back into heat in the operation of the fan -- the second law of thermodynamics.


I know little of physics, I will admit, but you are converting heat to mechanical energy. It is NOT a given that friction from the bearings in the fan will produce as much heat as is used to move the fan.


RE: Ingenius
By DASQ on 3/2/2008 1:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
He never said it would produce as much heat. The fact that heat is produce in itself means efficiency of the fan is reduced.


RE: Ingenius
By masher2 (blog) on 3/2/2008 4:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "but you are converting heat to mechanical energy. It is NOT a given that friction from the bearings in the fan will produce as much heat as is used to move the fan. "

The heat from the fan bearings plus the heat generated from the motion of the air itself will exactly equal the energy used to power the fan. Inescapable.

Now, if you arrange the fan where the airflow winds up outside the case (sans the pressure created by other fans), then some of that eventual reconversion will happen outside. But most unducted cpu fans don't do this...they just create a little in-the-case turbulence, which the actual case fans move outside.


RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 9:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the heat generated from the motion of the air itself will exactly equal the energy used to power the fan. Inescapable.


I don't think that is right, but like I said, not so big on the physics. You have converted heat to mechanical energy. That mechanical energy may have the same net ENERGY as the heat (minus inefficiency) but it will not have the same HEAT as was removed. Kinetic energy <> heat


RE: Ingenius
By MozeeToby on 3/4/2008 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
If there were no friction on the fan, it would speed up indefinatly.

When running at maximum speed, the energy input is exactly equal to the friction/drag acting on the fan. The friction generates heat, the drag generate wind turbulence, which will eventually settle because of friction between the air molecules, which also generates heat. The Heat out when the fan comes to a stop will equal the energy in, just spread out throughout the case because of the turbulence.

Heat == Energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed. When the fan stops accellerating, there is no increase in the mechanical energy. Therefore, the energy in much be released as heat.


RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 9:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
To elaborate on that a bit... The air moved by the fan can do work, it can blow dust around, or possibly cause movement in another fan. If all that heat energy was just converted back to heat, there would be no energy to move that second fan's blades or blow the dust around.


RE: Ingenius
By JustTom on 3/3/2008 1:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
In a properly designed cooling system the heat will be moved from the heat source for the external fans to dump. This unit will move the heat from the chipset, cooling the chipset. It is the job of the case fans to dump the heat out of the case.

Does anyone know the power draw of a chipset cooler? Is using something like this even reasonable or is it just another lower power fad product?


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