MSI Showcases Stirling Engine Heatsink
Gabriel Ikram & Shane McGlaun
February 29, 2008 7:38 PM
MSI ECOlution Chipset Cooler
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.
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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