Preventing a Technology Jump
When designing a cold plate, heat exchanger, or cooling system, altering your specifications to include a large safety factor can cost you. For example, calculations that include a large safety factor may indicate that you need a plate-fin heat exchanger, when in fact a less expensive flat tube heat exchanger would more than meet your requirements. In addition, by overstating your performance requirements, you may incur more design costs, as more performance may require more engineering design time. For example, a vacuum brazed cold plate requiring more performance may require a more complicated fluid route than a cold plate requiring less performance. With electronics cooling in particular, the heat load listed for a component is often the maximum heat load generated by the component versus an average or an activity-based breakdown of heat loads. Therefore, thermal performance requirements can be significantly overestimated, especially when the heat loads of many components are being tallied for an overall system solution. This might be the case with computer servers within a data center, where one cooling system might be providing cooling for many servers.