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Cooling Computers with Tiny Jet Engines

D_o_S

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#1
To cool its next generation of commercial servers, HP is using electric-ducted fans (EDFs), originally developed by model airplane hobbyists to power radio-controlled jets. Essentially propellers in a box, the fans run so fast and produce so much air pressure that they should be able to provide the cooling needs for the next several generations of HP servers, according to Wade Vinson, an engineer in the company's Industry Standard Server Group.

Of course computer servers don't need thrust, since they generally don't go anywhere. Instead, Vinson and his team showed that EDF blades can be redesigned to produce pressure. The fan blades on their prototypes force air into a server's chassis, so that a certain volume of air per minute flows past the heat sinks (aluminum or copper fins attached to most CPUs) and carries away heat through convection.

The end product is HP's Active Cool Fan, scheduled to debut in its next generation of BladeSystem servers. At their most efficient setting, according to Vinson, the fans consume just one-third the power of traditional computer fans; and they're smaller than regular fans, which means engineers can make the servers thinner and pack more electronics into them. "If you have 10 traditional servers today, we could put 16 servers in the same space," says Vinson.

Source: Tech Review
 
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#2
Heh, made me think of an old "Paul McCartney & WINGS" tune

JETS!

:)

* Turbine technology being applied to Personal Computers... amazing!

APK

P.S.=> I have heard it said that a lot of tech that finally makes it down to "consumer-grade/commodity items/tech for the masses" comes from the world of aerospace & I suppose this is just another proof of that "trickle-down" type of theory... apk
 
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#3
hmm I find it quite funny how they don't mention sound.
 

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#4
Thats nothing new. Ideas like it have been floating around in use for PCs for ages. What is different is a new kind of thermal pad being developed, I forget the details on it but I think its based on LN2 or water, it recycles and so forth, keeping components much cooler and doing away with all kinds of other thermal materials. It has some bugs to be worked out last I heard but its getting there.
 
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#5
I work in a well known server producer, our largest servers have 8 fan trays with 6 120mm fans each, each cpu on the boards(4 dual core cpus per board) only have heatsinks on them, so these fan trays cool the whole system. The amount of air these fans produce is amasing BUT the noise...... the noise is outrageous. I would imagine with smaller fans running faster would produce loadsa noise/ higher pitched noise too, also because in general these systems are placed in a room where no one sees them they can be as loud as you want lol.
 
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#6
sounds cool, although sinse they were used for model airplanes i have the urge to try and make a remote controlled flying PC :D

Anything that keeps these new servers that are getting hotter and hotter cool efficiently has to be good, like gerrynicol said these systems are in rooms where nobody sees them so noise isn't really a problem.
 
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#7
I can definately see the future of servers now. When someone has to fix or change a server part it will be like dressing up to go on an aircraft carrier flight deck. With the loud hi-pitched hum of jet engines all around. But dont stray too close! Don't want to get sucked into one of those turbines and paint the inside of a server case with red :-O!!
 
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#8
NamesDontMatter said:
hmm I find it quite funny how they don't mention sound.
It doesn't matter. Its for servers not desktops.

I think its very safe to assume you've never been in a server farm.

They are always loud. Lots of air conditioning, and lots of fans.