Alps to Roll Out Water-cooling Pump for Notebook PCs

Sep 29, 2008
Mayuko Uno, Nikkei Electronics
The piezoelectric pump intended for water-cooled notebook PCs. Shown on the upper left is the "30-inch" pump slated for volume production. The input voltage is 5DC and the power consumption is 1W maximum. The maximum noise is 25dB (A). The operating temperature ranges from -10 to +60°C (without freezing of refrigerant). The "20-inch" pump currently under development is shown on the upper right.
The piezoelectric pump intended for water-cooled notebook PCs. Shown on the upper left is the "30-inch" pump slated for volume production. The input voltage is 5DC and the power consumption is 1W maximum. The maximum noise is 25dB (A). The operating temperature ranges from -10 to +60°C (without freezing of refrigerant). The "20-inch" pump currently under development is shown on the upper right.
[Click to enlarge image]
The prototype of a water cooling system using the 20-inch pump. The model on the left side shows the configuration of the system. Shown on the right is a prototype that is envisioned as an actual system, which has a flow channel created on a 1-mm metal plate and mounted with radiation fins and a reserve tank.
The prototype of a water cooling system using the 20-inch pump. The model on the left side shows the configuration of the system. Shown on the right is a prototype that is envisioned as an actual system, which has a flow channel created on a 1-mm metal plate and mounted with radiation fins and a reserve tank.
[Click to enlarge image]

Alps Electric Co Ltd developed a "30-inch" production model of a piezoelectric pump for water-cooled notebook PCs and exhibited it at "ALPS SHOW 2008," which took place from Sept 25 to 26, 2008.

The company plans to start mass production in December 2008.

It is dimensioned approximately 43.8 x 34 x 8mm without projections and weighs 16.5g. The pump functions even if the refrigerant flow channel is narrow, according to the company. The no-load flow rate is 140mL/minute and the flow rate under a 10kPa load is 105mL/minute.

Last year, the company also exhibited a piezoelectric pump it had developed. For volume production, (1) the fastening method was changed from screws to welding and (2) dimensions almost equivalent to the last year's prototype were realized though it is equipped with a driver this time, the company said.

Many recent notebook PCs include microprocessors that run very hot, and some of the latest models feature high-performance image processing LSIs. This piezoelectric pump is expected to be employed to reduce the noise from forced air cooling fans used in these high-performance notebook PCs.

Also, as a next-generation model under development, a "20-inch" pump was exhibited. It was learned that the flow rate does not have to be high through the technology development carried out jointly with a notebook PC manufacturer, according to the company. Therefore, it focused on the miniaturization in the development of the 20-inch pump, which is dimensioned 28 x 28 x 4mm.

The gradient of P-Q characteristics that indicate pump discharge characteristics is about the same as that of a 30-inch pump, while the no-load flow rate and the flow rate under 10kPa load were reduced respectively to 60mL/minute and 30mL/minute.

The company also displayed a prototype water cooling system composed of a 20-inch pump, a 1-mm flow channel, radiation fins and a reserve tank.