Al, this is an interesting development in the power electronics field that parallels the ones I have seen in the computing world. Even on high preformance desktop computers liquid cooling is being used. For servers in a data center, the densities have forced that. I read a while back that Verizon and at&t were both specing liquid cooling for their data and switching center.
I could also see a scaled-down version of this for use in electric cars. Space and weight constraints are even more severe in electric cars than they are aboard ships. Automakers already have experience with liquid cooling and the coolant could also supply cabin heat, instead of the resistance heating or heat pumps now used with pure electric cars (hybrids still use engine coolant from the internal-combustion engine for cabin heat, of course).
Liquid cooling is more efficient, but also more troublesome to maintain. Note that Moog's Naval Systems is developing this. I can easily see the reduced size being very attractive.
The heat has to go somewhere though, so this liquid system would probably interface with some sort of seawater heat exchanger having its own maintenance difficulites.
I can see this unit being quite self-contained - literally sealed. Uncouple the heat exchanger connections, the line in and load out connections, and the control connection and yank the whole thing if it did fail.
Current technology devices that are air-cooled have replacable modules - only a part of them usually fails (well, hopefully only a part fails).
Don't get me wrong - this is really cool stuff (no pun intended). But it doesn't come without a price.
The Industrial Internet of Things may be going off the deep end in connecting everything on the plant floor. Some machines, bearings, or conveyors simply donít need to be monitored -- even if they can be.
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