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.
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.
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).
Engineers at Fuel Cell Energy have found a way to take advantage of a side reaction, unique to their carbonate fuel cell that has nothing to do with energy production, as a potential, cost-effective solution to capturing carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
To get to a trillion sensors in the IoT that we all look forward to, there are many challenges to commercialization that still remain, including interoperability, the lack of standards, and the issue of security, to name a few.
This is part one of an article discussing the University of Washington’s nationally ranked FSAE electric car (eCar) and combustible car (cCar). Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow, which will discuss the four unique PCBs used in both the eCar and cCars.
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