Researchers have found that adding salt to computer systems can prevent devices from overheating and improve performance by more than 32%.
A team from the City University of Hong Kong hopes that this passive technique, which can be used in electronics, batteries, solar cells and buildings, relies on moisture desorption from hygroscopic salt solutions. These types of salt cause moisture to condense when the relative humidity is at or below 75% relative humidity.
The system the researchers built is designed around a porous membrane in a structure that prevents the salt water from coming into contact with components. The water depends on evaporation and reabsorption to keep the temperature in CPUs, for example, low. This led to a significant performance increase when tested with an ODROID-XU4 CPU.
Stay cool with salt water
“Poor thermal management can cause massive heat accumulation in electronic devices, resulting in loss of functionality and ultimately device failure,” said Wei Wu, professor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Energy and Environment.
“We demonstrate that the proposed strategy is capable of providing long-term stable cooling capacity without solution leakage and corrosion, which can suppress the temperature rise of an emulated heater with record high cost-effectiveness compared to state-of-the-art technology.” passive cooling strategies.”
Just adding salt to water-based cooling systems could prove to be a game changer in preventing appliances from overheating. If scaled and commercialized effectively, we may one day see similar systems around the world best workstations or servers, and maybe business laptops much later in the line.
Using lithium bromide-treated water in a computer system – using the Hygroscopic Salt-Charged Membrane Encapsulated Needle Cooler (HSMNHS) – resulted in a performance improvement of over 32%.
These types of salts have a very high moisture absorption capacity and can be reused much faster, which offers an advantage over other cooling strategies that use hydrogels or metal frameworks. It is also much cheaper and more scalable, Wu said, adding that there are very few technological barriers to making this a reality.