Types of Air Cooling Systems

Air cooling systems move heat from the equipment into the air that surrounds it and is driven away. They can be located inside the space to be cooled or outside. They can be used to cool equipment that is a part of a larger air conditioning system, or they can be installed on their own for smaller installations. Air-cooled units have oil free compressors or blowers, heating or cooling fans, ductwork, supports and valves.

One of the biggest challenges for cooling PC components is their high heat density. Most modern CPUs are surrounded by heat sinks to disperse the heat generated by the processor itself and other integrated circuits. Cooling fans are also added to disperse heat and help cool the core of the CPU.

This approach does not work well for most applications, and that is where water cooling comes into play. Water cooling involves a radiator and water pump that circulates a mixture of coolant (usually distilled water) and water through a series of hoses and tubes to the load and back again. As the coolant passes through the radiator it absorbs heat and then is cooled by the surrounding air before returning to the load for the next cycle.

Liquid cooling is typically more expensive than an air cooler but it does provide much better performance in most use cases. In addition, it is very easy to maintain and does not rely on the supply of fresh water.

Most industrial processes require cooling to remove excess heat, and this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Many process plants have cooling towers which provide an effective method of air-cooling equipment. Cooling towers generally consist of a fabricated steel enclosure with fan(s), an oil free compressor, a cooling fan and the heat exchanger or coils. Depending on the size and temperature of the process equipment, the heat exchanger/s can be a plate and frame or shell and tube type.

The heat transfer efficiency of an air-cooled heat exchanger is primarily determined by the surface area of the fins, which is why most have large surfaces. This allows the maximum amount of heat energy to be dissipated into the air. This is similar to the way automotive engines are cooled by using large cooling fins on the engine block, to disperse the heat into the surrounding air.

For the average PC user, there are two major considerations when selecting a cooling system: performance and aesthetics. Those who overclock their computers are most interested in performance, which requires adequate cooling to prevent the processor or GPU from overheating and throttling. The loss of performance due to throttling is both a productivity killer for professionals and a degraded immersive experience for gamers. Proper cooling is the only way to avoid this issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *