Solid State Liquid Thermal Control System Reduces Maintenance Costs and Downtown
We have come to appreciate the reliability of solid-state hard drives when compared to traditional spinning hard drives with moving parts. Now, imagine taking that same concept and applying it to a liquid thermal control system. Fourier Electric has done just that with their proprietary technology based on magnetic nanoparticle manipulation. The team has designed a system to move a liquid coolant – similar to a chiller – with a high degree of reliability, which subsequently lowers maintenance costs and machine downtime.
High-heat machinery, such as medical imaging equipment, satellites, large server rooms / supercomputers and high-energy lasers all use mechanical pumps to move heat away from the system. When these machines cannot operate in optimal temperature ranges, the result is often loss of the system (due to overheating) and loss of revenue; both of which require expensive fixes and long downtimes.
The technology developed by Fourier Electric has no moving parts, thus eliminating many of the mechanical failures experienced with current systems. The liquid cooling composition can carry up to 300% more heat than current coolants, which allows the system to reduce the amount of power required to move the same amount of heat.
Brandon Carpenter, an aerospace and mechanical engineering student at UCF, serves at the Entrepreneurial Team Lead.
“Although we had already conducted customer discovery for our venture, I-Corps pushed us and we realized that there was still a lot we didn’t know, and a lot of assumptions that we still had,” explains Carpenter. “I-Corps was a great help to our team, through it we learned exactly who our target customer is and potentially landed our first customer.”
The team also integrated a system to capture up to 20% of the heat and convert it back to energy. This equals 12kW/h of savings in a standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The simple and clean design allows for fewer man-hours to replace/fix, thus cutting maintenance costs and reducing downtimes. Fourier Electric recently partnered with Florida Hospital to develop this pump for their medical imagery equipment, specifically their MRI machines. The device also has strong applications as a spacecraft cooling system due to its high reliability.
In addition to Carpenter, team members include Jonathan Wachob, CEO and co-Founder; Matthew Hopper, student at the University of South Florida;
Benjamin McDeed, Master’s in Biomedical Engineering; Michael Hopper, B.S, in Computer Science and Keith Crisman, B.S. in Psychology.