WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Nov. 2 -- Purdue University's Compact High-Performance Cooling Technologies Research Consortium will soon be a new National Science Foundation (NSF) industry/university cooperative research center.
The consortium, founded in 1999 by mechanical engineering professor Suresh Garimella, has eight corporate members, including Apple Computer, Nokia Research Center, Philips Electronics and Delphi Delco Electronics Systems. The NSF will provide $75,000 annually for the center; corporate members pay $30,000 a year, and additional funding will be provided by Purdue.
The center's researchers are working on technologies that could have a variety of applications, including new batteries for electric cars, automotive and military electronics, cellular base stations for mobile phones and high-performance electronic equipment used for distributing electricity.
Examples of the technologies studied are innovative types of tiny fans that use 1/300th the electricity of conventional fans, "phase change" materials that turn from solid to liquid as they absorb heat, minuscule "heat pipes" that cool electronics with internally circulating fluid and chips that cool electronic components using "microchannels" as small as the width of a human hair.