Apple Considering Liquid Cooled MacBooks
A 12 page patent request that was filed last May and just published this week reveals that Apple is once again looking into the use of liquid coolants to transport heat in its notebook computer designs. Apple has used this controversial technique before several years ago on its line of dual processor Power Mac G5s, but only for a brief time period.
Apple says that substantial increases in the performance abilities of electronic devices have made it difficult to maintain acceptable internal and external operational temperatures. Apple explains, "Portable devices, such as laptop computers, cellular telephones, and personal digital assistants have additional design constraints which make it even harder to manage thermal load." Apple also made a particular note of how the decreasing weights of their product lines have made it hard to maintain acceptable temperatures.
Apple’s proposed solution is as follows:
"This heat pipe may contain a liquid coolant that has a density greater than a first pre-determined value at room temperature," the filing explains. "A pump is coupled to the heat pipe is configured to circulate the liquid coolant through the heat pipe. Furthermore, a heat exchanger coupled to the heat pipe is configured to transfer heat from the heat pipe to an environment external to the computer system."
Basically the pump would circulate the liquid coolant, enabling more efficient heat transfer from a power source in the computer system to forced-fluid drivers, like fans that would be located at other end of the heat pipe.
The use of liquid coolants is controversial because the older PowerMacs with these designs were highly prone to leaking and spilling coolant, completely frying many of the PowerMac's internal components in the process. The problem was so bad that Apple just started replacing whole computers and stopped any attempts to repair the problem.
I am totally for Apple cooling down there notebooks, my new unibody MacBook isn’t too bad, but I really think I could have fried an egg on my old Pro…at the same time though, I would not want this at the expense of leaking coolant! They’ll have to majorly improve upon their old design.
Source: AppleInsider | Apple looking into liquid-cooled MacBooks