In immersion cooling, a liquid is used to transfer heat away from electronic components, such as CPUs or GPUs. The kinematic viscosity of the immersion cooling liquid is an important parameter because it affects the efficiency of heat transfer and the overall performance of the cooling system.
Kinematic viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow under gravity. It is defined as the ratio of a fluid’s dynamic viscosity (a measure of the fluid’s internal friction) to its density. In other words, kinematic viscosity tells us how easily a fluid will flow when subjected to a force.
In immersion cooling, the fluid needs to be able to flow around and through the electronic components in order to effectively transfer heat away from them. If the kinematic viscosity of the liquid is too high, it will not flow easily and may not be able to effectively remove heat from the components. On the other hand, if the kinematic viscosity is too low, the liquid may not form a sufficient thermal boundary layer around the components, leading to decreased heat transfer efficiency.
Therefore, it is important to select an immersion cooling liquid with a kinematic viscosity that is suitable for the specific cooling application. Typically, immersion cooling fluids with kinematic viscosities in the range of 10 cSt (centistokes) are used in electronic cooling applications, as this range provides a good balance between flowability and thermal performance.
In addition to its impact on heat transfer efficiency, the kinematic viscosity of immersion cooling liquid also has a significant effect on the performance and lifespan of the pumps used in the cooling system.
Immersion Cooling Ready™ Pumps are used in immersion cooling systems to circulate the cooling liquid through the electronic components and the heat exchanger. When a liquid with a high kinematic viscosity is used, it can increase the resistance to flow, leading to increased pump head and decreased pump flow rate. This means that the pump has to work harder to move the fluid, which can lead to increased wear and tear on the pump, as well as decreased overall system efficiency.
Moreover, using a fluid with a high kinematic viscosity can also result in increased pump cavitation. Cavitation occurs when the pressure within the pump drops below the vapor pressure of the fluid, causing the formation and collapse of small vapor bubbles. These bubbles can cause damage to the pump impeller and decrease the pump’s efficiency.
Therefore, it is important to select an immersion cooling fluid with a kinematic viscosity that is suitable for the specific cooling application and compatible with the pump used in the system.
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