We know that personal computers can slow down, or worse, completely shut down owing to overheating. Researchers have now developed liquids containing nanoparticles that can help devices stay cool and keep them running.
"Consumers demand a lot out of their gadgets. But that puts a huge strain on the tiny parts that whir away inside desktops and mainframe computers, which do the major data crunching for us. The result is overheating," said Rahman Saidur, professor of mechanical engineering at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Recent research has shown that substances called nanofluids have the potential to help keep electronics cool. Saidur and team used a microchannel heat sink to simulate the warm environment of working electronic systems.
They analysed three nanofluids for the traits that are important in an effective coolant. These include how well they transfer heat, how much energy they lose, the friction they cause and their pumping power.
"All three performed better than water as coolants with the nanofluid mixture of copper oxide and water topping them all," Saidur said. The research was published in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.