It consists of two peizo-electric elements, separated by an elastomer. A sinusoidal voltage is delivered to the peizo-electric elements. The elastomer forms an orifice that allows a fluid to enter and exit the device as the motion of the piezo-electric elements expands and contracts the volume between them. The result is a strong jet of fluid exiting the orifice – creating vortices that entrain additional fluid downstream of the device. The jet of fluid is used to help remove heat from electronic systems, such as Avionics boxes. The result is better Avionics computing.
The jets were originally developed at GE Global Research as way to control the flow around various aerodynamic structures, thus improving the aero performance. The physics and form factor of the fluidic device appeared to be advantageous to thermal management of electronics. Initial testing confirmed the hypothesis. Since that time, DCJs have been shown to improve the performance of LED lighting, laptop computers, and other consumer electronics.
Another area of impact is in aerospace, where the capability of Avionics computing is limited by the ability to remove heat from the electrical devices. The highest thermal resistance for most Avionics systems is convection of heat from the outside of the chassis to the ambient environment. With DCJs, the convection thermal resistance can be reduced by a factor of 3 or more. There are three potential benefits:
– More computing capability – can operate more processors or increase processor speed
– Better device reliability – by operating at a lower device temperature
– Use in harsher environments – can operate in a higher ambient temperature
The designer can use the increased thermal capability to concentrate on one of these benefits, or spread it out to two or three – depending on the application requirements.
The GE team has designed ruggedized packaging and a ruggedized electronic driver for Avionics applications. In the coming year the team will complete reliability demonstration testing and execute the integration of DCJ’s into some GE Avionics products.
GE is commercializing DCJ technology by licensing it to qualified manufacturers in the thermal management industry. For more information on licensing DCJ or utilizing it in your next generation products, contact GE Idea Works.
Check out this video by Engineering TV to learn more about how this technology can be used in avionics.