The Advantages of Water-Cooled Power Supply
New in September 2019
Based on different application, thermal dissipation methods can be different. Generally, natural convection, forced convection, and water cooling are common thermal dissipation methods and possess different thermal dissipation capabilities. Please refer to the following description of comparison based on different thermal dissipation methods.
|Heat dissipation method
|Heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)
|Forced air convection
From the table and graph above mentioned, it is obvious that water cooling possesses higher thermal dissipation capabilities, but a higher cost on system mechanism design is expected. Comparison between three different thermal dissipation methods of SPS includes advantage, disadvantages, and applications as shown in the table below.
|Natural convection (Passive)
|Forced air convection (Active)
|Water Cooling (Active)
Convection cooled and forced-air cooled had been widely adopted in switching mode power supply designs and usually integrated into applications producing either less heat or low to mid-power range. Applications that produce high heat such as Fiber Laser needs to utilize water circulation (water-cooled) via a water chiller to dissipate the heat. Compact High Power (~10KW up) applications also use the water-cooled technique in order to reduce the overall form factor. Taking advantage of the preexist water chiller, the water-cooled power supply is the first choice for Laser and high-power compact design applications rather than convection or forced-air cooled power supply.
MEAN WELL first Water-cooled Power Supply, PHP-3500 series, is capable to output up 3,500W. Through active current sharing function, up to four units can be parallel to deliver up to 14,000W. With water-cooled capability, the PHP-3500 is suitable for Fiber Laser and compact high power applications that equipped with water chiller. Beside water-cooled, the PHP-3500 series can also be forced-air cooled by external fans to deliver full power for industrial automation application. However, water-cooled can effectively lower the internal components temperature of the power supply. The video below shows the PHP-3500-48 Power MOSFET and Capacitor temperature between water-cooled and force-air cooling.
In summary, the measured Power MOSFET and Capacitor temperatures are about 6~18°C lower when the PHP-3500-48 is used with water-cooled as compare to forced-air cooling. Therefore, Water-cooled technique not only provides better temperature to power supply internal components, and thus better reliability but also enable high power or Fiber Laser applications to be designed with smaller form factor along with the PHP-3500 series.
This article is written by Mean Well and originates from www.meanwell.com