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Stirling Engine to Cool Compute CPU

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:38 pm
by stan.hornbaker
Here is a real world waste heat recovery / usage application.

TweakTown shows a miniature Stirling engine cooling
a computer CPU.

URL is

Look in blue panel to the right and click on
"» MSI employs Stirling Engine Theory."
A Youtube video animation is on their page.

Response to Stirling Engine to Cool Compute CPU

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:38 am
by bptdude___2569
I checked this.
Yes cool.

I thought Stirling engines were not self starting, especially these small and simpler type. Do they know something we don't?

Response to Stirling Engine to Cool Compute CPU

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:29 am
by stan.hornbaker
The following was received from Todd McKissick: The MSI CPU cooler only self starts by a short pulse to kick in some momentum (170 degrees off center) after always stopping in the same position.

MSI should market it as a novelty as a stand alone product. WSH

Response to Stirling Engine to Cool Compute CPU

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:26 pm
by nefariouswheel
We could use a larger version of this # what about waste heat reclamation at the data centre level? All that HVAC generating heat that could be scavanged and dumped into say, a UPS battery bank or sold back to the grid. Gartner identified green computing as the #1 technology of interest, which means the SI where I work in Australia is looking for answers. Besides, I think Stirling engines are cool ;)


Response to Stirling Engine to Cool Compute CPU

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:24 am
by bptdude___2569
data centers do generate lots of heat.
I work in one, too.
But the heat is volume, and temperatures are not relatively high, compared to the needs of current Stirling engine designs that could produce power.

Green technology is still more a fad than a actual driving force. Just take my word for now, the cost to replace fossile fuels with renewable green energy has already become about even, even not factoring in climate warming concerns and global politcial difficulties. But, about you idea of data center energy.

Here in my world class data center, they run air conditioning to chill the data room, even in winter, with sub-zero temps outside, as they pull the air from inside the building, which is first heated. They do not figure it is worth the money to change it, too. Convince them of an exotic heat recovery system?

Often they cool during the day, and heat at night. A very simple system of thermal storage could save them money, using well accepted methods, but nobody I know does these things.


It will be a long and difficult road for our favorite engine type.