Definition: Water Cooling
Water cooling is commonly defined as a method of using water as a heat conduction to remove heat from an object, machine, or other substance by passing cold water over or through it. In energy generation, water cooling is typically used to cool steam back into water so it can be used again in the generation process.
- Water cooling is a method of heat removal from components and industrial equipment. Water may be a more efficient heat transfer fluid where air cooling is ineffective. In most occupied climates water offers the thermal conductivity advantages of a liquid with unusually high specific heat capacity and the option of evaporative cooling. Low cost often allows rejection as waste after a single use, but recycling coolant loops may be pressurized to eliminate evaporative loss and offer greater portability and improved cleanliness. Unpressurized recycling coolant loops using evaporative cooling require a blowdown waste stream to remove impurities concentrated by evaporation. Disadvantages of water cooling systems include accelerated corrosion and maintenance requirements to prevent heat transfer reductions from biofouling or scale formation. Chemical additives to reduce these disadvantages may introduce toxicity to wastewater. Water cooling is commonly used for cooling automobile internal combustion engines and large industrial facilities such as nuclear and steam electric power plants, hydroelectric generators, petroleum refineries and chemical plants. Other uses include cooling the barrels of machine guns, cooling of lubricant oil in pumps; for cooling purposes in heat exchangers; cooling products from tanks or columns; for cooling in HVAC in chillers , and recently, cooling of various major components inside high-end personal computers such as CPUs, GPUs, and motherboards. The main mechanism for water cooling is convective heat transfer.