Liquid flow through (LFT) power cooling for OpenVPX chassis

May 01, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Liquid flow through cooling option for OpenVPX development platforms. 
Elma Electronic has developed a liquid flow through cooling (LFT) option for its line of OpenVPX development platforms. 

Designed to accept up to six 6U VPX modules on a 1” pitch, the liquid flow through cooling (LFT) chassis also incorporates either a built-in power supply or a VITA 62 plug-in power module and is aimed at test and development platforms.

The VITA 48.x family of standards covers multiple cooling approaches. Ratified in July 2018, VITA 48.4 Liquid Flow Through cooling defines the basic dimensions, heat exchanger, mechanical assembly and chassis interface for LFT cooling for 6U VPX Plug-In Modules. It specifies the dimensions and tolerances to ensure mechanical intermateability within associated subracks. 

An integrated liquid-to-air heat exchanger on the development platform provides the needed fluid for cooling via quick disconnect (QD) coupling assemblies. The plug-in modules use liquid flowing through a core heat exchanger located within the heatsink of the module to cool the electronic components on the circuit boards. The QD coupling assemblies allow the connection to a chassis coolant inlet and outlet. 

The chassis’ built-in heat exchanger uses either water or a high flow rate water/glycol mixture to provide a cooling capacity of 500W. For easy system monitoring, a flow indicator shows whether liquid is circulating.

“As new industry standards are developed, our customers are looking for products that will help them put these standards into practice. The new LFT development platform is intended for proof of concept testing as well as development tasks, giving designers the ability to test and incorporate this new liquid cooling methodology successfully,” said Ram Rajan, senior vice president of engineering for Elma Electronic.

Optional backplanes can be built with wider slot pitches of 1.2” and 1.6” to accommodate wider plug-in modules.

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