Liquid cooling of the amplifier’s solid-state transistors has a number of advantages. First, it allows for precise temperature control of the devices. The number one factor determining the reliability of solid state devices is temperature. By carefully controlling the temperature, engineers can optimize the performance of the amplifier without sacrificing reliability.
Second, it reduces the size of the amplifier. Air-cooled amplifiers use large metal heat sinks over which air is forced to carry away heat. In a liquid-cooled amplifier, the transistors are mounted on cooling plates through which water flows. The plates are much smaller than heat sinks and because you don’t have to accommodate air flow they can be built closer together.
Third, it reduces the heat load on the amplifier room and its resulting HVAC requirements. Since most of the heat generated is carried away by the cooling liquid, room HVAC requirements are reduced.
Fourth, it allows for fewer fans. This makes the amplifier audibly quieter. By reducing the noise, operators can work in a safer, more pleasant environment without fatigue. Fifth, it gives customers the option of using existing cooling infrastructure to save costs. Liquid cooling options include an external chiller or the use of chilled water supplied by the customer’s facility. By utilizing existing infrastructure, operating costs can be reduced.
Temperature is a major factor in determining the reliability of solid state devices used in high-power RF amplifiers. Reducing the temperature that the semiconductor devices see can greatly improve both reliability and performance.
Liquid cooling not only allows for lower overall temperatures, but also offers a number of other important advantages:
Like everything we do at AR, liquid cooling has been carefully considered, tested and researched before being chosen as the preferred method for controlling temperatures in large high-power amplifiers. We utilize proprietary techniques to implement the most reliable and robust mechanical designs possible.
AR, the world leader in supplying high power, broadband amplifiers, can now supply chillers for any of its standard liquid-to-liquid cooled amplifiers such as the models 12500A225A-L and 20000A225A-L. This capability ensures amplifier performance in any operating condition, reduces the risk of inappropriately sized equipment, and eases the procurement process by working with only one vendor. Each chiller is sized for the amplifier model, taking into consideration the user’s operating requirements and environment. We can also supply chillers for custom amplifiers designed to user specifications and provide a true turnkey solution.
The chillers are provisioned to handle the unique requirements of test amplifiers and to interface with the amplifier controller for monitoring of faults. Consultation for proper sizing and installation and training are included. Service is provided through a well-established, worldwide network of support distributors with over 40 years of experience.