MSI ECOlution: powering fans without electricity

February 29, 2008 // 5:40 p.m.

Tags: #active #cebit-2008 #chipset #cooling #ecolution #engine #events #fan #heatpipes #heatsink #msi #passive #pump #stirling

Actively cooled heatsinks aren’t exactly new, but electricity is so last year - what about powering those fans by the heat generated from the chip it’s trying to cool?

Well MSI has done exactly that with its new ECOlution heatsink – it features a "Stirling Engine" - an engineering masterpiece originally patented by Scottish engineer, Robert Sterling. It features a four process system that moves gas back and forth between hot and cold heat exchangers: the chipset and the fins, respectively.

The cycle pushes a cylinder up and down which is then translated into moving the blades of a fan – the whole unit is autonomous and self contained. It’s also self regulating because the hotter the chipset gets, the faster than works to cool it.

MSI claims the efficiency is around 70 percent, but it does require the chipset to reach about 60ºC before it pipes up and starts working.

It’s certainly an interesting technology and kudos to MSI for this awesome innovation!

We'll no doubt find out more during CeBIT next week but in the meantime, you're free to discuss this in the forums.