Display Walls: Air vs. Liquid Based Cooling Systems
The cooling system is one of the most crucial parts of any display wall. Avoiding high temperatures is important for maintaining the electronic components, and the last thing you want is for your display wall to start malfunctioning due to deterioration of key components.
Studies have suggested that for every 10 degrees the temperature rises above the optimum temperature, the red LED’s life expectancy is reduced by close to half. The red LED in an LED light engine is the most sensitive to heat. In an effort to give your LED light engine and the other parts of the projection cube the longest possible life, you will need the proper cooling system.
There are two types of cooling systems available: liquid cooling and air cooling. Depending on the purpose of your display wall and your needs, you may prefer one over the other. Here are some differences to help you make the decision.
- Material: Liquid cooling uses a pump, coolant and reservoir.
- Usage: Often used in mechanical systems (i.e. automotive industry).
- How it works: A fan blows air from the room through the radiator, where it picks up heat energy from the liquid.
- Maintenance: The system must be drained periodically, then refilled at the same time that the pump is replaced. Pumps have limited lifespan with recommended replacement after 30,000 hours of use.
- Effectiveness: The pump-based projection cubes require 50% more electric power to run, and deplete 50% more heat into the room.
- Material: Air cooling uses a heat sink and fan.
- Usage: Often used for electronics (i.e. computer industry).
- How it works: A fan blows room air over the fins, cooling the water vapor and absorbing the heat energy.
- Maintenance: This is a much simpler system that requires no maintenance and the liquid coolant never needs to be replaced. The lifespan of the system is up to 100,000 hours of use.
- Effectiveness: Projection cubes last 20-25% longer with air-based cooling.
Overall, the air-based cooling system is simpler and more effective than the liquid cooling system. However, if you have high-speed processors that can’t be cooled by fans, you may need to use a liquid cooling system.