Efficient cooling for high-power electronics: VTT spin-off Thermal Channel Technologies Oy has closed a one-million-euro investment round
Heat causes more than 50% of breakdowns and failures in high-power electronics products. Thermal Channel Technologies Oy, a VTT spin-off company, has developed a cooling solution that is considerably more efficient than current commercial solutions, used e.g. in the charging stations of electric cars, 5G base stations, smart grids, and high intensity LED luminaires. Thermal Channel Technologies Oy commercializing the CooliBlade technology has closed a one-million-euro seed investment round.
In the era of electrification, high-power electronics are used to convert and transfer electrical energy in many applications. However, heat generated in electrical equipment is a big challenge for all electronics. Heat limits effectiveness and reduces the reliability of these products and systems.
The traditional approach is to use aluminium-based heat sinks, heat pipes, or liquid cooling in thermal management of power electronics. However, they also pose many challenges. Traditional heat sinks are heavy and bulky, and heat pipes are expensive and difficult to manufacture. Liquid cooling systems are complicated, requiring constant service and maintenance.
10 times better performance with a light and cost-efficient structure
CooliBlade's performance is based on a liquid-vapor phase-change phenomenon, in an integrated thermal channel structure. The thermal channel resides inside a durable aluminium structure, which has a thermal conductivity thousand times better than solid aluminium. Compared to heat pipes, performance is ten times better. The CooliBlade technology enables light, cost-effective, reliable and maintenance-free structures. Also, the size and weight of heat sinks are design factors with growing importance in electronics products.
In the first prototypes of high-power LED luminaires, it was possible to reduce the weight of the heat sink by 65% using the CooliBlade Thermal Channel. The CooliBlade production ramp-up will take place and the first products will be shipped during the first quarter of 2022.
The global market for high-power electronics is estimated to be worth ten billion euros, having several rapidly growing application areas. At the first phase, the target customer segments are AC drives and high - power LED luminaires which are used e.g. in factories, warehouses, sports arenas, and stadiums. Other applications include electric cars and their charging stations, solar panel inverters, and 5G base stations.
“Finland has a strong and established industry in power electronics: in LED lightning, AC drives and telecommunication applications. Many of these companies have a large international customer base and growing business potential. Finnish customers will help us enter the big and quickly growing international markets”, says Vesa Pentikäinen, CEO and one of the founders of Thermal Channel Technologies Oy.
“Our goal is to expand sales to the other Nordic countries and the rest of Europe as early as next year. The German market is very promising for us. Our goal is to find global leading industrial players with whom we can pilot our technology in 2022. According to our business plan, we will hire 10 people by the end of 2022”, says Pentikäinen.
VTT, Cor Group Oy, Mectalent Oy and private investors join as new shareholders
CooliBlade has been part of the VTT LaunchPad business incubator programme.
VTT, Cor Group Oy, Mectalent Oy and private investors have joined as new shareholders of Thermal Channel Technologies.
Thermal Channel Technologies
Vesa Pentikäinen, CEO
tel. +358 40 353 6580, firstname.lastname@example.org
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Lotta Partanen, Manager, incubation and acceleration
tel. +358 50 4802706, email@example.com
Photos by Therma Channel Technologies
PHOTO 1: CooliBlade cooling element.
PHOTO 2: Industrial LED-luminaires.
PHOTO3: Thermal Channel Technologies's CooliBlade Team members: Kimmo Jokelainen, Janne Suhonen and Vesa Pentikäinen.
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