Few situations can be as upsetting as sitting down in front of a computer with drink in hand, only to make one bad move and see a wave of liquid hit the keyboard. Sometimes the computer will be salvageable in these situations, sometimes not; it depends on what got wet. This is a relatively common occurrence that hints at a larger problem.
What happens when a computer is put in an even harsher environment and has to perform reliably? This is exactly what Herb Zien and the team at LiquidCool Solutions wanted to find out as they set out to create one of the most durable computers in the world.
LiquidCool Solutions has created a new class of devices designated as “liquid submerged computers” that are standing up to some of the most rigorous testing available. In the average computer, there are a few glaring issues when it comes to durability. Upwards of 50 percent of all energy consumed by the hardware comes down the cooling system which requires moving parts and open ports. A number of research and manufacturing companies have decided to do away with these vulnerabilities by using a radiator-style cooling system instead of an exhaust system.
Most electronics malfunction immediately when exposed to liquids, but LiquidCool Solutions (originally known as Hardcore Computer) now licenses out their liquid-cooled hardware that can operate in almost any environment. This includes their infamous testing of a computer that was completely submerged in an aquarium as well as further tests with external temperatures higher than 110 degrees and burying the hardware in sand. The completely enclosed system is no longer susceptible to most damage from spills, dust, electrostatic, and humidity.
This technology has been used for a number of years in high-end gaming systems, but Zien decided that market was too narrow to make the company financially viable. Currently, LiquidCool Systems is directing their attention to industry-specific designs needed by the military and in other rough environments. Most of the hardware coming out of LiquidCool systems is being made to order, and this means that the average consumer can expect a price range of around $2,500 if they would like their own ultra-durable device.