DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE OF MICROCONTROLLER-BASED LAPTOP COOLER
Computer overheating is due to hard drive failures; augmenting the cooling systems is imperative. But using active coolers adds stress to the laptop's power supply, which demands more power on the battery resulting in a faster power drain. As such, this study aimed to develop and evaluate the performance of the Microcontroller-based Laptop Cooler (MBLC) that employs active cooling in dissipating excess heat from laptop computers. The baseline data was first established using a gaming laptop with built-in fan cooler (Set-up A) having specs: model-G501VW, processor-Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ, CPU- @2.60GHz 2.59 GHz, installed memory-12.0 G.B., system type-64-bit Operating System, x64-based memory, Hard Disk - 128 GB SSD; 1 TB HDD, and video card -NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. The laptop underwent an unstressed test, doing the minimum task, and stressed test, performing heavy computing, through My PC 2.66 software. It operated 24 hours in 5 consecutive days at room temperature to gather data for the internal and external temperatures. Its data was also the basis for establishing temperature range used to design different speeds of rotations of the cooling fans through microcontroller program as follows: 32°C and below: 0%; 33°C - 36°C: 25%; 37°C - 40°C: 50%; 41°C - 44°C: 75%; and 45°C and above: 100%. Such temperature ranges were based on external temperature data. Data analysis is positively and highly correlated to the internal temp, and it wasn't easy to measure the internal temp. After this, the laptop's performance with MBLC (Set-up B) was assessed and compared to Set-up A. The same laptop installed with MBLC underwent the same procedures as Set-up A. Results revealed that Set-up B obtained a safe operating average external temperature of 40.71°C and the average internal temperature of 45.72°C. In comparison, Set-up A showed 44.89°C and 46.78°C as average external and internal temperature, respectively. Statistically, Set-up B has significantly decreased the internal temperature by 1.27°C and external temp by 4.16°C compared to Set-up A. Hence, the Microcontroller-based Laptop Cooler effectively reduces heat generated by the laptop's components and could operate more efficiently and longer, even at room temperature. However, further study is needed to determine the consumed energy saved through the use of the device.