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GE-Jet Engines Are Cool Enough, How About Bulbs?


If you compare the engine of an aircraft and a LED bulb, what’s the difference? Size, or power?

Maybe both.

Most people ignore the cooling technology. Without good cooling solutions, either a jet or a LED bulb can burnout due to overheating. Obviously, jet engine requires more sophisticated technology, which is also the reason why the development of cooling technology for jet engines is faster. On the contrary, the cooling solution for general lighting falls behind.

What GE is keeping on doing recently may significantly change such situation. The engineers from GE are applying the cooling system that is designed for jet engines into a small LED light bulb. It is announced that if this study is successful, then a 1,500-lumen LED bulb can consume only one-third of the energy for a 100-watt halogen bulb, while providing the same amount of light.

The key to address the barrier of widespread adoption of LED bulbs in general lighting is the GE’s micro-fluidic technology—“dual cool jets”.  Dual Cool jets are devices equipped with GE’s patented technology and can consistently provide high-velocity air jets to the LED heat sink. The air jets dramatically increase the heat transfer rate to more than ten times than that of natural convection. Thus, LED bulbs can operate at high drive currents without losing high efficiency and lifetime.

The other benefits of the advanced cooling technology is that the dual cool jets significantly reduce the amount of necessary LED chips, which in turn lowers the cost of the lamp dramatically. It is known that currently, the cost on LED chips contributes to more than 75 % of the total cost for a LED bulb. If the newly-developed cooling system can be applied, the future 1,500-lumen LED bulbs will only have half the size and weight of that of the current 600-lumen LED bulbs.

Unfortunately, as GE spokesman Todd Alhart says, the promising technology is still in a prototype phase and is far from commercialization.

Anyway, it is a promising technology, and go GE!

Reference: GE Scientists Employ Jet Engine Cooling Technology in Prototype LED Bulb