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Alternative Methods of Watercooling

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Breadfan

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Jan 4, 2001
Location
Northern VA
I've been reading alot about watercooling at overclockers lately. Right now I don't have a system that really needs watercooling, but it looks like something I can do and may help me push my PII300 a little further. So, I'm gonna piece together my own system, which will be alot of fun.

However I got to thinking...while water is a great medium to use for cooling, has anyone tried any other substances? How about auto coolant? There are also a few coolant additives that you can find in racing and performance catalogs that can actualy lower your car temps 30deg F, I think I heard of someone using something like htat in their water cooled system.

Anoter thought: Why use a liquid such as water or antifreeze? How about going down to a landfill or junkyard or checking around other places to find an old refridgerator. Hmm...I wonder how hard it would be to run the freon from the fridge over a "cooling block" on the cpu. If you find a fridge that still works decent, then you've got your compressor/radiator/etc.

How about other types of cooling similar to the fridge idea...such as building your own R134A system? I'm just curious if other people have thought about things like this...

Maybe after I put tgether a watercooled system I'll start devising a way to use freon as coolant....hmmm...

Mike
 
OP
Breadfan

Breadfan

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Jan 4, 2001
Location
Northern VA
Hmmm...not much response to this. I guess not many people have thought much about refridgerator cooling...I'd expect that since the freezer portion can easily get to below freezing that the fridges cooling system could easily freeze a hot cpu.

I guess another nead idea would be to just keep your case and leave it open inside a fridge or freezer...that'd certainly lower the ambiant temp and make what cooling you have much more efficient.

Just a few more thoughts on a somewhat crazy idea...
 

cjtune

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Er, the reason why they use freon in fridges is because they need a substance with a low boiling point and hence can evaporate quickly in the expansion valve of a refridgeration system and hence sucking up heat in the form of latent heat of vaporisation- but this isn't so for a watercooler block! How would you handle a leak? Once there's a leak in your watercooling system with freon, it'll all just dissappear pretty soon and your CPU will burn-up without warning. How would you store the freon in the first place (under pressure)? You can't just build a 'freon reservoir' using a simple fish tank or bucket...
However, refridgeration cooling is a really viable idea (heck, parts are everywhere...) and you can just turn your casing into a mini-bar fridge... But, you would want to expel all the humid air out of your casing before starting it up. Perhaps you should consider building a dehumidifier as well: pre-chill the outside air going in till condensates start to form. Collect the condensates and dispose of them (perhaps with baffles with lotsa metal 'whiskers' or fins- cool the fins!! but not the air touching them! and at a temperature lower than what you plan for inside the casing). Then, channel the low-humidity air over your cooling elements. Once you feel all the air going in is dehumidified enough, then only turn on your 'mini-bar' fridge. How's 'bout that?
 

Napalm

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Dec 21, 2000
Antifreeze is used in water cooling when the water is chilled so that it doesn't freeze up much as in a car's radiator antifreeze is used because water will not only freeze, but water boils off aswell. Freon based (or phase change as many have come to call it) is very effective solution. The freon is compressed using a compressor into a liquid form, then it is pumped to the evaporator (the block that would be on the cpu) where it evaporates back into a gaseous form, absorbing heat when it boils. Then it is pumped back to a condenser (similar to a radiator) and the back to the compressor and the cycle restarts.
 

Puter_Addict

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Jan 5, 2001
Location
Harrodsburg, KY
I think I replied to this yesterday, but it didnt appear... Antifreeze is just that, ANTIfreeze, and it also lubricates your waterpump, the main coolant is the water that you add to it.

I have been kicking another chemical around though, seems that a chemical called Glycol would work. Glycol is used on farms, and in icemakers to promote quicker ice making, and should be easily attainable, i will repost if I get more news for you... HAPPY COOLING (I could always send you some of this KY weather)
 

OCPhreak

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Jan 6, 2001
POSCompaq (Jan 06, 2001 06:24 p.m.):
I think I replied to this yesterday, but it didnt appear... Antifreeze is just that, ANTIfreeze, and it also lubricates your waterpump, the main coolant is the water that you add to it.

Well POSCompaq..you are wrong... the additives added to the engine cooling systems of automobiles is NOT JUST ANTI-Freeze.... if you actually read something about the engine coolant used, you'd know that both the green and the newer orange (DEX-COOL)coolant additive prevent both the water from freezing as well as enhancing the heat assorbtion properties of water... provided you use the proper mixture! You will get no added benefit from running straight coolant..in your car or water cooling system for your PC..in fact you will increase your temperatures to the point of damage... same thing with running straight water in a car...bad IDEA... there IS a real reason why automobile's have come with engine coolant addtives for quite some time....

and just for those that want to know...
green to orange = bad ....very badfor your car if your car came with Orange coolant...!!!!!!!

orange to green= OK.... DEX-Cool is a superior product with far better corrosion inhibitor's...etc...plus it doesn't react to aluminium which the green stuff does... hence why you see almost ALL the newer cars using (GM and Mopar in particular) it....
 
OP
Breadfan

Breadfan

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Location
Northern VA
Interesting...I guess I need to get a full tower case then...and add in a few sheet metal shelves and keep a few beers and a bottle of Jim Beam...just put some weatherstripping and hinges on one door of the case....

Anyway, as for refrigeration of a CPU, the obvious easy answer would be to keep the whole computer INSIDE a fridge which would lower the ambient temp. Retrofitting the actual refrigeration system is a pretty cool (no pun intended) idea...one that would be awesome to see working, but I certainly can imagine the pain invovled in getting one to work reliably. I've got alot of experience working on cars...mainly my own!, so I have seen how easy freon can leak from an AC system!

Actually though, finding a suitable resevoir wouldn't be too hard. Whether you use parts from a fridge or car AC system it probably won't be too expensive to peice together the parts including expansion valve, condenser, resivoir, etc....just it would be extremely difficult to "piece" a system together. Especially hunting for good and cheap used parts.

Tackling the questoin of a leak...aside from having the EPA rather pissed at you for the freon leak, you could probably incorporate a pressure switch of some sort...one that if the line pressure dropped below a certain point it would switch off power to the computer.

Hmmm...perhaps I found a summer project!

Mike
P.S. Antifreeze does prevent freezing, but it also raises the boiling point of water a few degrees...thats why your cars water temp can be over 212 without steam...
 

dimmreaper

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Dec 16, 2000
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home
One of these days, I'm going to go pick-up a 5 cubic foot chest freezer. And build a system in it, it's bound to happen sooner, or later. (financing is all that's holding me back, hmmm maybe I should throw a 50/50 rafel ;) )
 

CreePinG_DeatH_reverted

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Dec 22, 2000
Many people have thought of different methods of watercooling.... especially myself. I have even gone to the extreme in designing a system with some engineers using liquid Helium... Liquid Nitrogen would be too difficult.

I had everything worked out. The reason why I was going for such extreme methods was because THEORETICALLY, at -100C cpus would be able to perform twice as many functions than at room temperature. Well After an experiment with Liquid Nitrogen, and the CPU temp dropping below -100C, the CPU didn't even work. Everything booted up, but then the system went haywire like when you overclock a video card too much and the screen gets all psychadelic.

The conclusion of this whole ordeal was the best way to go is to obtain a cool temperature which can be maintained... fluctuating from hot to cold isn't good as it causes all of the components to expand and contract and eventually break.

Sticking your hard drive in the refrigerator was thought of also... The bad part is that you would get a lot of condensation. And even if you could put something around everything to prevent condensation, you would then be defeating the purpose as the cooled air wouldn't get past the condensation barrier as had originally hoped. My suggestion is to shhot for water cooling with or without a nice peltier. I am designing a cool waterblock right now that will be very effective. Good luck.
 

Shadow ÒÓ

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Pensacola, Florida USA
Actually you've spawned an idea for me so over the last day or so I decided to go with the R134A idea.

Using an old Small block Chevy motor I've had lying around I built a home made motor mount system and set the engin up just outside my bedroom window. Ran hoses in from the AC pump (oem) and place an entire evaporator coil on my motherboard. My heat sink runs directly off of my evaporator however I can't enjoy my games any longer as I can not hear them anymore. Seeing as how I was limited to the length of the coolant hoses I had to mount the engin so near that it's literally too loud in my room now. I'm going to have to invest in some type of waterproofing system as condensation is killing me as well as investing in a muffler system because playing on the computer till 4 or 5 am is really starting to piss off my neighbors.

However all the parts were free and from what I understand some suckers are paying upwards of $1000 for a cooling system!

Hope I made at least one of you smile =)
 

JML

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Dec 30, 2000
Location
New Jersey
Isn't minerial oil non-conductive? So what if you had a small fridge filled with minerial oil, and submerged your pc inside (minus perhaps the devices with moving parts, like the harddrive or cd-rom). I've heard of people doing this, I just don't know the details =D
 

Eriksson

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Dec 17, 2000
Location
Iceland
Shadow ÒÓ (Jan 18, 2001 01:22 a.m.):
Actually you've spawned an idea for me so over the last day or so I decided to go with the R134A idea.

Using an old Small block Chevy motor I've had lying around I built a home made motor mount system and set the DOO up just outside my bedroom window. Ran hoses in from the AC pump (oem) and place an entire evaporator coil on my motherboard. My heat sink runs directly off of my evaporator however I can't enjoy my games any longer as I can not hear them anymore. Seeing as how I was limited to the length of the coolant hoses I had to mount the engin so near that it's literally too loud in my room now. I'm going to have to invest in some type of waterproofing system as condensation is killing me as well as investing in a muffler system because playing on the computer till 4 or 5 am is really starting to piss off my neighbors.

However all the parts were free and from what I understand some suckers are paying upwards of $1000 for a cooling system!

Hope I made at least one of you smile =)

Wow why dont you get one of the later with TBI or TPI or even LT1 engines from chevy, then you could overclock the ECU computer as well :D

Radical cam and open exhaust headers would also help if you are really interested in pissing off you neighbors ;)

Of course a serious overclocker should use a full blown alcohol nitro-injected setup. Keep that in mind before you start bragging next time 8)
 

dimmreaper

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Dec 16, 2000
Location
home
Eriksson (Jan 18, 2001 11:00 a.m.):
Wow why dont you get one of the later with TBI or TPI or even LT1 engines from chevy, then you could overclock the ECU computer as well :D

Radical cam and open exhaust headers would also help if you are really interested in pissing off you neighbors ;)

Of course a serious overclocker should use a full blown alcohol nitro-injected setup. Keep that in mind before you start bragging next time 8)
I think a a HEMI would work a little better. Fully blown, nitro methane, the works :)