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Computer in mini refrigerator

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Jun 11, 2001
Union City, CA
I found a cheap mini refrigerator and i was wondering what kinda problems i would run into if i just put my whole darn computer inside the refrigerator, tower and all. I'm trying to not have to protect against condensation since it looks like i'd have to do a lot to my mobo to insulate it and whatnot. I'm watercooling so i'm planning on putting my heatercore inside the freezer box. considering that i'll drill holes for the wires and have adequate insulation for that hole...what problems do you guys think i'll have? do you think that the fridge wont be able to keep up with the heat i'm producint? if i put the heatercore inside the freezer, will i get condensation on the block?

I'm also going to mobility (LAN parties and whatnot) thats why i'm talking about putting the WHOLE comp inside the mini fridge. so instead of moving the tower and fridge...i just move the fridge.
You would have to find out what kind of temperatures your Harddrive can take. Also the fridge might not be able to handle all the heat, that depends on the fridge. There is an article on this somewhere that i read, it was called the computerator. heres the link:


There were also some threads in this forum abut this topic not too long ago. Hope that helped. :)
very interesting article. where would i go about looking for what temps my HD can endure? i seriously want this to work out.

i hope my fridge can handle it. if not, then hell, i'll overclock the fridge! jk. more input fellas! and thanks to those (the one) that has replied.
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Placing the PC in the refrigerator works but the problem I could see is the risk of condinsation because the water lines and water block will still be some temp below the air temp in the refrigerator. Beside the chance of condinsation on the waterblock and water lines there should not be a problem with condinsation of the running PC do to the fact that all the running devices will produce heat and sense thay will be warmer than the air in the frige they should not produce condinsation.

I have such a project in mind myself but am thinking of placing the HDs and CROM/DVD drives outside the frige so I will not have to deal with how they react the the cold.

My thoughts on this type set up is I would remove the small wall that forms the freezer and place the PC with a HSfan in the main refrigerator area.

Here is why. No mater what cooling system you us for the CPU you still will only be able to move so much heat away from the CPU a good HS fan can preform as well as some water blocks. (WC is best I know but keep in mind HS Fans like swiftechs)

Also the system will produce a fixed amount of heat at a given load be it water cooled or air cooled. It will matter little if any to the refrigerator if the heat is moved to the freezer part or if the refrigerator. Just how good the system will work will depend more on the refrigerator then the CPU cooling system.

In any case place a fan on the refriges compressor because it will get hot. Good luck

I miss spellcheck!!!
THANKS! yeah i'm thinking about a way in which to mount the drives and whatnot OUTSIDE the fridge. i'll find a way. i really want to see how this works out! i'm getting excited just thinking about it! (not like that, for those of you with minds in the gutter).
My looked at the link provided by CraxySerge and I liked how they installed most there hardware and might do the same for the Motherboard only .

As for the HDs and such am thinking about a box on Top or on the side with a small slit to alot the ribbon cables to pass. but am still in the thinking stages LOL
I would suggest putting the fan on the condenser instead of the compressor. It will work much better. The condenser is made to let heat out. Lots of thin wall metal there. Lots of surface. Lots of ways for air to get around it. You can put an amprobe on one line of the compressor to read the amps. As long as it is at or below the rated run load amps, it should be fine. If it is higher, put a fan on the condenser and watch the amps go down.
i know a couple people that have done this mod and their friges burt out after 3-6 months of use....its just not meant to handle that kinda stress constantly
i know a couple people that have done this mod and their friges burt out after 3-6 months of use....its just not meant to handle that kinda stress constantly

That is due to them not watching the amps. If you run a compressor over the manufactured specified amps, you will burn that compressor up.

I see you have a mini fridge setup. what kind of temps do you get? and how is your fridge set up?

Gimme a bit, I'll post some picks of it later today with some info. I'm gonna go up to babbages and buy Rally Trophy and play for a bit.
NuebieN said:
That is due to them not watching the amps. If you run a compressor over the manufactured specified amps, you will burn that compressor up.
please explain what do u mean not watching their amps?? like power amps or heat amps??
I tried something similar and a fridge compressor isn't meat to act as a constant duty compressor. Over time, mine just kept cooling less and less. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it just can't keep it up forever.

One thingy you can do to help is if your condensor is external from the refridgerator case, you can move more air across it to transfer heat away from the condensor coils...in case you don't know what I'm talking about, the condensor coil could be located on the back of a small fridge and might look like a coat hanger that has been bent back and forth a few times...or it can be inside the walls of the fridge itself. If this it is in the fridge, then it is welded to the fridge's case and you can not remove the case without breaking the lines.

On another note:
When I did my system, I put all the drives in the older drive mounts and stacked them up which gave them an inche clearance from each other, then I put my power enermax power supply next to them so the fan would circulate some air. IT worked too. They were several degrees cooler out in the open rather than in a case.

Nuebien your correct I was mistaken condenser is the place for the fan.

As you state also poeple have to be carefull of the duty cycle of there unit. If you look at a refrigerator there made to make things cold and to keep them that way. Once you add a heat source inside the unit it will be overworked. I have a number of friends that work in refrigeration and there going to help me add a larger condenser to the refrigerator as this will help the compressor keep up with the heat source.

The unit will still run alot but with the larger condensor the hope is the compressor will be able to reach a 50% duty cycle. This will help the life span of the unit a great deal.

I have even given thought to making my own box and adding the compressor and coils myself from a large refrigerator. Am still a few months away on my project though :)
I see you have a mini fridge setup. what kind of temps do you get? and how is your fridge set up?

Here's a few links that will answer your question.
Link 1
Link 2

My temps (which I am getting from the diode under the cpu with a gob of dielectric grease all over it; ie: probably not acurate) are 10-12c. Now what I do is cut everything off when I'm not using the computer. When I want to turn it on, I power up the fridge, pump, fan, monitor, and computer on at the same time. You may be able to get better temps if u leave the fridge on constantly. But you will also have to use a liquid with a lower freezing point then water. I need to do some experiments with that, but due to lack of time lately, I haven't got around to it.

Edit: oh yeah.. you may get better temps than mine. I'm not lapped and I put my thermo grease on with my finger. Haven't got around to fixin that yet.
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alright. cool. can you also help me with the amp meter thing. i don't want to burn up my precious fridge.

Look at the back of the fridge. There should be a plate there that has a bunch of info. You're looking for the amp rating of the compressor. It'll probably say "Compressor - RLA - .80 amps". Get ya a amp probe and put it on it. When you got your computer, pump, and all that running, check it out. It will probably be higher then the rating. Put a fan on it. It should go down. If not, put more air on it. I went as far as putting a house fan on it first. If you can't get the amps down, your fridge is probably too small for the load. I doubt that will be the case though. I have a 120mm fan on the back of mine running at 12volts and mine stays right around .78. Hope this helps.
JoeCrappa said:
very interesting article. where would i go about looking for what temps my HD can endure? i seriously want this to work out.

JoeCrappa, I've been experiementing with an old upright freezer. I stuck the whole box in, sans cover. Killed the HD in 3 nights. It didn't like being that cold and it was screaming at me when I woke up on the 4th morning. Waiting for replacement now. Over that short amount of time, I didn't have any other trouble, though.
i guess i'll have to find a way to mount the HD floppy and drives outside the system. maybe the PSU too so that i can minimize the amount of heat that is produced inside the fridge. is it possible to overcool the condenser?
Possible yes..
Probable no..

If you cooled the condenser down too much, the presure would go too far down. With the pressure too far down, the freon would flow slower and make the fridge not work very well.
I seriously doubt you have to worry about that. Especially with the kind of heat load that is being added. Remember fridges are to not meant to work like and Air Cond. They are just meant to keep food cool. Nor are they meant to act like a freezer.

And yes you would have to worry about putting the HDs in it. The grease in the HD bearings could gel up an seize the drive. :burn: I know this from experience with AS400 HDs. IBM instructs their clients to not completely power down an AS400 for long periods of time for that reason. Now that is compairing 2 different kinds of apples here, but they are still apples...or HDs in this case.

I would just put the HDs somewhere where they will get lots of airflow.