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Evaporative cooler design

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penquissciguy

Member
Joined
May 6, 2003
Location
Maine
I have recently been researching various watercooling methods and am seriously considering watercooling my work rig and using an evaporative cooler instead of a radiator. I understand the shortcomings to such a system (loss of coolant during evaporation, moisture entering the air, running water noise), but it will be a great intro to thermodynamics for my high school classes. I was thinking a 4" PVC tower about 36" long would do the trick. Below is what I propose for a change in design so that the cooler needs to be filled less (once a month is my target):


http://www.theforumisdown.com/uploadfiles/0103/cooler.gif

The center tower is going to be the actual cooler, with a standard design (4" wye at the base with a low cfm fan blowing up the tube, ~ 1 gallon reservoir below). I am planning to make two additional 36" x 4" towers that are just water storage. If I assume that the ID of PVC is 3.5" (not sure, but this rings a bell), that would give me a storage capacity of almost exactly 3 gallons. Water weighs 8.3 lb/gal, so we're talking about 25 lb of water in storage alone. This is going to be wall-mounted, so the balance of this rig is not really important. I would plumb them into the reservoir so that it self-fills once the level drops to a certain level, as explained in other posts. Based on other's evaporation rates, would this run a month between fills?

I may just take one of the 20L carboys I have and plumb that in. Comments?

Ken
 
Last edited:

juliendogg

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Location
NC, USA
my bong cooler ran an autofill reservoir as well, evaporation rates were somewhere around 1-1.5 gallons per day. so a month may be a little optomistic??

good luck,
J.
 
OP
penquissciguy

penquissciguy

Member
Joined
May 6, 2003
Location
Maine
Corrections and other thoughts...

PVC is specified by inside diameter, not outside diameter. 4" PVC is actually 4" in diameter on the inside. This would give my two 36" stacks a volume of 3.92 gallons.

However, based on what I've read on these forums, the best I can expect in terms of coolant loss is about 1/2 gallon/day if the cooler is run 24/7. That would give me a theoretical runtime of a week between fillings. Good, but still too often.

Another approach I've seen on these forums is the use of a float valve in the reservoir. There is a sink nearby that might work for this, but I had wanted to use distilled water (I have a distillery in my lab so supply is not an issue). I could fill my stacks weekly from this faucet and forget the distilled water and float altogether, I suppose.

Ah, the possibilities... need to do some more research, I guess.

Ken