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Ice water bong for air-cooling

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Captain Random Senior Evil
Nov 8, 2001
I'm thinking like a stoner on this one, but maybe I could make a bong for air-cooling...

Ok start with a 10 or 20 gallon fishtank. Make an airtight, removable lid from... let's say plexi-glass or lexan. Cut two circular holes in the lid and place a pvc pipe in with an L joint to route air to a case fan intake, and a length of clear tubing(enough so that it coils and sits at the bottom of the tank), or copper coil would be even better. The tubing/coil goes below the water level, the pvc pipe doesn't. Hook up a powerful fan to the pvc pipe to suck air from the setup, and cut that pipe so it fits right over my cpu intake duct. Make that joint air tight, and put a foam filter in the pipe to prevent any splashing. Stick ice water in the fishtank. Air gets pulled into the tank thru the tubing/coil, and thru the ice-cold water, then gets piped directly to the cpu.

I've got a 10 gallon tank and a limitless supply of ice. PVC, plexi, and silicone are all pretty cheap. I'd just need one hella powerful fan to overcome the pressure of sucking the air thru the water. What do ya think?
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mini fridge

I've got a mini fridge, so maybe I could even run some hoses and keep another resovior in the ice box to keep the ice in the fishtank from melting so fast.
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I'll try to get my roomate to draw it so I can post a pic... maybe that would be easier. I'm just wondering if this idea is sound from a physics standpoint.
you are going to drown your computer, condensation death is eminent *L*

lets think about this... umm. cold wet air on a warm h/s... worst case scenario, condenation on the h/s. best case scenario (if your sink is warm enough to cause this) evaporation and condensation on the top of the case... you could make a little rain forest.

sounds like a bad idea all around to me unless you wanna spray your whole system with conformal coating and fasion a drain.

if you did want to go to all the trouble of waterproofing without hurting your heat dissapation too much........

i think you could possibly get excellent results.
new idea

That was the kind of response I was looking for... seemed that since the air traveled thru the water, and the water would be in a mostly sealed tank, that there'd be high humidity.

How about if I connected the intake hose/coil and the out-take pvc pipe.... just ran one big, long hose thru some ice water. The air passing thru the hose would have the same amount of water vapor as the rest of the atmosphere in my area. The air temp would be reduced a bit below ambient, depending on how much hose was submerged.

I wonder at what point (Delta t) condensation would form. Like, would reducing the air temp only 4 or 5 C below ambient be safe to pump into my system? What formula am I looking for here? Dew point?

Would it be better to blow colder air into my case indirectly... ie not straight onto the heatsink for a more passive cooling solution?
that's kinda a hard thing to say. i think if you used a copper coil submered in cooled liquid...

you might be okay. you gotta keep in mind, as long as your h/s is warm enough you will get evaporation rather than condensation. cuz you got colder air and warmer surface. kinda like putting your intake fan up to an open window in winter. you could exhaust out the top and blow the cold air across the hs/f via a duct.

good idea. only how do you do that and keep enough air flow through the tubing. youd need a serious fan.

I have a room fan that has a protective cage around it... it's probably 250-300mm in diameter. I was going to drill a hole in some wide pvc for its cord... the stand is removeable, and figure a way to mount it inside, then use pvc adapters to shrink down to the size of the tubing.

I might get a small radiator to submerge in the tank instead of a coil of hose or copper tubing and pull the air thru that. I may not get much cfm's if the tubing is small diameter on the intake end of this system.

Maybe I could make a sleeve to fit around the fan from a really large balloon, cut open both ends and glue it to some pvc, sort of like shrink wrap. I'd have to run the cord down the tubing and out thru a drilled hole in pvc though cuz I couldn't make an airtight sleeve very easily that could fit around the cord without leaking.

I'm getting together an assortment of stuff and I'll just have to experiment. I'd like to put my mini-fridge to use cooling the water, so I'll probably get a pump and an extra resivoir to stick in the fridge. I'd like to get a little radiator for the tank too, more surface area and better thermal conduction than the coil of clear rubber hose I was origionally envisioning. As you can see, this project will probably eventually lead to watercooling anyway...

I'd think if condesation formed anywhere it'd be where warm air hits a cold surface... maybe on the duct I pour this colder than ambient air into or on the side panel around the duct. Doesn't cold air hold less water vapor than warm air?

I know a lot of it will have to do with atmoshpereic comditions in my area... humidity, ambient temperature, etc.. I just wish I could remember the physics and chemistry equations to do some rough guestimation and come up with some safe tolerances for those kinds of variables.

I want to fill the tank with ice water, so no, I don't think I'll put any fish in there. I might drop a few beers in though:beer:
Cheapo-chill AC unit

Ok, I think I've got it all worked out....

The basics:

Ambient air is pulled thru a submerged copper coil and routed to a side panel cpu fan duct or case fan, or both. The coil will be at least 1 inch in diameter, and I'll use adapters to widen it to at least 4 inches. From there it'll be PVC pipe (painted black of course) and at the end I'll use large plastic funnels or pvc adapters to accomodate an 8 inch house fan, one funnel or adapter on each end of the fan, made as air-tight as possible. I might set a matched fan on the intake end as well, using the same adapters, depending on how much airflow I get with one fan.

The resivoir... the main resivoir will be a 5 gallon hexagonal fishtank, filled with ice water. As a second stage, I'll get a Maxijet 1200 pump and make a smaller resivoir so that water circulates between the two. This smaller 2nd res will go in the icebox of a mini-fridge I just happen to have lying around. It should help keep the ice in the fishtank from melting so fast...

Other items for the project will include a purple lava lamp sitting on top of the fridge, an 18 inch blacklight to improve the looks of the aquarium, and lots of beer to stick in the fridge. I expect with the materials I already have that this will cost me around $50 or $60, not including the beer, and give me most of what I need to do true water-cooling at some point in the future.
you could also use a small pump to circualate the cold water through a rad and then blow the ambient air through the rad to cool it.

your right about warmer air holding more moisture, don't think you'll have to worry too much about condensation. it's much more of an isue with a cold surface and warmer air. and unless your talking about 10 degrees or more of difference..............

good luck:D