• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Soak cooling? Tell me what you think

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Jun 13, 2001
Hello all, I'm a new poster to the forum but i've been reading it for a little while already.
With all the talk about bong/evap cooling, I got to thinking. I'm sure we've all had on a wet t-shirt at some point (or at least seen them at some point on someone else :-D ), and noticed just how cold it felt even on a warm day if it was at all windy.

I've drawn up a couple of quick mspaint sketches of a soak-based cooling system, and i'd like to hear some of your opinions. Basically, the showerhead approach is replaced by a t-shirt (or similar piece of fabric) through which the water will soak. As it is soaking through the material, back down into your main resevoir, it is being cooled by a fan. It would seem to me that this soaking process would further lengthen the time in which the water is exposed to a cooling force.

The only downside that i can see to this is that one piece of material may not be able to soak properly and fast enough to keep up with the pump, resulting in a waterfall of sorts going over the shirt. This could be remedied by adding several soaking shirts in paralell, all draining into the main resevoir.

Hopefully this pic attaches properly, as this is my first post. Lemme know what you think
isn't that the same thing as a radiator?
..and using a shirt would certainly result in a large loss of water through evap....

just my .02, I'm an air-cooling maniac, not a water-cooling maniac..so .....
you might want to do a search in the forum for swamp coolers. Its the same Idea you have and the stuff they use is built for it. Also somone made a bong usinging SOS pads in place or yout t-shirt.

The bong sounds like a great idea untill you build one and realise how much water your loosing.
Actually, I was thinking about a way to improve the bong coolers already and it is something along the line of this except that it involves a radiator instead of a shirt. Why?

Well, I don't have a bong, but it sounds to me like people are already having problems with keeping the system going without actually leaving the tap on with a hose into the resevoir. So, got a radiator and install it at the top of the bong where the vapor is exhausted. Come directly to the radiator off of the waterblock and this water will be warmer than the now-humid-and-dense air flowing past it. The more humid and dense the air is, the more efficient it is at absorbing heat. Now go to the shower head and kick out this cooler-than-previously water which will then be circulated back to the radiator to perform that function.

I believe that this will provide cooler water with less evaporation.

----------------------- adding this ---------------------

Now this friend of mine here at work who I've almost convinced to go with a watercooling rig has suggested that I might be trying to get something for nothing. I disagree. The water cooler works on the principle of evaporation as you know. The principle of evaporation works because the surface molecules of water on each drop will absorb energy from it's neighbors to become more energetic and therefore airborn. Because only the less energetic molecules are left behind, that is why you can cool to sub-ambient temperature. The definition of temperature of a material is - the measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules. His concern is that the water vapor is already warmer than the radiator. This might be so initially just off the drop, but shortly after the water evaporates, it mixes with the surrounding air provided by your fan and cools off significantly. All of this water vapor and air IS warmer than ambient, but still far cooler than your radiator - particularly if you're running a pelt.

Something else he mentioned, what about the lime etc. that's dissolved in tap water? You all realize that this stuff is accumulating to extreme consistency in the bottom of your resevoir and might be getting sucked into your piping and waterblock? The dielectric effect might be a problem since all of this stuff is going to be ionized in the stack - where does lightning come from? Anyone? Anyone? Make sure the system is grounded - it probably is through the pump anyway. Run some cleaner of some sort through the thing every 50 gallons or something? I don't know.

Oh yeah, this might also cause the growth of bacteria on the warm wet radiator too. Better mist it with some alcohol occasionally.
I imagine with this system that, yes, there would be much more water loss, therefore requiring more filling more often. However, wouldn't this be to the benefit of a cooler water source? I mean, the more water that is being cooled/evapped, the cooler the resulting water should be, correct?

That's a very interesting idea too inertia. The only thing that I would wonder about is how effective the radiator would be after the water has already passed through the showerhead and has been evap-cooled (ie. i don't know how much more the radiator would cool after the water had already been evapped).

Just to make sure i understand you correctly, in this setup the water would fall from the showerhead into a resevoir, then it would pass through the radiator sitting above the showerhead which is being cooled by the "steam" from the water of the showerhead?
Actually inertia, you may have come up with a great way to improve bong coolers. Think of it this way. If the water has passed through a radiator, and THEN through the shower head, it isn't going to nearly as warm as it would have been otherwise, right? Which means less evaporation, and less humidity flowing out of your system. Someone(not me, I'm broke) should definately try this. Considering you can get a small heater core from a local wreckers for like, $10, it might be well worth the money to mod your bong! :)