Originally Posted by whoa044
Okay, I'll make this a little more clear:
I already have a water cooling system, but it is just below desirable performance.
I plan on putting a plate heat exchanged somewhere in the loop.
I will explain plate heat exchangers:
They are the same as radiators, but instead of fans cooling them, water flows through it, but the two liquids never make contact inside. Imagine it as an air-cooled radiator submerged under flowing water.
edit: If I can keep the secondary loop cool enough, heat dissipation will be over 2.7kW (I already have a rad in the primary loop)
Yup, I know what a plate heat exchanger is
They are indeed a very efficient way to transfer heat between two fluids. If those two fluids are the same substance, and already close to or at thermal equilibrium, it's not going to have much of an impact.
I think we're saying the same thing... as you say, you will need to keep the secondary loop cooler than the primary loop to achieve your goal, thus establishing a significant difference in the liquids in each loop. I do think the ice-in-the-fish-tank idea is an economical and elegant way to get some extra cooling on a temporary basis. Cheaper still would be to just set the reservoirs for the primary loop in the tank with the ice water. But when you're not actively chilling the tank, I think you're going to see very similar performance to just using the tank as a big res in one loop.
Look at it this way... a plate heat exchanger isn't going to be more efficient at transferring heat between two loops of water than water
. Assuming all the other factors are the same--total volume of water, size and number of radiators and fans, etc., it seems to me the only way nesting these loops is going to improve performance is if the outer loop is actively chilled. Then, what's helping you actually, is the inefficiency
of the plate heat exchanger, since it will probably act as a temperature buffer and prevent the water in the primary loop from getting so cold that you have to worry about condensation.
If you go with the ice-tank setup with the heat exchanger, you'll probably want a filter for the secondary pump's intake since it sounds like that loop would be open.Edited by threephi - 5/30/11 at 10:36pm