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converting an A/C unit to a cpu cooler

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a window unit that was a monster and the fan motor has recently bit the dust. What could i do to turn this into a system cooler. Would really like it to cool the water in my loop now. the refrigeration portion of it is perfect.
I've seen the plate exchangers by koolance. Would that be an option
Please school me on this venture i would like to take
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Wet Willy
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Oold man 555
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post #2 of 6
For this to work, you'll still need some sort of fan on the condenser.
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Bench Stuffs
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post #3 of 6
You have several options for modding the a/c. I will list them in order of simplicity.

1) Blow cold air through the radiator and into the case.

2) Convert the a/c to a chiller by submerging the evap in a reservoir.

3) Convert the a/c to a chiller with the addition of a plate heat exchanger.

4) Convert the a/c to a phase change unit by adding an evap assembly.

Options 1 and 2 can be done with basic tools however 3 and 4 will require refrigeration tools and equipment, and EPA license.

If you plan on just cooling the cpu and have access to the ref tools, equipment, etc.. then I would go with phase change.

As xxbass mentioned, you will need to get some airflow through the condenser.

Give us some specs on a/c unit and how you wish to use it so we can recommend the best configuration.
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
/Well, i'm a certified auto tech, and 9006 cert. as well. i have some ref. tools (automotive)
know how to weld, solder and braise copper. Was thinking about converting the high and low side service port fittings to r134a, just cuz i have all the gauges and the machine to service that type of system.

I know i would have to have a fan on the condenser. Ultimately i would like to cool the entire system. considering i have 6 waterblocks.

The idea of the plate exchanger seems best. if i go with the exchanger, i can run the system as it is now, on rads. and if i want extreme cold turn on the compressor.
Does this sound like its practical??
Wet Willy
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Oold man 555
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Wet Willy
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Oold man 555
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Agility 3 RAID0 lite on dvd burner Raystorm Danger Den 480 Full copper (paralleled)  
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dual boot, Windows7 64bit/Linux ubuntu64bit 1hpw2207h1680/1050  Sharp 60" LED 120hz s510 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Ultra 1600w X4 NZXT, Tempest EVO logitech s510 combo Harmon Kardon AVR245 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 B55 m4n82 deluxe ghetto gtx 460 patriot viper 1066 
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post #5 of 6
Well in one respect you would need to turn off your fans because then they would add unnecessary load to the system and you wouldn't get very good temps. On the other hand you would need to leave them on to warm them up so that water dosen't condense on them and drip into your computer. Pick your poision.

Or you could go the easy way and sell your rads on ebay.

In all seriousness you could get around the problem by putting a valve in so the you can set it to bypass the HX when you are not using the compressor or switch it to bypass the radiators when you want to turn the compressor on.
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post #6 of 6
Just as dinkledork mentioned... The rads would add heat to the loop below ambient, sweat bellow dew point and ice up below 0c. You would need to add some valves to bypass the rad during subambient operation. Three ball valves would do.

Install a tank and cycle the compressor off a thermostat to maintain temps. Chances are that you'll never want to go back to rads.

If your a/c isn't a newer model then it probably has r22 refrigerant. The compressors in those usually have mineral or alkylbenzene oil. R134a requires POE oil so you may end up having to change the oil or use something like an r12 or r22 replacement.

Ebay has some good deals on plate hx's.. you'll be using anywhere from a 20-30 plate. Get two and run a liquid cooled condenser with those rads of yours. Then you can put the rads outside in the warmer months and inside for heat in the colder months.
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