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Cold Air Intake (but different) - Condensation?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I hate to contribute to the monotony of "Will I have condensation issues?", so I have read around a little, but I didn't find anything similar to my plan (maybe i didn't look hard enough).

Air will come in from ductwork located at a window (as with normal builds of this nature). But, instead of bring a tube to my computer, I am simply going to build an insulated box and put my entire computer inside + holes for cables.

I plan on having all of this set up when the temperature outside gets more normal.
We have been unseasonably warm. My area has had 20-40 degree days! But, things are getting colder finally. It was about 5*F out today. (Usually it is -10 to -30.)

So, simply put...would I have any problem with condensation? I assume not, but I want to be sure.

____________________________________________
Also, I feel that the "Cooling Experiments" section really should have a condensation sticky.
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post #2 of 8
Even blasting air on your computer that is zero degrees shouldn't be a problem considering the air is going to be warmed up the second it gets near the computer. Now if you leave all this ducting in place overnight so that the motherboard is essentially in contact with outside air, then maybe condensation could form overnight like on a windshield int he morning. Even then, the heat of the room should be enough to heat the inside of the ducting throughout the night, but I wouldn't risk it.
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post #3 of 8

I imagine your idea is like the simplified diagram below:-

pc inside an insulated cage.jpg

 

Comments:-

--Where does the exhaust  (ie red arrow) from the case go?  I suppose there is an exhaust opening (with or without fan) for the insulated cage as well?

--this setup has its own condensation potential that must be controlled.  For instance, cold outside air will fill up the space outside of the PC case, coming into contact with case's external surface.  When the chassis is cooled down enough, condensation might form on the interior surface because warmer (and more humid) air might go into this 'insulated' cage through its exhaust opening mentioned above.

--remember to have some kind of shutoff (orange line) to prevent cold air seeping in when the PC is not in use

 

I think I would rather ditch this insulated cage and connect the duct directly to the PC case intake opening.  This is less complicated and is probably easier to deal with condensation problem.  For example, if outside air is really cold (-10C or below), you can reduce the speed of the intake fan to reduce the volume of air entering the case.

 

 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Mhm. I was just curious if it were to work.

There would have been a second duct that would expel the exhaust through a different part of the window.

Would building a cardboard funnel (isolating the CPU cooler) have any negative effects?
2cnegyo.jpg
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast View Post

Mhm. I was just curious if it were to work.
There would have been a second duct that would expel the exhaust through a different part of the window.
Would building a cardboard funnel (isolating the CPU cooler) have any negative effects?
2cnegyo.jpg

I have been running my Antec like that for the past 2 months or so.. Works good no condensation in my case. I disconnect and cap the tube if I shut PC off so the cold air doesn't just sit. I have the PC on 24/7 like this so there is good airflow.

*edit*
I am not venting it back outside. The air comes out of the PC cool enough to make the room sort of chilly.

CIMG5815.jpg

CIMG5812.jpg
Edited by CloudX - 1/17/12 at 7:43pm
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post #6 of 8
Condensation only forms when warm moist air comes in contact with a cold surface. You just need to maintain a constant positive pressure of cold air inside the case. This means blocking off all fans ports except for the inlet and outlet. You really should only have fans feeding the case as this will keep it under pressure. No need for exhaust fans except the psu of course. If the duct work is very long then you may need a small booster fan in the exhaust.

I can't stress enough how important the positive pressure is. This will keep the warm moist air out. You should always be able to feel the cold air coming out the cracks in the case. If the pc is going to be on 24/7 then make sure the airflow isn't reduced or lost. It's best to have the supply fan independent of the pc but on the same UPS. This way if the pc crashes the fan/s keep the airflow going. It also allows you to maintain temp in the case till next boot. You'll be booting with a high oc so will need the case cold anyways. I use a 172x150x51mm 230cfm 120vac fan on speed controller for the supply fan. Duct is 6" flex. The fan is located right at the window adapter. The window's screen keeps snow from getting sucked in.

For best results direct the airflow to the cpu and gpu/s.

If you plan to shut everything down while cold then unplug the psu and let the pc slowly warm up to room temp.

Good Luck!
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast View Post

Mhm. I was just curious if it were to work.
There would have been a second duct that would expel the exhaust through a different part of the window.
Would building a cardboard funnel (isolating the CPU cooler) have any negative effects?

I think using a cardboard funnel is a good idea as it shields the rest of the components from coming into contact with cold air, thus reducing the possibility of condensation.

And construction paper is a good choice of material as it is less susceptible to condensation.  So, when cold air passes through this funnel, its exterior surface does not have condensation easily, thus avoiding dripping to components underneath.

 

Here are a few threads that should be of interest to you:-

1) http://www.overclock.net/t/1189395/winter-cooling-experiment-results

2) http://www.overclock.net/t/975708/experimentally-determining-the-coldest-i-can-get-with-air

3) http://www.overclock.net/t/1142204/6-10-degrees-difference


Edited by windfire - 1/18/12 at 12:22am
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanksf or the threads windfire.

And yes, I know I will need a booster fan. Incidnetally, I have one similar to the one seen in this picture:
http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo174/Aleslammer/Cooler008.jpg

I will probably use ductwork to bring the air to the case and use some insulation that we have in our shop + cardboard/construction paper.

I also would like the clarify that this is only a temporary build. Just for fun :]
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