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Control relative humidity in room

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm trying to do an experiment to figure out the relationship between the relative humidity of a room and the temperature of the CPU. I've already posted about this in the Thermalright Archon thread (link) because thats where I got the idea from. A couple months ago a few members and I were discussing whether humidity really affects the cooling efficiency of a cooler, so I want to put this to the test.

I've come across the largest hurdle to all of this - I simply can't seem to be able to raise the relative humidity in my room above ~34% using conventional humidifiers. I've only tried an older humidifier I've had lying around - a pretty cheap model, but I don't want to spring for a larger more expensive model simply because I'm not sure of the efficiency of those things. I need to be able to get the humidity at least as high as 80-85%.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can go about doing this? I've read around and some people suggest leaving a pan of water above a heating vent, but I seriously doubt that alone will get the humidity high enough.

And a final question that occurred to me - what is the risk of condensation? I'm tempted to say that its pretty low because humidifiers take quite a while to raise the humidity, which should mean that the air inside the computer and around it should have the same water content. Any and all ideas a very welcome.
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post #2 of 26

Condensation will not be possible.  It's just like taking a hot beverage outside on a relatively cool day:  the outside of the beverage container stays dry because its surface is warmer than the air.  The only way condensation can occur is if the surface is cooler than the air, and if that air has enough moisture in it.  So that's like taking a cold beverage outside on a hot and sticky day:  the outside of the beverage container gets wet because moisture is condensing onto it.

 

As for increasing the moisture, I have an idea but it would be a large amount of work and you'd be running back and forth between the stove and your room...

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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh that's great to hear. The last thing I want is to jeopardize my equipment for the sake for test biggrin.gif .

I'd love to hear your idea for the moisture - any idea is better than no idea. Even if its not practical (yet), it could very well be a good launching point to make it more practical.
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post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinigamibob View Post

Oh that's great to hear. The last thing I want is to jeopardize my equipment for the sake for test biggrin.gif .
I'd love to hear your idea for the moisture - any idea is better than no idea. Even if its not practical (yet), it could very well be a good launching point to make it more practical.

 

This idea came to me a couple of winters ago when the air was way too dry for way too long.  I needed some relief, even if it was only for a few hours.

 

I have three good-sized wooden bread boards and a half a dozen or so pots and 4 burners on the stove.  I brought 4 pots to a boil and put them in my room on top of the bread boards, but it was one at a time so it was a bit of work.  I had some extra room for 2 more pots and brought those to a boil and then put them in my room.  This moist air felt so good that I kept this going for a few hours, but it was a lot of work going back and forth.  lol

 

I could have just hung out in the bathroom with the door closed and the shower on to the hottest setting, but the only place to sit is the toilet!  lol  At least in my room I could hang out comfortably in that moist air.

 

I got the idea from a friend who has a small house: in the winter, he keeps a large pot of water on his stove with just enough heat under it to keep the water steaming.


Edited by TwoCables - 11/5/12 at 12:35pm
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post #5 of 26
Not true that you can't get condensation at temperatures higher than the air - the air can be saturated enough that the dewpoint is higher than room temperature. It's unlikely that will happen I would think, but it's certainly possible.
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post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post


Not true that you can't get condensation at temperatures higher than the air - the air can be saturated enough that the dewpoint is higher than room temperature. It's unlikely that will happen I would think, but it's certainly possible.

 

If the surface of an object is warmer than the air, then condensation is not possible on that surface.  This is why the Dew Point is never lower than the air temperature.  The lowest the Dew Point can go is down to the same temperature as the air.

 

Dew Point Calculator

 

Have you ever seen condensation occur on a surface that is warmer than the air mass that it is in?  I mean really, if it were possible, then condensation would be a common problem.

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post #7 of 26
Just a followup to say, I googled around to refresh my memory and yeah, normal room air can get to slightly higher RH than 100%, so it is possible that a surface hotter than the room air could form condensation, but it would only happen with extremely high RH (110%, 120% etc.) and only on surfaces slightly warmer than the air, for it to happen badly, the air would need to be super clean without many condensation nuclei so that the water vapor could stay in solution despite the RH getting very high.

Also, I don't know if this might satisfy your requirement, but if you can't get enough water into the air at typical room temperatures to get the RH high enough for your testing, the best way to get a higher RH is probably to chill the room, so that although the amount of water in the air in absolute terms stays the same, the RH will go up since the colder air has less capacity to hold the water vapor in solution.
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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post

Just a followup to say, I googled around to refresh my memory and yeah, normal room air can get to slightly higher RH than 100%, so it is possible that a surface hotter than the room air could form condensation, but it would only happen with extremely high RH (110%, 120% etc.) and only on surfaces slightly warmer than the air, for it to happen badly, the air would need to be super clean without many condensation nuclei so that the water vapor could stay in solution despite the RH getting very high.

 

Yeah, so in other words, his answer is that it's not possible.  Can you agree with that?  We're talking about very high temps here.

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post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I checked an online dew point calculator, and it reports that the dew point is 18C at room temperature of 23C and relative humidity at 80%. I'm not sure what exactly that means, but I'm pretty certain that all it means that my hardware should be warmer than 18C - which I'm sure it will be.



Source: http://www.dpcalc.org/
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post #10 of 26

I had my Backwards Thinking Cap on.  I meant that the Dew Point never goes higher than the air temperature.

 

REGARDLESS, the surface of an object must be colder than the air in order for condensation to be possible.  This is why a cold beverage container gets wet when you take it outside on a hot and sticky day, and this is why a hot beverage container stays dry.

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