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Mineral Oil Submerged - Phase Change Cooling Project

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Here are two scenarios on how to get a 24/7 over clock mineral oil/phase change cooling system to the very lowest temperature, with developing condensation, as I have seen the mineral oil cannot be cooled with a phase change system as the condensation is to much, so here are possible solutions.

Option 1, create an air tight tank, fill to the brim with mineral oil, then you will get a minimal, if any, layer of water forming at bottom of tank, no problem if mother board is slightly elevated, but down side could possible be if you are circulating your oil the smallest amounts of water, and probably not visible to the eye might be churned up there and cause some problems creating a small short, guess it would almost have to be in a vacuum for this to properly work, maybe install some air conditioning to lower the humidity tongue.gif condensation would of course still be present on the pipes outside the air tight tank, and on the outside surface of the tank, but this is okay.

Option 2, hook up a phase change cooling system up to just your cpu, and then submerge you entire mobo back in the tank, the pipes for the phase change running into the tank and through the mineral oil, would not the cool the oil so much to cause condensation as before, this enables you to run the processor 24/7 at extremely cool temperature, and having it in the oil stop the mobo being a limiting factor, you could have the phase change hooked to the graphics card and ram also, but i doubt they would need it as the oil will more than enough cool them enough in tandem with the phase change cooling the cpu when over clocked, however if hooked up to these also, the oil would still be extremely beneficial at stopping multiple parts of the mobo being limiting factors of your 24/7 over clock system. And as for keeping the mineral oil cool, as the phase change doesn't work , to keep it at a cool but not freezing temperature so as that to condense water moisture, a simple pump and radiator or two could be used, or a lower power condenser of some kind. This is my favourite and most practical scenario.

I'de love to hear if anyone else has had any other similar idea's and actually put them into practise. smile.gif Funds are the only thing in my way. mad.gif

Forgot to add, when installing the phase change heat sink, thermal paste would not work, would use something like 'Indigo extreme', not super important, but many say capacitors would be blown, in which case it is a much safer bet to use ALL 'solid capacitors' , apparently some mobo's are advertised with 'solid capacitors' ONLY around the cpu socket though.

Any advice or extra ideas are welcome smile.gif

Would love to know if you guys think either of these are plausible, or combinations of them smile.gif
post #2 of 6
I don't have any personal experience with phase change

I think I read that you could have connected the phase change loop into a radiator that would be in the oil, seems smart to cool down the oil so much. Except one thing. When I was doing research on my own project I found that if you cool mineral cool to freezing temps is will get very thick. This might create hot spots since it can circle around the gpus and not flow anywhere else.

As far as the water issue just make it air tight as possible and have a vent on top connected to a dehumidifier. I would believe that would take care of the water in the air. I believe phase change units are loud so I am assuming the extra noise from the dehumidifer doesn't matter.

based on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChOe6F1rZKQ

go to 4:10
Edited by opforce - 12/4/12 at 1:43pm
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry i wasnt overly clear bout that, but you basicly understood, only difference is, that the oil would cool through a radiator, and then separately, the phase change system would enter the tank and cool the cpu and gpu, but i think the pipes of the phase change cooling would have the same effect that you mentioned, I think you are correct, was hoping maybe it wouldn't cool the oil around it, but of course if its managing to cool the cpu to such cold temperatures, then of course the oil around would get to a thick gel, i have also heard this, but would this be bad do you think, if the oil was then not circulating ie turn the pump for the oil to the radiator off, (as i assume the pump would not be able to circulate this now thick cooled oil), would having this cool gel over the motherboard be a problem??, i mean surely it would just act in the same way as submerging a beer bottle in a barrel of ice, a motherboard in a cooled mineral oil gel?, so i guess i have kind of just disproved the need for a radiator for the oil, as the phase change through the tank would cool it more than the radiator could. the pump could be used to remove any air from the tank, (stopping any condensation), or perhaps to a res where a dehumidifier could be used. also if the pump circulating the oil was then turned off, due to lack of need, any condensation wouldn't be a problem as water would just sit at the bottom of tank. Thanks for the reply, Video was helpful to smile.gif
post #4 of 6
As far as the pump working with the thick gel like oil I have no idea. I have no idea what pressures the tubing and clamps needed can handle. But what is the main purpose of this rig? cooling? Looks? Unique?

If its cooling then your looking at the best long term set up from what I know with phase change. Everything I believe will run at -20-30C. The oil I highly doubt will help in this effect.

Looks; I have no idea if the oil turns opaque when chilled like that.

As I can tell by what we are talking about and you seem to be smart and did your research as well so I guess the budget is not extensive for this project?

I will be envious of the temps you get but not of the noise.
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post #5 of 6
I believe this would work. I'm not familiar with phase-changing cooling yet, but I am slightly familiar with submerged. Just know that you will want to make sure your system is running, your tank is finished, and everything else looks 100% perfect before you submerge the components.

Maintaining a submerged PC is NOT an easy task. Also, you'll probably need a 12-gallon tank (or more) to adequately submerge the components. This will be very heavy.

Also, while you're thinking of your submerged build, try to think of a mechanic by which you can lift the mobo tray and keep it up directly over your tank. This will reduce the mess you're going to have.

If you need to clean your components, don't be afraid to use the dishwasher, just don't heat-dry and don't use standard dishwasher soaps. Use white vinegar as a rinse aid instead.

Target sells very cheap mineral oil (cheaper than even the cheapest online store) but sells it in very small quantities. Don't expect to see more than gallon per target per re-stocking cycle. If you leave near a feed store or vet, you may be able to purchase mineral oil for a decent price. Shopping online will net you low prices on the oil, but a hefty shipping cost.

Use aquarium air-pumps to produce bubbles under your CPU and VGAs. This will help reduce hot-spots and will otherwise reduce temps by about 2-5 deg. C.

I wish you luck and eagerly await your progress.

EDIT: Conventional liquid-cooling pumps are pretty weak when it comes to moving oil. Look on craigslist for a submersible pump (or home depot for under $80). These are generally 3x more powerful than the best liquid-cooling pumps. Just make sure you also buy all necessary fittings to hook it up to your loop. Home Depot has everything you need for cheap.

Quick-disconnect fittings will be indispensable for this build. Getchu some.
Edited by LaoArchAngel - 12/6/12 at 11:11am
post #6 of 6
I have experience with chilled oil. Neither high power fans nor relatively high powered pumps can move chilled oil. Now it will depend on the temperature of the oil, I was directly chilling the oil and trying to flow it over my pc, which does not work. If you are using say mineral oil, anything below 30-40C will become very hard to move, fully synthetic motor oil allows for alittle more headroom, but if it reaches anything below 10C it becomes unmovable. Even large 1-2 horsepower pumps ($200-$500 range) are not designed to quickly flow high viscosity fluids, and I have determined they are not usable with highly chilled oil. Chilling anything submersed in oil will eventually cool the oil, and as you have said, lead to condensation in anything but an airtight box. I do not want you to make the same costly (both time and money) mistakes I have made. If you want to run your computer at low temperatures via any kind of phase change I strongly suggest leaving oil out of the equation. Condensation prevention can be accomplished much easier through standard methods established by many phase change OCers. I am completely happy with my current build, an AC chilled liquid cooler, and proper condensation prevention. Liquid temp is about -30C, and I can run constantly without worries, and my CPU and GPUs are very very well cooled.

Mineral oil by itself, cooled via radiators, is doable, however cooling will be less efficient than watercooling.

I would like to be able to help you, I have some experience with exotic cooling solutions, many failed, and some successful.
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