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Food for Thought - Hybrid cooler box

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
rolleyes.gif

allright,

First of all i have no intention of building this for following reasons:
-i'm lazy
-i don't think it will yield enough to justify the effort
-i don't have enough specialist knowledge on A/C. I know the principle, but don't ask me what is the better refrigerant : R22 , R410 , R134, R1234yf, .. i'ld say that depends on the application. I also know that anything below 12000 BTU is only suited for realy tiny rooms.
-i think that if you want to repurpose an A/C to "a chiller" that you should start with a real ($ 2000,-) split unit and not with those puny "portable" noise emitters or windows units. But thats just me. smile.gif

Second, i have no intention of building this for the above reasons smile.gif

Tertio, maybe this has been done before & even in a sticky somewhere. But in that case i haven't found it, or overlooked it. Sorry about that.


So, why this?
The problem with repurposing A/C into subambient PC water chillers is that as soon as you go below dew point, you are looking at condensation issues. The concept -as shown by my 1337 paint skillz- is to dual purpose the violated A/C evap by partially submerging in cooling loop liquid (eg distilled) and partially use as intended to cool some air to be ducted through your PC (and back to the chamber)

NOTES:
yes, there WILL be losses; but the goal of this contraption is to keep condensation at bay, not to go -50 °C
yes, this a rather large setup and you will NOT be able to drag this to a LAN party (who still does lan-parties anyways?)

prerequisites:
-Your PC case must NOT have additional air intakes/exhaust - in fact, you should seal everything off as best as possible and ONLY allow the air ducted from the "chill box" to flow through your PC (and back to the chill box)
-Your waterloop is now an "open" loop, so care must be taken in positioning above or below the chill box
-Your waterloop is now an "open" loop, so your pump must be able to operate in such conditions (backpressure is different vs a closed loop)
-Your waterloop pump must be able handle the 3-6 extra feet of tubing (should not be problem unless you are using a puny AIO pump)
-Your waterloop must cover the "hottest" elements : CPU, GPU(s), VRMs if possible

OPTION:
If you dont want to contaminate or deal with loss of distilled, you can always add a Plate HeatExchanger between PC loop and chill box loop - requires an extra pump thou.



Legend
1. Tank , container, box , coleman beercooler, "real men" lunchbox (bacon smell included), ......
Assume an insulated box, big enough to hold the A/C evap + 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of liquid

2. A/C evap line
The tube between the evap and the rest of the modified A/C unit

3. A/C Evap
Partially submerged. Purpose: cool the liquid AND cool the air

4. Fan bolted to the evap
Not rocket science smile.gif

5. Cooled air ducted towards/into the PC case

6. Air returned (ducted) from the PC case
This will be warmer of course, for several reasons, the primary reason air leaks. But it should probably not be as "hot" as you expect as the "worst" offenders are under waterblocks (and your PSU is breathing in from AND venting outside the case). Besides, since the air is recirculated, the cooling should be at par with the warming (or even cooler, if you are lucky)


7. Liquid to PC loop waterblocks/pump
Or to a Plate HX if you want to.

8. Liquid returned from the PC waterblocks/pump

9. a horizontal divider (between air & liquid) to minimise evaporation of the liquid
(not marked on the sketch)


This concept should cool your PC waterloop AND the air moving through your PC, thus keeping condensation at bay should the cooling drop below dewpoint.


Now... the problems:
- I'm not even sure if this will work. I imagine the differential between the submerged & air part of the evap will cause it to have "issues" because of uneven load.
- Dimensions: how "big", how "strong" must this contraption be to even dip below ambient? I dunno.
- Efficiency: of course its not smile.gif Then again, there is ALWAYS a tradeoff - such are the laws of physics. But if it works, it'll be more efficient as peltiers. But yeah, it will use more electricity as a "normal" HeatSink/Fan combo.
- complexity: yeah, it would be a LOT easier to just use a "normal" big ass A/C and duct some of the cooled air through the PC. But if you compare it to the convoluted "sub-zero" issues & solutions which involve gooping up your MB and such... then this is easier (if it works)



Variant:
A variant which will probably work better : Use TWO A/Cs: One unmodfied to cool the air ducted through the PC; one modified to a waterchiller.



Alright , let me iterate:
-i am NOT going to build this.
-This is more an excercise, a feasability study.
-I am well aware this might not work at all or not yield anything more as mediocre results.
-The goal is a contraption to keep possible condensation issues at bay.
-it is very well possible this has been tried before.



But anyways... Comments? Remarks? Calculations? Pointers/links to "done before". Discuss biggrin.gif

Please try to keep kindergarten comments like "me 1337 CoolIt/H60 will pwn yer *ss" out of it smile.gif


.
redface.gif
Edited by RnRollie - 8/16/13 at 3:27pm
post #2 of 8
I assume the goal is to keep the air inside the case below the dew point.

Wouldn't it be easier to just split the chilled water between the blocks and a rad inside the case.

My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
  hide details  
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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

I assume the goal is to keep the air inside the case below the dew point.

Wouldn't it be easier to just split the chilled water between the blocks and a rad inside the case.


I've been following a build ...now completed and working well that does it exactly that way. that build however uses a completely sealed chamber to house the pc also.

I don't like the idea of having a continuous air space connecting the water reservoir to the pc case.....you know what happens if you leave water in a container in the sun light...you get condensation all over the inside....I know you said to use a separator but a solid separation layer would be impossible to seal with the evap going through it.....probably the only separator that would work would be to pour a layer of oil over the top of the water...obviously self leveling /sealing.

Other than that I take it you you are proposing the use of a standard but sealed pc case......of course there would be condensation issues on the outside of the case, these recirculating ac unit systems hit low temps -30c to -20c is quite easily achievable.......unless you would intend to regulate the temp of the water so that it doesn't go too far below ambient then would will get condensation on the case......but that seems a pointless exercise to do all that and then castrate your minimum temps.....so you need to insulate the case......so if you insulate your case you are moving further away from using a standard case and more towards a chill box

Adapting your idea a bit though does give me an idea for a very very very simple cooled system......I'm not going to attempt to draw it and will just refer to your diagram.

Remove the air ducting and have your mobo mounted on a platform above the water level in the air space. Pump water from the reservoir below on one side of the evap through the blocks and return it to the other side of the evap so that your cooling loop provides recirculation through the evap.

Obviously you would really really need a layer of oil to prevent water evaporation (untested don't know if it would even work sufficiently) but if it worked you would have a water cooled system without the need for any radiators.
Edited by technogiant - 8/16/13 at 11:42pm
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

I assume the goal is to keep the air inside the case below the dew point.

Wouldn't it be easier to just split the chilled water between the blocks and a rad inside the case.



No, that would create condensation ON the radiator IN the case... dont want that smile.gif

Besides, there is not enough potential to do that. Rads are not efficient enough if "small" . Best you can hope for is an Air drop of 2-3 °C below ambient, which is MUCH warmer as the liquid - thus: condensation can be an issue if operating in borderline dewpoint conditions.

What it would do is warm up your liquid rather fast

The idea is to keep the air temp closer to your loop temp, to avoid condensation on blocks & tubes.
Edited by RnRollie - 8/17/13 at 2:25am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
@technogiant

the idea is to keep it simple smile.gif
deal with possible condesation on WB blocks/hoses by running chilled air through the case

so,
-no MB & other parts inside the cool box -frost/condensation issues in the box PLUS wiring issues (you know)
-no sub-zero temps unless it could be done without running into lots of the problems associated with sub-zero
-no dipping below dewpoint

Condensation on the OUTSIDE of the PC case CAN indeed be an issue, which is why staying above dewpoint is recommended, but frankly... condensation on outside PC case is easy to deal with... just use dripline smile.gif

And, yes keeping the liquid & air separated in the cool box is difficult.. the easiest is to accept losses by evap and just fill up every now and then. Unless a good way to deal with that is available, the easiest would be to use TWO A/C s


Keep the ideas coming smile.gif
Edited by RnRollie - 8/17/13 at 2:26am
post #6 of 8
Tbh it all seems a little involved just to obtain temps just above dew point.....okay you get to not worry about sealed chambers etc etc, but the trade off is you only get temps a handful of degree's below what can be achieved by ambient water cooling perhaps only slightly better than bong cooling.

Perhaps it's just my perception but for me the whole point of active/powered cooling it to make full use of the cooling power you have and deal with the complications that brings.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant View Post

Tbh it all seems a little involved just to obtain temps just above dew point.....okay you get to not worry about sealed chambers etc etc, but the trade off is you only get temps a handful of degree's below what can be achieved by ambient water cooling perhaps only slightly better than bong cooling.

Perhaps it's just my perception but for me the whole point of active/powered cooling it to make full use of the cooling power you have and deal with the complications that brings.

You've got a point there.
The concept needs some tweaking or just clearly pointing out why its a bad idea. As said its a concept.
Maybe with sufficient tweaks its workable? Or maybe its not worth the aggravation? We'll see smile.gif

As for complications... You do wonderfull things/builds, but you must also know that what you do is out of reach for the average Joe.
I'm trying to find a concept which is easier to implement by Joe (providing Joe understands some of the principles/laws behind it)

Its not only a concept, an idea, its a learning experience, its the journey that counts smile.gif
post #8 of 8
Yeah I fully agree with your concept of better cooling in reach of joe public......thing is with powered cooling....and I've thought out a lot more ideas than I've put into practice......it seems that all roads lead to Rome.....or to put it another way....It's very much an all or nothing step....in that you have to go the whole hog or its not worth bothering with.

Now what may be an idea would be an improved ambient cooling method....just to knock something out there.....say ambient phase change cooling.....something like a water loop circulating Novec 7000 fluid, perhaps a compressor and condenser on the hot side just to re-compress the liquid to gas but a limited draw through restriction ie no capillary tube or anything like that....just enough restriction to allow the compressor to build pressure and re-condense the vapor to liquid.......just a passing thought as phase change is potentially so much more powerful as a cooling method that conductive water cooling......but then again if your only going to get around ambient at most.....whats the point?.....just buy a beefier water cooling system.
Edited by technogiant - 8/17/13 at 7:41am
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