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I want this heatsink

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
This is my proposal for the next step in heatpipe cooler performance. I suspect that facing area is the primary performance limitation on current premium heatsink designs. This design is the most direct way to step things up.





Advantages:
  • Twice the facing area of the best current designs
  • Allows unrestricted ambient intake and exhaust
  • Optimal heatpipe orientation for gravity feed
  • Reduced requirement for clearance and case width
Challenges:
  • Incompatible with many (all?) current cases - this one's a doozy :-)
  • Variable CPU placement dictates flexible mounting design - could be tricky
  • Additional weight means case mounting is a requirement
Notes:
  • Most obviously the heatpipes aren't optimally placed in this image. I have limited modelling fu and only did enough to describe the concept.
  • A horizontal placement of the radiator would possibly allow compatibility with some top rad-ready cases but at the expense of a longer heatpipe run and much reduced gravity advantage.
Thoughts:
Phase change heatpipe coolers already often outperform watercooling units. The water cooling advantage is flexible placement allowing a larger radiator. Given a large ambient facing area a heatpipe design could outperform all current closed loop units on the market.

I'm still curious about the performance impact of longer than usual heatpipes but decided that a gravity flow design is likely to mitigate.
Edited by matman - 4/5/14 at 1:15am
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post #2 of 60
if it was possible it would weigh a ton and cost a fortune a water cooling loop would most likely be cheaper.

as you said al cases are diff so making the pipes reach would be difficult if not impossible.
the n=only thing i think could work is the same as you have it but have the heatsink close to the top of the mb and case companies make a case so the heat sink can be screwed to the back of mb panel

edit: new idea. bring the pipes towards the front of the mb and through the heatsink length ways and turn the fans around
post #3 of 60
This looks interesting. What exactly do you mean when you say "facing area"? I think possibly creating a strategically coloured fin network could help with heat distribution, perhaps jet black dull fins where the heat pipes meet the radiator and some how design it so silver fins can reflect the heat upwards and draw it away from the black base of the radiator. Graphene would be a huge innovation in heat sink design because it is by far the best heat conductor.
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post #4 of 60
Thread Starter 
Weight: Yes it would have to be secured to the case. It still sometimes makes me sad that BTX didn't succeed as a new universal form factor. Fixed CPU position and mounting would have made this a much easier sell.

Cost: More than current designs but still less than watercooling and this would potentially out perform a triple rad water setup.

Front position: Long heatpipes working against gravity made this option unattractive for me. Also I like the idea of an unrestricted ambient flow for the radiator.

Facing area: Frontal area taking in fresh ambient air. For example the NH-D14 facing area is less than 140MM^2. The NH-U14S has less bulk and total surface area but it's larger facing area more than compensates in most situations. This design has more than twice the facing area of the NH-U14S.
Edited by matman - 3/30/14 at 4:37am
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post #5 of 60
post #6 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the entertaining video. It set me on a tour of loop heat pipe designs. I think it's unlikely to be a viable product. Pumping losses from moving all that liquid around has to make it less efficient than a typical heatpipe. It also would be necessary to compensate for significant pressure changes, possibly more than most water loops can sustain.

Interestingly the most advanced loop heat pipes are capillary pumped and a little complicated and are an excellent solution in weightless environments yet they fall short of the performance of a simple vertical heatpipe when gravity can assist.
Edited by matman - 3/31/14 at 4:08am
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post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by matman View Post

Interestingly the most advanced loop heat pipes are capillary pumped and a little complicated and are an excellent solution in weightless environments yet they fall short of the performance of a simple vertical heatpipe when gravity can assist.
If I understand you correctly, a conventional heatpipe cooler performs better on a horizontal motherboard than on a vertical motherboard?
post #8 of 60
Thread Starter 
Conventional heatpipes use various methods to wick the condensate back to the evaporator. In very general terms the better the wick, the better the heatpipe performs without gravity assistance or even against gravity. However, a stronger wick is more likely to impede gravity return in a vertical pipe.

To answer your question, most heatpipe CPU coolers are well wicked and capable of functioning in most orientations, Even so all of them will perform a little better when oriented with the radiator above the block and many would stall out if installed on an upside down motherboard.

A heatpipe optimised specifically for vertical orientation will significantly outperform a heatpipe designed for orientation flexibility. More so as the length increases. My concept would use minimally wicked pipes and mandate orientation as shown in the OP.
Edited by matman - 3/31/14 at 5:46am
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post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by matman View Post

Thank you for the entertaining video. It set me on a tour of loop heat pipe designs. I think it's unlikely to be a viable product. Pumping losses from moving all that liquid around has to make it less efficient than a typical heatpipe. It also would be necessary to compensate for significant pressure changes, possibly more than most water loops can sustain.

Interestingly the most advanced loop heat pipes are capillary pumped and a little complicated and are an excellent solution in weightless environments yet they fall short of the performance of a simple vertical heatpipe when gravity can assist.

the cooler shown in the vid has the same pump as a conventional heatpipe biggrin.gif the "pump" is simply the boiling action of the liquid inside. heat is transferred due to the heat of evaporation which is the exact same physics behind heatpipes. the only difference between that unit and heatpipes is the liquid used and the method of liquid return. heatpipes use wick to return the liquid to the heat source while the unit in the vid uses gravity to return the liquid. in theory the unit shown in the vid should work as well as heatpipes due to the special liquid they use inside. most heatpipes simply use pure water sealed inside at a reduced pressure to drive the boiling point to the desired temp for the application. whereas the liquid used in the cooler shown naturally boil at the desired temp. as for the "pumping loss", there isn't any biggrin.gif boiling the liquid is the "pump" and the more you boil the more heat is removed from the heat source. as for the pressure change, that's why they have to use a special liquid that is engineered for this application. the radiator condenses the vapor back to liquid thereby creating a low pressure zone that hot vapor naturally move towards which is proven effective since heatpipe physics uses the exact same principle.

personally i like the design of that unit in the vid. i think it has a great deal of promise if they can ever figure out a tubing solution that will last over 10 years. the primary downfall to that system are the tubes used. it can degrade over time from the many heat/pressure cycles it must endure. unlike copper pipes which are far more durable, the flexible tubing is the main concern in that unit.
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

the only difference between that unit and heatpipes is the liquid used and the method of liquid return

I would say the main difference is the amount of liquid used. Heat pipes use a small amount of working liquid and transport the heat in gas state. This contraption contains mostly liquid which the gas must work against to reach the radiator (i.e. pumping losses).

Now that I think about it, we're actually looking at something much more like a typical water cooling loop with a very slow pump and less like a heatpipe. Nearly all of the heat from the gas state is just going to be transferred back into the liquid so it's not going to behave anything like the thermal resistance of a heatpipe.

I haven't been able to find any empirical testing of the setup in that video or anything similar. In the the absence of evidence except for the party trick shown I'm going to stick with my conclusion that a party trick is all it's good for.
Edited by matman - 3/31/14 at 7:13pm
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