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post #31 of 61
Yeah the heat output at the pc is there but whether that all makes its way to usefully heating the water and reducing the work of the how water boiler is another matter.

In terms of the calc then for a fixed volume and heat energy then:
Temp rise (oC) = heat energy (kWh) / (volume (litres) * 4.18 (heat cap) / 3600)
Which is similar but different to that for a given heat power and flow:
Temp rise (oC) = heat power (kW) / volume flow (litres/sec) * 4.18

Yep can definitely understand not wanting to take the risk regarding condensation! I checked my room temp/RH last night and we were about 21oC/45% on a rainy winter day (which would be about my worst case). That’s a dew point of about 9oC so probably close enough there is a risk though I’m still not sure there would actually be condensation. Maybe you could just rig an uninsulated cold water pipe up in the space and check to see if you get any condensation?

For the arrangement you showed I think one issue is that as you suggested you need heat from the PC so you have heat to mix back into the supply. At startup and when in idle there will be little heat and so no real temperature rise. Also I think to get flow down that branch you may need the valve in the return line not the branch, but again the issue is how you would ever set it.

For a water-water HX I would normally design for an approach of around 2oC. However in this case I guess you will likely have an oversized HX if it's at the scale of a domestic water system rather than a PC system? Given a big HX and low flowrates it may be that temperatures on either side can therefore get pretty close.

I wonder if you could use a motorised 2port on/off valve, the idea being to just simply close off the potable loop when temperatures are below a certain level. Something like below. I would have thought you only need one although really not sure and two may be better as I guess there would still be some heat loss via the return even with the supply closed.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-za5-679-2-2-port-motorised-valve/32455

To keep controls (relatively!) simple and more or less off the shelf I was wondering if you could interface the valve with a cylinder stat and have a very small tank in the loop (not sure what options are for a small reasonably priced tank with the right connections though). It controls down to 20oC which would be about what you want though you would need to reverse the output so it closes at low temps rather than opens. The tank may also help as a buffer and driver of the convective flow.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/siemens-ram1-cylinder-stat/76904

Quick sketch as below. One other concern I had when drawing this is how the convection current would get started initially, hence the 'angled' HX. Having an oversized HX is probably going to help with that.

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post #32 of 61
Or even better a pipe stat, not sure why I didn't think of that before.
http://www.draytoncontrols.co.uk/PTS1Strap-onpipethermostat.aspx

Or a tap stat though not sure what the control would be like with that but it has the advantage of being non-electric.
http://www.draytoncontrols.co.uk/TapstatCylinderControls.aspx
Edited by bichael - 1/5/15 at 9:11pm
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post #33 of 61
google shopping = the high price network. It's consistantly at least 20% over other online retailers. Worst "service" ever.
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post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bichael View Post

Yeah the heat output at the pc is there but whether that all makes its way to usefully heating the water and reducing the work of the how water boiler is another matter.

In terms of the calc then for a fixed volume and heat energy then:
Temp rise (oC) = heat energy (kWh) / (volume (litres) * 4.18 (heat cap) / 3600)
Which is similar but different to that for a given heat power and flow:
Temp rise (oC) = heat power (kW) / volume flow (litres/sec) * 4.18

Yep can definitely understand not wanting to take the risk regarding condensation! I checked my room temp/RH last night and we were about 21oC/45% on a rainy winter day (which would be about my worst case). That’s a dew point of about 9oC so probably close enough there is a risk though I’m still not sure there would actually be condensation. Maybe you could just rig an uninsulated cold water pipe up in the space and check to see if you get any condensation?

For the arrangement you showed I think one issue is that as you suggested you need heat from the PC so you have heat to mix back into the supply. At startup and when in idle there will be little heat and so no real temperature rise. Also I think to get flow down that branch you may need the valve in the return line not the branch, but again the issue is how you would ever set it.

For a water-water HX I would normally design for an approach of around 2oC. However in this case I guess you will likely have an oversized HX if it's at the scale of a domestic water system rather than a PC system? Given a big HX and low flowrates it may be that temperatures on either side can therefore get pretty close.

I wonder if you could use a motorised 2port on/off valve, the idea being to just simply close off the potable loop when temperatures are below a certain level. Something like below. I would have thought you only need one although really not sure and two may be better as I guess there would still be some heat loss via the return even with the supply closed.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-za5-679-2-2-port-motorised-valve/32455

To keep controls (relatively!) simple and more or less off the shelf I was wondering if you could interface the valve with a cylinder stat and have a very small tank in the loop (not sure what options are for a small reasonably priced tank with the right connections though). It controls down to 20oC which would be about what you want though you would need to reverse the output so it closes at low temps rather than opens. The tank may also help as a buffer and driver of the convective flow.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/siemens-ram1-cylinder-stat/76904

Quick sketch as below. One other concern I had when drawing this is how the convection current would get started initially, hence the 'angled' HX. Having an oversized HX is probably going to help with that.


I see a possible issue with that. you've got to have the water running for it to cool. if there's no tap open there's no water movement.
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post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombastinator View Post

I see a possible issue with that. you've got to have the water running for it to cool. if there's no tap open there's no water movement.

That's what the small tank is for?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombastinator View Post

google shopping = the high price network. It's consistantly at least 20% over other online retailers. Worst "service" ever.

I only used that to show that the product exists/demo what I'm talking about. if I were actually going to buy one I'd do more research.
 
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post #36 of 61
The idea is that buoyancy / convection moves the water around on the non-pc side of the HX, facilitated by nice big domestic sized pipes etc. so although driving forces are small pressure loss is also small. Opening a tap will flush the cold water main which is acting as the final heat sink but won't move any water (at least not in any significant quantity) through the loop and HX as most of the water would just go straight down the main. When the valve is closed water would circulate just between the HX and tank until the temperature raised enough and the valve opened again.

In terms of the whole loop and water main heating up when there's no flow in the main then the assumption is that there is enough volume to limit temperature rise until the next cold water 'flush' and some heat would just be lost via conduction through pipes etc as well.

I did think a way of making it simpler could be to make the tank I added open and non mains pressure. This would mean any used water would have to go to drain so unfortunately loses any heat recovery and there would be some water consumption, though I think that would be relatively small (could use for watering the plants?!). The advantage would be that options and cost for a tank at non mains pressure become a lot easier and more in reach of a diy type solution (I think someone mentioned toilet cistern before?!). This could work as per my original sketch with a HX below the tank but I also wondered if it could be further simplified by circulating the PC side pipes directly though the tank with some sort of coil.


Edited by bichael - 1/8/15 at 1:04am
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post #37 of 61
Swap your tank for the one I linked to. problem solved! you can run 60/40 PSI working pressure on the inside of the tank, and hook your PC loop straight to the HX. no wasted water, no extra pumps, no wishful thinking regarding thermal gradients and flow rates.
 
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post #38 of 61
Thread Starter 
@ u3b3rg33k
You don't offer a solution to condensation from the occasional cold water that the tank may receive. unless you shut off both the supply and return untill you feel the water has gotten too warm. You could also use bichael's thermal stat idea.. provided we can make it close when the supply temps drop below 20oC

@ bichael
That idea could work....as you said the challenge is making that valve close when it receives cooler water instead of warmer. assuming it uses a mercury switch it would be impossible to reverse, also very dangerous to install on a potable water system, that is a domestic heating component. Rigging that valve to a electric tank may be possible.. im trying to remember how the aqua stats are usually arranged. if you reverse the wiring on the aqua stat in theory it would shut off when the low temperatures hit the tank(if you wired the valve to the low limit... the issue is those aqua stats are designed for hot water so the low end maybe still be higher then what we require and with mechanical aqua stats there really isnt and adjustment that can be made... no idea about any designs for cooling. provided we could find a mechanical valve that suits are needs.. I would probably add a backflow preventer just to help force convection to circulate the way you designed... I still dont understand why the angled heat exchanger makes any difference, is it so the flow circulates the way you want? Though if you want to lower the pressure from the cold supply witha PRV you will then have to do the same for the return, making it impossible to circulate the water. Like you said there will be no more heat recovery so you wouldnt need the return line to the cold water supply.

Just to make things cheaper and easier you may as well just use a back flow preventer/ball valve and keep the tank at system pressure and use a globe valve on the potable return so you can recycle water as needed. This also allows you to temper the water manually so the condensation concern is gone. This is all assuming we just decided to go with volume and usage as a cooling system ie 30L will give me 4 hours of high end gaming, encoding etc.

I do like adding the tank though, if the mechanical valve did shut off it ould give some room for water to heat. I could pick up a tank relatively cheap. However using a tank with a build in heat exchanger is usually more expensive then getting a basic tank with a seperate heat exchanger.. atleast from what I have seen.
Edited by Throwastone1990 - 1/8/15 at 4:20pm
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throwastone1990 View Post

@ u3b3rg33k
You don't offer a solution to condensation from the occasional cold water that the tank may receive. unless you shut off both the supply and return untill you feel the water has gotten too warm. You could also use bichael's thermal stat idea.. provided we can make it close when the supply temps drop below 20oC
run your pump on a speed controller, and have it pump slower when the water is colder?
put in a solenoid valve and recirculate a percentage of the flow to keep the loop above the dewpoint?
insulate the pipes?
run a de-humidifier? I don't have water dripping off of my below ambient pipes most of the year...

there's plenty of options, I'm not here to design it for you, I'm just throwing ideas at the wall.

you can't close the valve on a closed HX loop, it would overheat quickly (a few minutes perhaps). That'd be like running your boiler with no load - BAD! Remember my idea does not have some random tank with water draining out, I just threw a big tank of cold water in line with your water heater's inlet so you can dump all of your PC's waste heat into something you're paying money to dump waste heat into on purpose wink.gif
Edited by u3b3rg33k - 1/8/15 at 9:31pm
 
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post #40 of 61
Yeah the angled heat exchanger was just so that on start up any hot buoyant water generated within the HX would find it's way out of the correct side of the HX. The actual installation might depend on the flow paths through the HX (which would be something to consider when selecting the HX as well) but the general idea is to make it easy to establish the convection current without trapping heat anywhere - a bit like trying to establish draft when getting a fire going with an open chimney.

Also I get the idea of the backflow preventer but you may need to double check what it's operation would be with very low differential pressures and flows? I'm not familiar with the mechanics of the different types so can't really comment, just I guess the usage may be a bit different to what they're designed for.

I certainly think u3b3rg33k's option of taking the pc loop to an indirect cylinder would be good for heat recovery, and I wonder if condensation could maybe be avoided by having the cold water bypass the 'pre-heat' cylinder when it starts getting cold (3port valve with tank stat). I just wonder though if it would mean;
a) having a big tank close to the pc (there may be smaller ones but those indirect tanks I'm aware of are typically around 100 litres or more - part of the thinking behind the open tank option was that it could be pretty small and more easily custom built into a wall, like an aquarium or something)
b) having a long pc loop with a lot of water in it (of which I have no idea what the limit and implications might be)

Certainly plenty of options and things to look into!
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