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[youtube] Submerged computer in 3M non-conductive chemical - Page 12

post #111 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Thanks Jason for hopping in here!

I have to question these numbers.... How did 80w become $2800 per year?
80w = 700Kw*hr = $70-100 per year.

How many servers are they using to get $2800?

The Novec system is to remove heat from the system... not the heat from the server room (unless you have closed loop that leads outside). The HVAC costs come in removing heat from the room.
It's an estimate I got from 3M. Multiply the number you calculated, by the number of servers found in a rack. (different servers have different numbers of fans, and different numbers of systems in a rack, so of course the number will greatly vary)

In this example though we're comparing current modern server rack configurations against the concept of a closed container submerged server array. Think along the lines of an insulated chest style deep freezer with a rubber seal, containing many (50+) naked board level servers in VERY close proximity, all submerged in the fluid bath.

In this scenario, one is condensing the resulting Novec vapor using a common / traditional radiator cooling system. Closed loop on the radiator, to the atmosphere outside the facility. The fluid in this example would have a higher boiling point, say 49C or 61C so it more easily condenses in outside atmosphere without the need for high energy use compressors, TE coolers, etc. After all, why would one just move the heat to a different area inside of the facility where it has to be dealt with again?
(It would be even better if there were a cooling pond built nearby the facility, or a geothermal setup that the cooling system could run through to really get the heat out)

Now, for cooling, you are only paying the energy to run a pump and radiator fan. All the server fans, along with their dirt, noise, and energy usage are all eliminated, as are the need for oversized HVAC systems to take away all the extra heat generated by the servers. Additionally, any area of the board that becomes hot beyond the liquid boiling point is naturally actively cooled, so you don't have to worry about proper air flow, hot spots, hot swapping failed fans, etc. etc.

(You will of course still have to deal with hard drive heat / noise, and basic comfort climate control needs)
post #112 of 133
I talked to 3M and have a few updates:

Boiling surfaces: We saw a 20 degree difference between liquid boiling point, and CPU temp. This was because we did no preparation to our chips. Had we painted the CPU surface with a special (low cost) paint (which consists of a mixture common epoxy and low cost 3M "G-200 zeospheres" to encourage better boiling), this differential could be reduced to around 10 degrees. (3M doesn't sell the paint because it is patented)
When I asked, they also told me that sanding the surface of the CPU would have little effect (I would have thought it would have really helped).

In 3M, they have a technique where, with specialized equipment they can solder a boiling plate to the chip, and achieve about a 5C difference from boiling point to CPU temperature. Basically, using the paint, or adding a boiling surface is the best approach. So we were nowhere near our real cooling potential during the test.

Also, I had previously mentioned about there being an issue with the Novec chemical leeching the oils out of plastics. I talked to 3M for clarification, and found out that the PVC plastics typically used on wiring contain about 2% oil. The oil is only needed during the manufacturing (extruding) process. Once manufactured, even without the oil, the plastics remain flexible and remain fully functional as an insulator, etc. At the worst, you might see some harmless oil condensing on the walls of the enclosure, CPU die, etc. Apparently placing some activated carbon (a fish tank water filter) somewhere in the liquid, will act as an absorbent, and take care of the excess oil if it is a problem. That was the only real long-term issue I'm aware of with using the fluid.

Thought I'd post an update to let everyone interested in the thread know.

-Jason W
Edited by jw15851 - 2/22/11 at 8:39am
post #113 of 133
When they said "solder a boiling plate to the chip" does that mean they solder a bigger plate to the chip, one with more surface area, or a different material to transfer heat faster??

Sucks that they would say the "low cost" paint would help reduce temp difference by 50%, but then not sell it. Would be nice if they would give you a sample. Just to test their theory.

Thanks for keeping us up to date on this. This is some interesting stuff.
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post #114 of 133
About the same surface area, it is just a material with a surface that will much more readily, and evenly boil. (same principal as a "boiling stone" used in chemistry)

The "zeospheres" are a 3M product, but the concept of making them into an epoxy based paint to encourage better boiling, is apparently patented by a 3rd party, so 3M can't sell the 'paint' unless they license it. That's not to say one couldn't mix up some on their own... just combine the two materials.

I'm planning to make a much more permanent and visually pleasing implementation of this, concept that can be taken to tradeshows. I'll probably end up using and testing the 'paint' for that version. I'll likely use our Q57 mATX motherboard, equipped with an i5 660 (so the onboard video will work). The trick will be making a *airtight* housing out of polycarbonate (lexan) that can keep the liquid and gas reliably contained as we hammer it with a ongoing burn-in test.
post #115 of 133
but can it cool a 980X at 5Ghz with a GTX580 and a EVGA X58 classified with no heatsinks?
if it can do that, i am VERY impressed.

still very awesome nonetheless. non conductive liquid is SICK!
    
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post #116 of 133

This should answer your question, I believe any OCed CPU could be handled by the coolant.


Edited by linkdiablo - 3/7/11 at 4:19pm
post #117 of 133
You know, doing the maths, $300 (£185) per gallon is actually a really good price. Considering, my WC setup cost me closer to £300, if this option had been available to me when I started going for WC it would have been much cheaper in the long run, and will always be cheaper.

Think about it... you'd never have to buy waterblocks again. Never have to change the fluid (maybe top it up). You'd save money on TIM, fans, Cases (you'd only need one re-sealable acrylic case), possibly save on power (think of all the fans you could remove or not buy in the first place) and other things like PSUs would last longer.

I honestly hope that within the next year or two, before my next upgrade, that this stuff becomes available in the UK. I'll be buying it if it does.

Edit : I thought I should explain my workings out for the volume of liquid needed.

ATX Mobos are roughly 30cm by 24cm, so if we say 32*26 then the width of a standard gfx card including motherboard, lets say 12cm. That comes out at roughly 10L, or just over 2 US gallons. If you take all the heatsinks off the mobo, you can take a big chunk out of that space, I rekon at least 50%, probably even more. So we'd be looking at around 5L. (As an added bonus, if you don't have an extra gfx card, why not drop a block of something solid into that space? Again, saves more on the cost of the liquid because you won't need as much) That's not very far off of the original £300 I spent on my watercooling. Now, admittedly, I'd need to find a way of condensing the liquid again, but surely it wouldn't be that much more expensive, right?
Edited by weidass - 3/7/11 at 5:09pm
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post #118 of 133
I don't see why the chemical would not be available in the UK. 3M is pretty much a world wide company as far as I know, and the chemical is non-toxic and harmless to the environment, so there there shouldn't be any restrictions.

As far as using it for day to day desktop purposes, remember you still have to get the heat away. It's not magic, so the heat absolutely has to go or be moved to somewhere. Depending on the "horsepower" of your system, it is possible to cool it completely passively. You will need a fluid with a slightly higher boiling point (such as the Novec 649) and a good array of heat sinks that have a lot of surface area. But really, to conserve size, it's good to have at least one fan.

Most users of the fluid however, will probably need some kind of more active cooling (TEC as was in the video) or a simple water cooling system consisting of two radiators, one fan, and a pump. Fan blows the heat away from the external radiator and the cooler water flows into a radiator inside the housing, that will condense the vapor.

This is how massive numbers of computer systems can be cooled at once, very efficiently. Consider that using this method there are no heat sinks, and no large spaces needed for air circulation. You pack the boards as closely together as possible in the fluid, and the liquid cools all the areas that need cooling. (anything above the boiling point). So you can pack hundreds of computers into a space that would formally only hold just a few. And you now can cool them, transferring the heat directly to the air outside the facility.

This means, no energy cost from fans (to move heat from computer to facility air), no enormous energy cost from huge HVAC systems to move the heat from facility air, out of the building... less physical floor space required (envision large drawers of computer blades that slide forward for access) so now you have more computing power density in less physical space. Less noise, dirt, and points of failure. No need for extensive halon fire protection as the oxygen-free liquid is used in fire protection systems as a less dangerous alternative to Halon.

On a large scale, it makes great economical sense. But convincing people that they should keep their computers submerged in a liquid, and completely changing the form factor of accepted computer systems (to make them smaller and much more dense) are some of the largest obstacles to overcome.

On a small scale, it's fun to play with or make an interesting art piece out of... but considering air cooled systems are soooo much less expensive. For *most* users it's completely impractical.

Now, if you are doing some crazy stuff with a computer system, such as using it in a extreme humidity/aquatic environment, very hot environment, extremely dusty/dirty environment, extreme rapid temperature changes, etc. etc.) then it can make sense if you design it carefully for it's intended purpose.

And "Enfluenza" to answer your question, unless your system is generating over 4000 watts of heat, and you are using less than 200cc of fluid, then yeah, it can cool it. (3M only tested to those limits...)

Putting that in different terms: That test was the equivalent of cooling ~30 i7 940 processors, running at full blast, with less than one US measuring cup (200ml) of Novec fluid.
Edited by jw15851 - 3/8/11 at 8:41am
post #119 of 133
I have 2 ltrs of 649 going in to copper hardpiped rig.....
Results in a couple of months when i have finished it tho
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post #120 of 133
nvmmmmmmmmmmmmmoldthread
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