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A/C Evaporator Coil - Will it cool mineral oil?

post #1 of 7
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Has anyone ever tried to use



to cool a mineral oil submerged pc? Even if you haven't and you know a lot about these coils, please give me your opinions.

My father is the owner of an A/C business and he has plenty of these A-frame evap. coils laying around, and even big ones from condenser units. I was wondering how well these types of coils would cool.

Also can someone give me an idea of what kind of pumps I should use? A dinky normal pc water loop pump, or a powerful aquarium pump.
post #2 of 7
I have tried this. It will cool the mineral oil sufficiently if you can find a way to pump it though the evaporator. High flow radiators and transmission coolers are typically one or two pass designs. Evaporator coils can have 30 or more passes-- this is can easily be equal to 60 feet of quarter inch ID tube.

There are two ways to make it work. You can use a continuous duty piston oil pump that is usually used in industrial settings to keep CNC/milling machines lubricated. Large impeller pumps (1/2hp+) can usually generate enough pressure however, they will quickly overheat. Impeller pumps are designed to work within a set range of flow rates. Too much flow restriction will overload the motor. The ideal pump would be high pressure and low flow rate.

The other option is to redesign the evaporator coil to be fewer passes (thus higher flow) by making a custom manifold for each side of the condenser. If you feel comfortable cutting and brazing copper tube, I can post several designs that have worked well for me.

If you have the money. You will be better off using a small engine radiator (from a motorcycle or commercial mower) in combination with a 1/2hp impeller pump. With moderately long tubing you can put the pump and radiator outside or under your house for silent operation.
Edited by sparkplug188 - 4/16/11 at 2:36am
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplug188 View Post
I have tried this. It will cool the mineral oil sufficiently if you can find a way to pump it though the evaporator. High flow radiators and transmission coolers are typically one or two pass designs. Evaporator coils can have 30 or more passes-- this is can easily be equal to 60 feet of quarter inch ID tube.

There are two ways to make it work. You can use a continuous duty piston oil pump that is usually used in industrial settings to keep CNC/milling machines lubricated. Large impeller pumps (1/2hp+) can usually generate enough pressure however, they will quickly overheat. Impeller pumps are designed to work within a set range of flow rates. Too much flow restriction will overload the motor. The ideal pump would be high pressure and low flow rate.

The other option is to redesign the evaporator coil to be fewer passes (thus higher flow) by making a custom manifold for each side of the condenser. If you feel comfortable cutting and brazing copper tube, I can post several designs that have worked well for me.

If you have the money. You will be better off using a small engine radiator (from a motorcycle or commercial mower) in combination with a 1/2hp impeller pump. With moderately long tubing you can put the pump and radiator outside or under your house for silent operation.
maby his dad braze it ect? since he owns a ac company ect
    
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post #4 of 7
Sorry for the slow response. I had to take an unexpected trip out of town. I am on a computer that doesn't have Photoshop-- MS Paint will suffice.



IMPORTANT: This design will only work if the 'U' pipes are oriented like the picture below-- not like the OPs picture.



Cut off all of the 'U' pipes on one end of the condenser/evaporator while being sure to leave 3/8" or more pipe sticking out of the coil.

Cut two lengths of pipe that are the same length as the height of the condenser/evaporator coil- these will be your manifolds. These pipes will need to be twice the diameter of the coil tube.

Using a drill press, drill holes the diameter of the coil tube in the side of your manifold- perfect spacing is critical.

Crimp and solder one end of each pipe.

Braze or soft solder the manifold onto the side of the coil.



This method will effectively turn a 25+ pass coil into a 2 pass, high flow radiator.
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post #5 of 7
So forgive me if I'm not understanding this right, but this is very similar to something I've wanted to do for a long time..

You want to run the mineral oil through the Aframe coil? To run it through the radiator and everything right? Consider this, or tell me why it's a lesser idea...

I originally thought of this taking apart a culligan water cooler for kicks and grins..

Why not just take the coils (the ones wrapped around the water bucket to make the water cold) and run them a few passes inside the mineral oil itself? A pump to circulate the mineral oil around (which I assume a setup like this would have one already) and we're cooling the mineral oil...

I've also wondered why people have no method of doing this kind of thing with liquid cooled resevoirs? I mean water cooling's awesome..I know condensation becomes an issue at a point but to control it..why not build the coils inside the res? Effectively making the culligan bucket your resevoir?

I'm into aquariums as well and I know they sell "chillers", although expensive, to cool down water that gets too hot, usually from metal halides and such...would something like this work?
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post #6 of 7
I've got one of these waiting in my room, but for WC
I guess a 2-pass is better then?
    
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post #7 of 7
2 passes is actually worse than 25+ passes when the change in temperature is the only factor considered. More passes means: fluid spends more time in coil; fluid comes in contact with more surface area of coil. It also means there is more restriction which makes it extremely difficult to pump anything other than freon through it. The only options when using a refrigerant coil are to get a beast of a pump or reduce restriction.

It is possible to use a refrigerant coil as a radiator, but most people without brazing/soldering skills would be much better off experimenting with small engine radiators or large transmission coolers.

I didn't fully understand LtStingers post- I'll need to re-read it a few times.

Edit: Responding to LtStingers post:

I am currently doing something similar to what you suggested. Essentially, you want to put the evaporator of a phase change unit (the Culligan Water Cooler) in the oil to cool the oil. I have done that and gone a step farther. I put the evaporator of a phase change unit directly on the CPU under oil, but left it uninsulated so that it cools the oil and all of the other submerged computer components. My main concerns about using a Culligan Water Cooler would be condenser size and compressor duty rating (how many hours it can run continuous before needing to stop).
Edited by sparkplug188 - 5/1/11 at 6:27am
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