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Tropical Frost . . . . My Chiller Assisted , Dual Loop, Plate Exchanger, Experiment

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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log


I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.




As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . . biggrin.gif

Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.


That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.


I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.



Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 08:35 PM
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 09:02 PM
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 02:20 PM
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Hey, Darlene!

Nice to see that you have taken the plunge into icy waters! Subbed, too!thumb.gif

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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log


I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.




As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . . biggrin.gif

Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.


That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.


I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.



Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene

Darlene:
Why do you want to use a pair of Hailea 1/2 HP chillers? Why not use a 1 HP chiller that is typically used for a large aquarium? What kind of plate heat-exchanger are you using? The Koolance one may not cut it for your needs, but I do not know that for a fact. All I can say is that Koolance is terribly expensive for its performance characteristics. You may want to consider the plate heat-exchangers used in the process industries (or those used in homes for wood-burning furnaces), which are also far less expensive. Also, these chillers have certain minimum flow-rate requirements; so, regular pumps used in computer cooling may not be sufficient. (For the record, I am using 2 Eheim1262 120V pumps, plugged into a relay-controlled sockets. For reservoirs, on the cold/chilled loop, I am using a drag-racing turbocharger intercooler "ice-water" reservoir. For the PC-cooling loop, I am using the Aquacomputer Aqualis XT (800cc) reservoir, in addition to the Aquatube. For the plate heat-exchanger, I am using a massive, 100-plate 316L SS one, designed for refrigerant return loops. Thus far, the system is functioning well, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees Celsius. (I have used neoprene foam insulation on every exposed tubing surface and part; so, I'm not seeing condensation, even when the temperatures and dew points are inconducive. I purchased most of these parts from various non-computer suppliers to save on expenses. There were significant differences in prices.) I am now attempting to incorporate an Aquacomputer 6XT into my PC-cooling loop.). Mine is still a work in progress, even after 4 months, as I, like you, have other things to do and priorities, interests, and necessities that take too much of my time. biggrin.gif

I must tell you this: Nobody is better than you; and I am absolutely nobody! devil.gif
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragpad View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log


I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.




As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . . biggrin.gif

Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.


That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.


I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.



Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene



Darlene:
Why do you want to use a pair of Hailea 1/2 HP chillers? Why not use a 1 HP chiller that is typically used for a large aquarium? What kind of plate heat-exchanger are you using? The Koolance one may not cut it for your needs, but I do not know that for a fact. All I can say is that Koolance is terribly expensive for its performance characteristics. You may want to consider the plate heat-exchangers used in the process industries (or those used in homes for wood-burning furnaces), which are also far less expensive. Also, these chillers have certain minimum flow-rate requirements; so, regular pumps used in computer cooling may not be sufficient. (For the record, I am using 2 Eheim1262 120V pumps, plugged into a relay-controlled sockets. For reservoirs, on the cold/chilled loop, I am using a drag-racing turbocharger intercooler "ice-water" reservoir. For the PC-cooling loop, I am using the Aquacomputer Aqualis XT (800cc) reservoir, in addition to the Aquatube. For the plate heat-exchanger, I am using a massive, 100-plate 316L SS one, designed for refrigerant return loops. Thus far, the system is functioning well, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees Celsius. (I have used neoprene foam insulation on every exposed tubing surface and part; so, I'm not seeing condensation, even when the temperatures and dew points are inconducive. I purchased most of these parts from various non-computer suppliers to save on expenses. There were significant differences in prices.) I am now attempting to incorporate an Aquacomputer 6XT into my PC-cooling loop.). Mine is still a work in progress, even after 4 months, as I, like you, have other things to do and priorities, interests, and necessities that take too much of my time. biggrin.gif



That's one of the other "not so nice" things about living here . . . . . . . Nobody much wants to ship anything down here. . . . . and the ones that do, make sure you pay for it.

I'm rather limited on where I can order stuff from.

Additionally, I couldn't find any of the 1HP models for USA power, which is what I was really looking for, that would ship here, and it turns out, that even if I did, I couldn't physically deal with it. . . . . I'm an old lady, and the 50# weight of the 1/2HP model was as much of a struggle as I want to endure when I picked it up at the post office and put the box in my little truck.

At least I'm prepared for when the second one gets here this week thumb.gif

The up-side to having 2 of them, may turn out to be that I can control them in stages, so that they don't both have to run together when the load is only a little more than the onboard rad can handle on its own.

As far as the Koolance exchanger goes, I'll have to see how it works out . . . . I could always add a second one if needed.

I have plenty of inline temp sensors so I can see how much thermal transfer I'm getting at various exchange points and flow meters to look at temps versus know flow rates.


Keep in mind too, that I'm not looking, at least initially, wink.gif at making this an "extreme cooling" rig . . . really, I'm just looking at another alternative to massive rad space and fans, to deal with the challenge of getting good performance in very high ambient temp conditions.


It will be a work in progress for sure . . . I have much to learn.

Darlene
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post





That's one of the other "not so nice" things about living here . . . . . . . Nobody much wants to ship anything down here. . . . . and the ones that do, make sure you pay for it.

I'm rather limited on where I can order stuff from.

Additionally, I couldn't find any of the 1HP models for USA power, which is what I was really looking for, that would ship here, and it turns out, that even if I did, I couldn't physically deal with it. . . . . I'm an old lady, and the 50# weight of the 1/2HP model was as much of a struggle as I want to endure when I picked it up at the post office and put the box in my little truck.

At least I'm prepared for when the second one gets here this week thumb.gif

The up-side to having 2 of them, may turn out to be that I can control them in stages, so that they don't both have to run together when the load is only a little more than the onboard rad can handle on its own.

As far as the Koolance exchanger goes, I'll have to see how it works out . . . . I could always add a second one if needed.

I have plenty of inline temp sensors so I can see how much thermal transfer I'm getting at various exchange points and flow meters to look at temps versus know flow rates.


Keep in mind too, that I'm not looking, at least initially, wink.gif at making this an "extreme cooling" rig . . . really, I'm just looking at another alternative to massive rad space and fans, to deal with the challenge of getting good performance in very high ambient temp conditions.


It will be a work in progress for sure . . . I have much to learn.

Darlene

Darlene:

I can only imagine the level of disservice (er.. bad service) you get from suppliers to you in USVI. (I live in Pittsburgh, PA, just for your reference.) Actually, I am pretty surprised at the $0.55/kWh electricity rates there. Hmmm... Perhaps, you have considered solar, geothermal, and wind as alternatives. biggrin.gif. But seriously, I am loath to giving money away to utility companies.

Yes, the 1HP models 8are few and far between; I was able to locate one right here in the US (but of course, made where else, in China) - ActiveAqua chiller, which I purchased from a reseller in FL - for my "long-term" needs. Having said that, in retrospect, your idea of using two 1/2HP chillers is great, because you will always have the second chiller as the backup, should the first one fail, in addition to load-balancing. (I wish that I had thought of that, but I try to live and learn.) However, the price difference between the 1/2HP and 1HP models does not neatly correlate with the capacity.

Is there a reason why you did not want to get the Koolance chiller? Yes, I think that the Koolance plate heat-exchanger might be sufficient for your current needs. I have also got a few temperature sensors, which I intend to incorporate into the loops at various locations. Also, I believe that if you insulate all the exposed cooling components (including the tubes), I do not think that you will see condensation issues. Needless to say, the insulation makes for one terribly ugly system - at least, visually; but it does a great job. Oh, by the way, the grommets that the most cases provide for coolant tubing are woefully small for tubes with Armaflex insulation; even the water blocks are really, really tight spots. I am using a relay-controlled sockets (two of them - one for the chiller, and the other for both the Eheim 1262 pumps on the chiller circuit) that I got from EKM Metering. (Yes, I could have jerry-rigged it, but they were readily available and compatible with computer PSUs.

As an aside, I wanted to ask you: What kind of oscilloscope are you using. (It appeared, from one of your photographs, that you are using a USB-based scope; could you please tell me the details on it?

I am certain that I will learn quite a bit from you (and others on this thread, also). I am also not keen on "extreme" overclocking. Thanks for sharing the information with all of us; I truly appreciate it.

I must tell you this: Nobody is better than you; and I am absolutely nobody! devil.gif
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 12:35 PM
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