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Vortex in my reservoir

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Vortex in my reservoir

I'm currently building up a system with a loop of 1/2" OD acrylic tubing, with dual D5 pumps and a PrimoChill CTR. The latter has its input via one of the upper side ports, while the output is the central bottom port. After initial filling I'm getting a substantial vortex that sends air down the center of the vertical reservoir and on to the pump.

I haven't gotten all the air out of the system yet, as it gets trapped in the pumps after collecting at the top of the reservoir and then getting drawn in to the pumps again. This video shows the action with only one of the two pumps operating (the left one):

Video of Vortex

These are PWM pumps, so they are running at full 12V speed from the power supply. I don't want to power up the motherboard until I've finished leak testing and running-in the cooling loop. Much of the advice I've read on this and other forums suggests that running the pump at reduced speed should help. But I'd like to eliminate the vortex even at maximum speed of the pump.

PrimoChills sell a Vortex Killer piece, but only their pump-enabled CTRs have the tapped holes for mounting it. So I designed my own, after studying the topic online. This is about 120mm tall and fits loosely within the acrylic tube of the reservoir, except the six "finger" loops that are supposed to be springs to center it and make sure it doesn't rotate. I've placed an order to get this part 3D printed in ABS/ASA via FDM. It's more complex than it probably needs to be, but that doesn't impact the cost much, and I wanted to make sure it will do the job. BTW, that central hole is blind (a dead end) at the bottom.

Spoiler!

It should arrive within 10 days and I'll post an "after" video after I install and test it.

Last edited by ICPete; 03-15-2020 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Added title for linked video URL; added Spoiler! around image
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:31 PM
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EK usually gives you a foam mesh to stop vortex from happening when D5 pumps.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:44 PM
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Are you returning to the top of the reservoir without an internal tube?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:46 PM
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Looking forward to the build
Is there a reason why you dislike the vortex ?
I can see air in the pump being an issue - but shouldn't that be controllable after lowering pump speed, while still keeping that nice-looking vortex ?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Sultan: no, there is no internal tube in this reservoir. So the top inlet port directs the water tangentially, greatly encouraging the rotation of the water. I would guess an internal inlet tube could eliminate the vortex. There's not really a place to install one though.

Veii: LOL, I never thought about that vortex being a visual treat! My only reason for concern about it is that yes, it directly introduces whatever air is in the reservoir above the water into the output port, from where it goes directly into the pump. I'm pretty sure this hurts the pump efficiency and may ultimately cause wear or damage to the impeller.

But I'm posting this to learn; if such vortices are common in watercooled systems, and if the train of air bubbles is not hurting the pump, then I guess I wouldn't be concerned with them. When I ordered the PrimoChill reservoir I saw that they offered the Vortex Killer for their direct-mounted-pump versions, so I assumed vortices must only be a concern when the pump is so close by.

I do plan to run at reduced pump speed once the mobo is connected and I can control the PWM input. Actually, now that I think about it, I also have an Aquaero 6LT in the system, which I haven't wired up yet. I think I should be able to give that juice from the PS and connect USB to another computer and use that to control the pumps.

I suppose this discussion leads to my next question about how to you decide on the appropriate flow rate when you have PWM pump(s)?
If noise level doesn't drive this, would there be reasons not to simply run full tilt? Like, IDK, velocity erosion in the blocks or fittings?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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bmgjet: Thanks for the tip about EK; I looked at their reservoir installation manual. They show the vortex breaker piece they include, and the piece of foam as an option, or even using both together. I noticed their instructions suggest both inlet and outlet ports should be at the bottom, and the top should only be used for filling or air bleeding. That is something I did not know!


Spoiler!


I can re-route my inlet tube to enter one of the bottom ports, and see if that eliminates the vortex. It will still be entering tangentially and wanting to spin the water, but at least there won't be an overall downward flow of water from top to bottom, which is perhaps exacerbating the vortex.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 11:09 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ICPete View Post
Veii: LOL, I never thought about that vortex being a visual treat! My only reason for concern about it is that yes, it directly introduces whatever air is in the reservoir above the water into the output port, from where it goes directly into the pump. I'm pretty sure this hurts the pump efficiency and may ultimately cause wear or damage to the impeller.

But I'm posting this to learn; if such vortices are common in watercooled systems, and if the train of air bubbles is not hurting the pump, then I guess I wouldn't be concerned with them. When I ordered the PrimoChill reservoir I saw that they offered the Vortex Killer for their direct-mounted-pump versions, so I assumed vortices must only be a concern when the pump is so close by.
I was curious myself, logically yes air would of course be an issue
I mean, people use glimmer fluids to show "fluid-flow"
Thought, a vortex is not much different - personally i'd enjoy a tiny tornado as a visual attraction
But yes, can see it being an issue - although it's new to me, that vortexes are a common issue on reservoirs
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 11:47 AM
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You need a fill tube fitting on the top if that is where the inlet is. Not sure why you would need dual d5's either .

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a photo of the 3D-printed vortex breaker pushed into a short piece of CTR tubing (left over when I cut 70mm off the length of my CTR):
Spoiler!


Here are two more views of it:
Spoiler!

Spoiler!


Finally here are a couple of videos of the water & bubbles running through the system. In the second video the air has finally dissipated from the right-hand pump. and all the gurgling noise has stopped:

Vortex Breaker in Operation

Dual D5 Pumps Running Silently

You'll notice the other change I made was running the input line to the reservoir into one of the bottom fittings, instead of the top. That may have also helped eliminate the vortex. By rights I should do an experiment now without the vortex breaker in place, and see if it was needed now or not. However, 1) I don't want to spend the time to do that; and 2) I don't want to find out that I wasted the cost of getting this part made!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 04:49 PM
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too much pump, not enough res. it was a common issue back in the day of bay reservoirs, and apparently still is on even that size tube.

there are in-res cyclone breaking/bubble breaking fittings that help, a small amount. also, a foam layer is often included in smaller pump/tube combos, likely for that reason.,


noise will stop when air content in water stops. (the chugging and chewing)

i use a 250mm tube res on my dual DDC, but I also have a huge loop, you clearly are on the smaller side, with a smaller reservoir, and lots of pump.

throttle the pumps down to like 35-40% (duty cycle on pwm ddc is usually like 35-70? i forget) you'll likely still have flow above 1GPM, and be dead silent. perf lost? likely none, if some, slowly increase pump until it drops off. pump gains diminish quickly over 1gpm.

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Last edited by skupples; 03-21-2020 at 04:54 PM.
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