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how two spel
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Alright guys, so I have been procrastinating this dumb science fair project for my community college all semester. I need to come up with a quick project idea for a supposed "science fair".

Basically, we have to design some type of experiment with the works: hypothesis, variables, etc etc etc..

So anyways, I was thinking that since my brother and I have similar computers, and I use water vs him using air.. Therefore, I would like to learn the science behind why watercooling is more efficient than air cooling if it can only cool to the ambient temperature in a given room.

I need some properties to explain why one cooler is better than the other, and I will take pictures of both computers and design a posterboard.

Anyone that can contribute anything to this cause would be greatly appreciated, I feel like I am back in middle school with my current professor.
 

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Compare temps.. water is better than air.. The end..

Wheres my Staples button?

That was easy!!
 

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how two spel
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Originally Posted by zamdam
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Compare temps.. water is better than air.. The end..

Wheres my Staples button?

That was easy!!

That doesn't help though. I have a water cooled computer and I know that I get better temps than my brothers rig. There is no question that water performs better, I would like to understand why water performs so much better in the same ambient environment.

It's a SCIENCE fair.

Thank you for your quick response.
 

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Water cooling is simply a way to move an (air cooling) heatsink somewhere more convenient that allows for a greater surface area. In a radiator, the surface area of what you want cooled, the water, and the surface area of the material that will conduct the heat away, the fins, is much greater than an air cooling heatsink. Water is used to carry the heat energy to a more convenient location because it has a huge thermal capacity. This means that as the water gains thermal energy, it will heat more slowly and maintain a higher difference in temperature vs. the chip / waterblock. The greater delta promotes heat transfer and makes the system highly effective.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Lysdexik
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That doesn't help though. I have a water cooled computer and I know that I get better temps than my brothers rig. There is no question that water performs better, I would like to understand why water performs so much better in the same ambient environment.

It's a SCIENCE fair.

Thank you for your quick response.


NP.. I was just joking around..
 

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Originally Posted by u238
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Water cooling is simply a way to move an (air cooling) heatsink somewhere more convenient that allows for a greater surface area. In a radiator, the surface area of what you want cooled, the water, and the surface area of the material that will conduct the heat away, the fins, is much greater than an air cooling heatsink. Water is used to carry the heat energy to a more convenient location because it has a huge thermal capacity. This means that as the water gains thermal energy, it will heat more slowly and maintain a higher difference in temperature vs. the chip / waterblock. The greater delta promotes heat transfer and makes the system highly effective.

I concur.. cough
 
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how two spel
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Originally Posted by u238
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Water cooling is simply a way to move an (air cooling) heatsink somewhere more convenient that allows for a greater surface area. In a radiator, the surface area of what you want cooled, the water, and the surface area of the material that will conduct the heat away, the fins, is much greater than an air cooling heatsink. Water is used to carry the heat energy to a more convenient location because it has a huge thermal capacity. This means that as the water gains thermal energy, it will heat more slowly and maintain a higher difference in temperature vs. the chip / waterblock. The greater delta promotes heat transfer and makes the system highly effective.

big REP+1 for you man, I appreciate you taking the time to write that out for me bud.
 

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Interesting project dude..

First off, here's a simple analogy. Imagine it's a hot summer day, like 100 degrees fahrenheit, and you need to cool down. You try to do so by having an industrial fan blowing on your face, but you still feel hot. Then, you take a dive into the pool. The pool will obviously cool you down faster, and this is the principle belief of water vs air.

Water has a considerably higher specific heat than air, and thus can transfer heat faster and more efficiently than air.

The current tower coolers use the same principle design of a water cooling radiator, that is, it uses pipes to transfer heat by a medium, say some kind of gas inside of the heatpipe. The gas can transfer the heat to the fins, and the fan dissipates the heat.

However with the radiator of a water cooling system, there are much more fins and pipes, and there is also a better medium of exchange, that of water.

While the heat is directly going into the base of the cpu heatsink, it does not allow the gas inside of the heatpipe to take away the maximum amount of heat from the chip. This is where the cpu block comes along. The main purpose of the block is to maintain a high flowrate while creating turbulance so the water can carry the heat away more efficiently.

Hope this helps a little, and gl on your project
 

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how two spel
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Originally Posted by Space Pope
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Interesting project dude..

First off, here's a simple analogy. Imagine it's a hot summer day, like 100 degrees fahrenheit, and you need to cool down. You try to do so by having an industrial fan blowing on your face, but you still feel hot. Then, you take a dive into the pool. The pool will obviously cool you down faster, and this is the principle belief of water vs air.

Water has a considerably higher specific heat than air, and thus can transfer heat faster and more efficiently than air.

The current tower coolers use the same principle design of a water cooling radiator, that is, it uses pipes to transfer heat by a medium, say some kind of gas inside of the heatpipe. The gas can transfer the heat to the fins, and the fan dissipates the heat.

However with the radiator of a water cooling system, there are much more fins and pipes, and there is also a better medium of exchange, that of water.

While the heat is directly going into the base of the cpu heatsink, it does not allow the gas inside of the heatpipe to take away the maximum amount of heat from the chip. This is where the cpu block comes along. The main purpose of the block is to maintain a high flowrate while creating turbulance so the water can carry the heat away more efficiently.

Hope this helps a little, and gl on your project

Yes of course it does! Thank you sir +1

Any other descriptions like this are VERY useful. I need to write a paper to go along with the project.

I am hoping that I get chosen for the fair, even though it isn't a big deal to me.. just thought it would be an interesting project that isn't too common.
 

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Not sure if it can help, but the Specific Heat capacity of water if 4.184J/g degree C. Take into account the amount of water in typical water cooling setup, by weight of course, and figure out how much heat can be pulled away from the flow of water. You might need to get into some heavy math to account for water flow, which could probably be gotten from the pump specs. I'm sort of ranting if you want to call it that, but hopefully something there was helpful.
 

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how two spel
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Originally Posted by Nhb93 View Post
Not sure if it can help, but the Specific Heat capacity of water if 4.184J/g degree C. Take into account the amount of water in typical water cooling setup, by weight of course, and figure out how much heat can be pulled away from the flow of water. You might need to get into some heavy math to account for water flow, which could probably be gotten from the pump specs. I'm sort of ranting if you want to call it that, but hopefully something there was helpful.
I see what you are saying, that could be helpful but I may not need to get that technical because I am comparing water to air. That would help if it was water vs water honestly, but since air doesn't "flow" it "pushes" I don't think you could very well compare the 2 figures.
 

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how two spel
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Originally Posted by turbocharged
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Always hard to imagine, but water does "flow" as it is also a fluid...you just have to train your brain to think of it that way.

I was saying air doesnt flow, so how can you really compare water flow to air displacement as far as temps go?
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Lysdexik
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I was saying air doesnt flow, so how can you really compare water flow to air displacement as far as temps go?

Its the same concept really, only water has a more clearly defined space that it operates in. You can model the way that air flows through a case and using that model, the density of the air, and the volume flow rate of the air get the mass of air that passes through a given area (say a heat sink) over a certain amount of time. Use that mass flow rate to find the rate of heat transfer in the same way you would use the mass flow rate of water through a water cooling loop. The only thing that is really different between the two (other than the flow model and geometry of the heatsink) is properties of each fluid.

Also, the term flow and displacement are nearly interchangeable. To displace air there must be some flow rate of the air. If there is no flow rate, the air is stagnant and won't be displaced by new air.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by u238
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Water cooling is simply a way to move an (air cooling) heatsink somewhere more convenient that allows for a greater surface area. In a radiator, the surface area of what you want cooled, the water, and the surface area of the material that will conduct the heat away, the fins, is much greater than an air cooling heatsink. Water is used to carry the heat energy to a more convenient location because it has a huge thermal capacity. This means that as the water gains thermal energy, it will heat more slowly and maintain a higher difference in temperature vs. the chip / waterblock. The greater delta promotes heat transfer and makes the system highly effective.

Incorrect, you haven't mentioned anything about the specific heat capacity of air vs. water at the heat load interface.

Quote:


Originally Posted by Space Pope
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...
Water has a considerably higher specific heat than air, and thus can transfer heat faster and more efficiently than air.
...

This, essentially.
 

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Bit late, sorry
The answer's already given (water's specific heat capacity>>>>>>>>>>air's)
So I thought I'd expand a little
Here's some values:
Specific heat capacity of air: 1.012 J/(g·K)
Specific heat capacity of water: 4.1813 J/(g·K)
If you're writing up a report, keep in mind that air cooling requires convection of air currents.
IE: It's going to be taking out more heat than if you just left it there, which is what that value up there is for. I'm sure a couple of quick experiments will give you an idea of how much more heat is taken away through the air currents
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tabzilla View Post
Incorrect, you haven't mentioned anything about the specific heat capacity of air vs. water at the heat load interface.

This, essentially.
I said that water has a large thermal capacity. Not exactly the technical terminology, but I was in a hurry. Thanks for playing. Turbocharged has a good point about the flow of air.
 

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how two spel
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Discussion Starter #19
any last bits of information anyone can offer?

going to start taking pictures / putting this thing together tomorrow.
 

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Well some things to take in consideration (under the lines of if it is not only a better performer [water versus air] but if it is practical as well):

1. Density of materials. Convenience of the product itself. (in terms of maintains, cost, efficiency, etc).

2. Science behind it. The heat capacity of the materials. Vacuum heat pipes, copper versus aluminum, etc. (How well does heat travel through air, through water, through a vacuum? what is temperature?)

3. Extension of the last point in the 2nd number in the list, define the variables/expressions/words so that people understand what you are talking about.

4. Provide examples. Better yet, can you bring something that is air cooled and water cool so people can see real results? That would be cool.

5. Provide benefits of each. Practical use of air cooling in engines (as in, what else involves liquid versus air cooled situations). The convenience to the user, etc. But make sure you take a one sided type argument to what you are focusing on - cooling computers and which one provides the best overall results). This point is just to expand the boundaries of the air/liquid cooling debate and which one if more practical, i guess.

Cheers mate, and good luck!
 
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