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I was tossing some Ideas around and I thought that if I submerged my pc in mineral oil, I wouldn't have to worry about condensation, from subambient, waterblocks, and I could easily cool mineral oil with a car radiator and submersible pump with some proper sized tubing... Just wondering about what I would use on the waterloop to make it subambient for 24/7 and what liquids. Pure alcohol has a very low freezing point.

Just thought that I should ask if anyone had any helpful pearls of wisdom. Thanks for your time

I plan on doing this to my main rive bench
 

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I've seen kits where someone takes an eclipse aio aquarium and turns it into a submersion cooling pc rig.. its kind of expensive for what it is though.

The best thing I could think of to use to make the liquid sub-ambient would be an aquarium chiller. They are rated in hp, but you can look up their btu capability too. I've seen builds where people use theres and they work, however without any load these chillers only hit about 17*c. Total loop size is measured in gallons too, 5-20 gallons is easy too do even with the 1/15hp chillers. Many use titanium coils now, fairly unreactive stuff.

If the loop is sub-ambient, then using a radiator will actually add heat to the system due to heat traveling from ambient to the loop.

Also when looking at the liquids, look at the specific heat capacity. Alcohol won't freeze light water, but won't absorb as much heat before it heats up either.

My take on it: it could be done with an aquarium chiller, but after the costs and effectiveness on cooling, you'd probably be better of with a tec plate for sub-ambient, and not submerged.
 
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For sure I was thinking that if I submerged it it would just be alot safer against condensation on my 100s of dollars in parts. and I suppose a radiator would do that. I was just thinking that the liquid would get hot enough so that it might be a good idea to cool it before feeding it back into the chiller.

Also for tec's it get's pretty expensive with dual cascade setups and all that.. I am really just looking for a cheaper alternative to tecs or phase change. and once i start trying to think about tecs and phase changes my head starts to spin

and I will take that alcohol facts into consideration and look into other liquids.
 

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got home and found the submersion kit site:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/mineral-oil-pc.php

some good stuff about what they first did, how it worked, addition of a radiator, ect.

If cost is an issue so would an aquarium chiller. I paid about $300 for a 1/15hp and thats as small as they go that I've seen.

Also check to make sure your liquid is not hygroscopic. Alcohol over time will draw moisture (and evaporate). Some fluids you wouldn't think would, like some break fluids, will draw moisture, becoming conductive over time. Pretty much mineral oil is the best all-around for cost, non-hygroscopic, generally non reactive, thermal conductivity, and lack of electrical conductivity.
 
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So as I understand it your running a cooled water loop to a pc submerged in mineral oil.

One problem I can see with this is that the mineral oil temp will go up because of other components like the chipset and ram.....so this will affect your cooling loop temps by conduction through the tubes and exterior of your water blocks so you may need to thermally insulate those.

You make also need to have some means to cool the mineral oil separately from the water loop.

Here is a great link for a guy that has done a really icy water loop.

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=363597

He has used a window air con unit to make a super chilled external reservoir which he pumped to his pc sealed in a chill box.

He did have a lot of problems with pump failures though....probably due to condensation as they were externally house and he ended up submerging those in vegie oil.

But although long that post is well worth reading through for you....contains all the best info on fluid mix etc.

Tbh though I think the best method for this would be to forget the mineral oil......you would have to use special tubing which is expensive and as stated you would have to insuate your cooling loop from the oil and have a separate cooling loop for the oil.#

By far the simplest method would be to go for a chill box made from an window type ac unit and include an internal water loop.

It's comparatively very simple and would be very effective.

If your interested I'll go into more detail for you.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
@ tech- That's the jist f my idea. Mineral oil will be cooled with a car radiator submersible pump and a 400-800cfm fan not used in pc cooling.
also I will probably get a mobo block
Mineral oil was added to the idea, as a means of combatting any and all condensation. I have been wanting to mess with some better cooling methods and this is where I have been driven

This puget systems thing is a great read will have more to say when I am done

though I think I could do it I might wanna use a different sysytem as the mre and more i tink about submerging these components I think how it probably turns 4g worth of components worthless by being covered with oil residue..
OK so any suggestions on sub-ambient nonsubmerged without having to worry about condensation

or just wait till it starts getting old lol
 

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Yep...it's quite easy to avoid condensation without submersion.....I've been doing it with the rig spec'd in my sig for the last year.

Just build a chill box......a completely sealed container which encloses your mobo and the cold radiator of a window type ac unit......the components will always be warmer than the surrounding air so no condensation occurs on them.

The fact that the ac unit is so cold actually dehumidifies the contained air to levels where condensation will not occur....as a belt and braces approach I also included a couple of desiccant sachets in there so you have a dry starting point.

The box has to be completely sealed or moisture will ingress over time but this is achievable and what I've been doing for the last year without any problem.

My components were air cooled within the box though that had some performance limitations, but a water loop in there would give fantastic results and the loop being completely enclosed in the chill box would make it very trouble free.

This is something I would have done with my build if I'd been able to accommodate it, but space dictated other wise and I've gone off on a bit of a tangent with my current project which I'm logging here:-

http://www.overclock.net/t/1346823/subambient-full-submersion-phase-change-cooled-pc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeah that guys thread flew right over my head

+ I might be able to find some enclosures for chill box
 

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Tbh rather than hunt high and low for a pre made enclosure it's probably easier to make your own and insulate it......get exactly the dimensions you need then....first stage would be to get a window ac unit, strip it down and see what size evaporator it had and how the pipe work is organized.
 

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two things
oil "creeps", it will happily climb up any wire like mouse, power, sata cable, etc without any fuss
not only will it creep up things, it will also get into things... you might wanna check if rubber things like (waterblock) O-rings and such play nice with the type of (mineral) oil you wanna use.

Also, to slosh around oil -no matter how thin- a submersible aquariumpump is not gonna cut it... it WILL die... it might take a while, but it will.
You need the right tool for the job - a sump pump...

AFAIK there are no electrical sump pumps, they are driven by chain or belt by the (combustion) engine
then again , i might be wrong
 

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I have access to a bunch of industrial server enclosures and stuff like that that I can fairly easily seal.. It will be easier for me to get that than buy or make something from scratch. And I can wait to grab what one i need till after i get an airconditioner. hmmmm.......... considering some of te other equiptment i have access to maybe i should stack 2 55gallon drums(plastic or metal i ccan get either) and put a seismic rated server rack inside it and put aircondition on top *look up. drool. fantasizing*
but seriously 55gallon drums have a descent amount of volume and easily sealed and CHEAP at less than 30$ a piece......
i could cut one in half for proper sizing etc.

maybe i should mineral oil a rack lol jk that would be 5grand in mineral oil
Also I know about oil creeping but i think that will be an issue I can fairly easily avoid with some ingenuity I.e put a panel on the exterior

and the pump would either be a mag drive pump or someting like a fountain pump maybe even high end hydroponics. either way i can get 400gph submersible pump for 30$ i could replace that easily if necessary.
 

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Just so you know the sort of thing to expect here's a picture of my ac unit all stripped down and butchered.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/214/sam1117ml.jpg/

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

You don't have any flexibility in how you place that cold radiator (evaporator or evap to use the correct term).

They are not all exactly the same, some have slightly different pipe layouts so it's best to see what you have before getting an enclosure....you may have no choice but to make your own....I struck it lucky with a nice easy pipe layout.

I see you are still thinking about mineral oil....one thing to bare in mind with a sub ambient build is that mineral oil becomes very viscous at lowish temps and hard to pump adequately.

Personally I wouldn't bother with it, it's just unnecessary.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant View Post

Just so you know the sort of thing to expect here's a picture of my ac unit all stripped down and butchered.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/214/sam1117ml.jpg/

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

You don't have any flexibility in how you place that cold radiator (evaporator or evap to use the correct term).

*snip*
They are not all exactly the same, some have slightly different pipe layouts so it's best to see what you have before getting an enclosure....you may have no choice but to make your own....I struck it lucky with a nice easy pipe layout.

I see you are still thinking about mineral oil....one thing to bare in mind with a sub ambient build is that mineral oil becomes very viscous at lowish temps and hard to pump adequately.

Personally I wouldn't bother with it, it's just unnecessary.
That isn't entirely true: You could always replace the copper pipe from the condenser to the evaporator with pressure resistant tubing, of course that means hiring a professional to install high pressure fittings, buying expensive tubing, and having the professional re-plumb the entire loop as well as paying for new refrigerant. Of course I'm going on the assumption that he doesn't know how to do those things, or doesn't know someone who works in that field. That may be the case, and he could have a friend help with it. That is not the case for the majority of people though, so yeah.

So it's possible to have flexible placement, but it wouldn't be cheap.
 

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Absolutely correct.....but tbh if your going to those lengths I'd get a suitably sized and shaped evap and have it connected to an outdoor ac unit... okay you have to be near an exterior wall but that way you would eliminate all the heat the unit dumps into the room and the noise as well...that then becomes the neighbors problem...lol

It just depends how far the op is prepared to go with things.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant View Post

Absolutely correct.....but tbh if your going to those lengths I'd get a suitably sized and shaped evap and have it connected to an outdoor ac unit... okay you have to be near an exterior wall but that way you would eliminate all the heat the unit dumps into the room and the noise as well...that then becomes the neighbors problem...lol

It just depends how far the op is prepared to go with things.
Why not just dig a trench in your backyard, and lay a couple hundred feet of copper coils, then use geothermal cooling to replace the condenser? That'll show em!

(He he)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatmMRKIV View Post

I have access to a bunch of industrial server enclosures and stuff like that that I can fairly easily seal.. It will be easier for me to get that than buy or make something from scratch. And I can wait to grab what one i need till after i get an airconditioner. hmmmm.......... considering some of te other equiptment i have access to maybe i should stack 2 55gallon drums(plastic or metal i ccan get either) and put a seismic rated server rack inside it and put aircondition on top *look up. drool. fantasizing*
but seriously 55gallon drums have a descent amount of volume and easily sealed and CHEAP at less than 30$ a piece......
i could cut one in half for proper sizing etc.

maybe i should mineral oil a rack lol jk that would be 5grand in mineral oil
Also I know about oil creeping but i think that will be an issue I can fairly easily avoid with some ingenuity I.e put a panel on the exterior

and the pump would either be a mag drive pump or someting like a fountain pump maybe even high end hydroponics. either way i can get 400gph submersible pump for 30$ i could replace that easily if necessary.
if you keep scaling up, at some point Fluorinert becomes cheaper as mineral oil
smile.gif


Note that your pump will not necessarily die from "working too hard"... but rather as soon as the oil has eaten its way through the o-rings that keeps the motor from being flooded in normal usage
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZytheEKS View Post

Why not just dig a trench in your backyard, and lay a couple hundred feet of copper coils, then use geothermal cooling to replace the condenser? That'll show em!

(He he)
Even better... go live on a boat, you wont even need a large loop compared to geo
smile.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnRollie View Post

two things
oil "creeps", it will happily climb up any wire like mouse, power, sata cable, etc without any fuss
not only will it creep up things, it will also get into things... you might wanna check if rubber things like (waterblock) O-rings and such play nice with the type of (mineral) oil you wanna use.

Also, to slosh around oil -no matter how thin- a submersible aquariumpump is not gonna cut it... it WILL die... it might take a while, but it will.
You need the right tool for the job - a sump pump...

AFAIK there are no electrical sump pumps, they are driven by chain or belt by the (combustion) engine
then again , i might be wrong
They do make electric submersible pumps. We use them here at work and they use them in Aquariums. They are sealed so you could have to use something more reactive than mineral to cause any damage..
 

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Okay, so I'm going to chime in here on how I would approach this.
It seems like a simple enough to accomplish task, if you're willing to do some work.

First thing is first, get your sub-ambient loop installed. You can use propylene-glycol with distilled water for that. Mayhems XT-1 coolant has mixing ratios for how far below zero it can handle. At 50/50 ratios it can handle -40 Celsius temps. Now I doubt you'll be able to get anything like that without a complicated cascaded phase change chiller. More than likely you'll go with a TEC chiller, or you seem like you're going the route of canalizing an AC unit to use as a chiller. There is simply no way I can see that getting anywhere near -20 Celsius so you don't need any complicated coolant mixture to accomplish this, propylene-glycol and water will due fine. A major issue you could run into is the tubing radiating the coolants low temp into the surrounding, in this case mineral oil. This is simple to correct: Wrap your tubing in a foam insulator. I know for a fact you can get them at home depot, and I'm assuming any major hardware store would carry them. I think mineral oil would deposit on the foam, so you'll want to spray this in something like liquid electrical tape, or some waterproofing to prevent contact with the mineral oil. You have successfully prevented the issue of mineral oil becoming too cool, thus causing issues with viscosity. The idea of pumping mineral oil just makes me think about how many issues with pump failure you could have, so I'd go with something along the lines of a dual radiator heat exchanger. Have one radiator submerged with some powerful fans, something like the delta fans (with a fan controller if needed, to lower power draw). Then use a simple secondary loop from that radiator, to an outside radiator. That way the pump is only moving water.

Subambient cooling in a submerged liquid loop, without having mineral oil viscosity issues has been accomplished.

On a side note, keep connection port part of the motherboard out of the mineral oil. Capillary action will cause... let's call them unpleasant side effects.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnRollie View Post

Even better... go live on a boat, you wont even need a large loop compared to geo
smile.gif
But then what happens if the cat gets out
redface.gif
 
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