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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I have a design for a rather unique build based on 3M™ Novec™ 7000 engineering fluid. I have started this project as my current box is getting a bit aged and taking longer then I would like to render some of the designs I have been doing.

Design Goals:

  1. Use the least amount of Novec in the system as possible (it's about 330 dollars a gallon)
  2. Make the design modern and futuristic
  3. Crunch though CPU renders quickly
  4. Play games and look sexy doing it
  5. Use the next Gen AM4 (Ryzen 7 3700X proc or Ryzen 3800X)
  6. Able to run a Mini ITX and single GPU
  7. Build a system that allows for easy changing of I/O wires
Description:

With those goals in mind, I set out using Autodesk Fusion 360 to create the design. After about three or four days I got a design that was well enough defined to get a BOM going as well. It has a calculated need of about 1.3 gallons of Novec and has a "condenser system" created by a secondary water cooling loop. The design has a clear acrylic tube that allows the cables to be ran in and out of the tank more easily and per the design guide I found on 3M's site creates a “trap” seal that helps prevent rampant egress of vapor". The tank features 14 screws that hold down the top plate applying pressure to a O-ring. This should allow it to have a gas seal.

The cycle would be as follows. First the computer components heat up under load and the Novec solution phase changes when reaching ~34C. Next the gas reaches the 80mm triple radiator at the top of the sealed tank, It then condenses back into a liquid and falls into the pool. (I'm excited about this part as it will look like it's raining inside the tank) From there the heat is removed by the dual 120mm radiator that is at the bottom of the case pumping water though the radiator "condenser" contained in the Novec tank. The dual 120mm radiator is cooled by two Noctua NF-F12 fans.

Components: (subject to change)

- Processor: Ryzen 7 3700X proc or Ryzen 3800X
- Motherboard: ASRock X470 Gaming-ITX/ac AM4 AMD Promontory X470 SATA 6Gb/s
- Ram: CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3200
- Video Card: ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 DirectX 12 TURBO-RTX2080-8G
- Storage platter: Seagate 4TB Barracuda Sata 6GB/s 128MB Cache 2.5-Inch
- Boot drive: WD BLACK SN750 1TB NVMe Internal Gaming SSD
- Cooling fluid: 2 Gallons 3M Novec 7000
- Mounting braces: Walnut wood stock
- Tank: Custom machined Acrylic Tank
- Condenser: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 80mm Triple Radiator
- Water cooling Radiator: Dual 120mm EK radiator
- Power: HDPLEX 800W DC-ATX converter
- Power: Meanwell AC-DC 624Watt converter HRP-600-48
- Case: 3D printed Case shell, VOODOO manufacturing
- Pump: EK-XTOP SPC-60 PWM - Acetal
- Fans: Noctua NF-F12 PWM, 4-Pin Fan
- Hardware: Mil. Spec. Alloy Steel Socket Head Screws

Note this is not all the parts but the big ticket items.

So far I have the design and bill of materials all worked out, and the other day I was able to work a deal to possible get a pre-production sample of the HDPLEX 800W DC-ATX converter. I also have got a quote back for the custom tank. They are able to machine it as well, so it will save me some work. I have also ran by a local wood working store and picked up a good stock of walnut needed for the support of the tank. It will need to be planed down and then cut to shape as it is rough stock at the moment.

Pre-Build thoughts:

I plan on getting tank and measuring it to adjust the CAD model if needed. Then from there I should have a accurate enough model to send off for the case to be 3D printed. I first thought I would attempt to print it, but it is much to large for my printer and I did not want a bunch of seams everywhere.

I'm unsure the bottom case made of PLA will be strong enough to hold the tank. I also plan on using a few internal wood brackets to reinforce it. The outside of the case will be sanded then a coat of Bondo to smooth it out. It will be a lot of finish work, but I would like to see it as smoothed out as possible before paint.

I will likely by a I/O board that I will mount to the top of the case right in front so I have quick access to USB 3.0 ports, audio, and perhaps a eSATA port.


Thanks for stopping by!

DoCDoC
 

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Ever Forward.
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Neat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Design update

So I have not quite decided on a good way to mount the radiator on the underside yet, I may have to go with some metal chassis part. It may be worth it to design a laser cut aluminum piece that fits there to have something the rad and pump can attach to. I have to be a bit careful however as I do not want to restrict airflow. It's likely I may switch out the pump with one that has a reservoir built in and have it tucked in the raised portion, I'm planing on placing a fill port on the top as well for the water cooling loop.



DoCDoC
 

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really interesting. do you need to remove the heat from the fluid after condensing? isn't that where the largest change in energy is seen?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
really interesting. do you need to remove the heat from the fluid after condensing? isn't that where the largest change in energy is seen?
Thanks!, The heat is removed by the condenser, it cools the vapor, returning the Novec to a liquid state that drips back into the tank below. You are thinking of the way a oil submersion computer would work. You would need to cycle the oil though radiators to remove the heat.

The secondary water cooling system is removing the heat from the system by cooling the novec that is in gas form. I may oversize the radiator on the bottom and switch to a triple 120mm setup. I'm looking at the EK-SBAY to go on the top as the pump and reservoir for that system.




DoCDoC
 

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BSME
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The cycle would be as follows. First the computer components heat up under load and the Novec solution phase changes when reaching ~34C. Next the gas reaches the 80mm triple radiator at the top of the sealed tank, It then condenses back into a liquid and falls into the pool. (I'm excited about this part as it will look like it's raining inside the tank) From there the heat is removed by the dual 120mm radiator that is at the bottom of the case pumping water though the radiator "condenser" contained in the Novec tank. The dual 120mm radiator is cooled by two Noctua NF-F12 fans.

is the 80mm rad the condenser or the dual 120mm rad? could you draw a diagram? i’m intrigued


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I find this to be a really interesting project. I watched Der8auer on YouTube dump dual Epyc server boards into Novec, and even a laptop, but always in an open basin of sorts. I have never seen a dedicated PC system with it.

In fact, I was wondering if I can use Novec in my regular water-cooling setup as the cooling media. Related to that is a quick question: Where do I find out of Novec is compatible with rubber O-rings (i.e. compression fittings), other types of plastic (i.e. LRT tubes or acrylic) and even copper / brass...a loop with Novec on a chiller might be an idea worth pursuing...AFAIK, Novec 7k series has a pour point of up to -100 c (not that a chiller would go that low, but still...).

...looking forward to see your project progress :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I find this to be a really interesting project. I watched Der8auer on YouTube dump dual Epyc server boards into Novec, and even a laptop, but always in an open basin of sorts. I have never seen a dedicated PC system with it.

In fact, I was wondering if I can use Novec in my regular water-cooling setup as the cooling media. Related to that is a quick question: Where do I find out of Novec is compatible with rubber O-rings (i.e. compression fittings), other types of plastic (i.e. LRT tubes or acrylic) and even copper / brass...a loop with Novec on a chiller might be an idea worth pursuing...AFAIK, Novec 7k series has a pour point of up to -100 c (not that a chiller would go that low, but still...).

...looking forward to see your project progress :thumb:
Thanks for the interest in the project!

From my understanding fittings and hard lines that we use today would be ok, as far as compatibility with the chemical, it would not react or degrade them. However the big issue is they would not be able to handle the internal pressure that the Novec solution/gas would put on them. As soon as the gas would build it could raise to ~20-35 PSI. This would literally bust most fittings today. In the design I'm looking to keep it under 15-30 PSI. Submersion is really the best way to utilize the solution. Making sure the condenser can keep up will be the challenge. I would like to add a industrial psi gauge to the top of the tank to monitor it, so the computer can shutdown if the secondary cooling system fails.

DoCDoC
 

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Thanks for the interest in the project!

From my understanding fittings and hard lines that we use today would be ok, as far as compatibility with the chemical, it would not react or degrade them. However the big issue is they would not be able to handle the internal pressure that the Novec solution/gas would put on them. As soon as the gas would build it could raise to ~20-35 PSI. This would literally bust most fittings today. In the design I'm looking to keep it under 15-30 PSI. Submersion is really the best way to utilize the solution. Making sure the condenser can keep up will be the challenge. I would like to add a industrial psi gauge to the top of the tank to monitor it, so the computer can shutdown if the secondary cooling system fails.

DoCDoC

Thanks for the info. Controlling the 'state' of Novec before the pressure builds via gas must be a real challenge...still, I plan to follow your progress w/ great interest. This still seems to a bit more realistic than D-Wave's ('quantum computing') 'closed loop LN2 setup (size of a room), or Kingpin's 'Roboclocker' here
 

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Discussion Starter #11
is the 80mm rad the condenser or the dual 120mm rad? could you draw a diagram? i’m intrigued


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The triple 80mm radiator is the condenser in this design. I did a hand drawing of the loop, hope that helps.



DoCDoC
 

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ohhhh. makes much more sense now. thanks.


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Given the cost of Novec, have you considering consulting with 3M about your project?

For example, I typically specify 3M products for projects. Whenever I run into an issue where I don't know much about the product (as I am not a product specialist), I contact a Product Rep and they're usually very helpful. Especially when providing an engineering assessment, details, or CAD etc.

Now, I never worked on a project with immersion cooling but I believe 3M has a vested interest in seeing this pushed to more new builds (Data Centers.) Any positive exposure a company receives... is good! As you know, there are a lot of sponsored builds on OCN. I would not find it too surprising if 3M wanted to assist in some way.

Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have reached out to 3M, though more to figure out their distribution partners and to see if I can get some 3M™ Microporous Metallic Boiling Enhancement Coating (BEC). It is more of a development material that you can coat copper heat sinks with. The material has optimally-sized nucleation sites and better thermal conductivity to Novec. I own a small robotics startup and if I can find ways to reduce power by cooling motor controllers and very powerful multi core procs/GPU's for AI research that is of value to me. I think Novec is already popular in some data centers but has not really kicked off. I hope that more places see the benefits and move to it, so the price Novec can drop with economies of scale. Even the benefits can be realized on a small scale like this single proc build.


  1. Increase density of computer electronics
  2. Less power required to cool components
  3. Less fans compared to a typical system
  4. Reduced noise
  5. No dust in the sealed system
  6. No heat sinks needed, or at least much smaller ones
  7. No extra piping or water blocks
  8. Higher sustained clocks
DoCDoC
 

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Very interesting to hear about this additional product as well as your current operations. It appears this build is in the right hands.

I can't comment with certainty why immersion hasn't taken off yet, but I know from a lot of the projects I am involved with, including work with large Telecom companies, they are not investing in Liquid cooled (immersion) cooling for existing server rooms.

All associated fees & potential risk appear to outweigh the opportunity to utilize conventional methods (Access flooring w. airflow panels, containment isles etc.) Granted, mose executives which lead the project and define the budget are more concerned with initial upfront costs rather than long term investment, which I would imagine payoff with immersion.

In large, new builds, with leading companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook etc.) I would not be surprised if this becomes the mainstream within the next 5 to 10 years. Anyways, I won't derail your thread any further. Curious to see where this goes.

By the way, I love your CAD render! Good luck with the build; subscribed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
By the way, I love your CAD render! Good luck with the build; subscribed.
Thanks, I used Autodesk Fusion 360. It's pretty much my staple CAD program, as you can quickly import McMaster-Carr parts with a built-in app and easily create designs that are at the fringe of design and manufacturability. I find that the more time you spend on the design of a project the less headaches and materials overall.

Thanks for the subscription!, just know this is a bit of a longer term build as the processor is not even out yet. However, since I plan on taking this to QuakeCon in July that will be the projects final due date. If I need to throw in a temporary AM4 processor to make that happen I will.

DoCDoC
 

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Any update?
 
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