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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to think of an effective and economic way of taking the heat out of a watercooling system with little or no noise, and today I came up with the following idea. It would take a bit of work and to be honest is a little over the top, i'm not sure i would bother with it but i thought i would share it anyway.

I dont know about you guys in the states, but over here in the uk our hot water supply works as follows. Cold water direct from the ground piping is pumped into a water tank which is usually in the loft. A seperate hot water tank is then usually situated somewhere below it (usually in an 'airing cupboard'). The hot tank is then heated by a coil fed from the central heating supply.

What i'm suggesting is a third tank situated between the two. A coil fed from the watercooling setup could be submerged in this tank, cooling the watercooling feed to what is usually very cold temperatures here in the uk. Whenever a hot tap is turned on, the hot water tank would be refilled not from the cold tank but from the watercooling tank, which would in turn refill from the cold tank. Since the hot water (in my house anyway) is used quite frequently, the watercooling tank would be continually flushed and filled with cold water. This should keep the water in the coil down to a reasonably low temperature (i would guess 10 degrees at the most... all year round the cold water supply in this part of the world is very cold).

Although this setup is somewhat involved, and none portable, it does have its advantages. Firstly no more water would be wasted than normal. Secondly most of the heat generated by the cooled computer would simply be fed into the hot water supply, while the savings in pre-heating the hot water in this way would be minimal its economical value cannot be ignored. Thirdly one doesn't have to worry so much about the head height of sending a watercooling feed up into the loft, since the only 'true' height the pump is working the water through is the difference between the down pipe and the up pipe, everything else is just the length of the flow.

If i did this myself i would probably just fit two small taps in the wall of my computer room, and connect these to whatever cooling blocks i have. I've drawn a little image to illustrate what i mean, forgive its crudity i threw it up in a few minutes.

You might think im crazy, but this is a truely economical and silent cooling solution. The only energy wasted is that of the pump (and any heat lost in the pipes).

Anyway, thought i'd share...

John


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For anyone interested, with a 30 gallon tank (about standard for a cold water header tank) it would take approximately 2 hours to raise water temperature by 1 degree. This is assuming the water is heated by all 70watts power dissipated by a fully loaded athlon 2600 barton at stock clock speeds.

I've not yet worked out how often (and by how much) the tank would need to be 'topped up' to maintain a stable temperature, but i will post again shortly with that info.

But still, assuming the tank water was at about 10 degrees, it would take longer than a day for the water to reach room temperature if a 30 gallon tank was used. Obviously adding more than one processor (or cooling chipsets and hd's too for example) would decrease this time, but its still pretty damn good. Its unlikely that the hot water tank in this house would remain full for a whole day, even in summer.

John
 

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its a good idea in theory. but it might be like communism...only work in china


The waterblocks in pipe would only need an incredibly weak pump. The momentum of the water would pull the rest down the pipe and push it out the other end. hey, you never know, it might run perpetually
 

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Well, the tank that the Radiator or Copper tubing is going to be in, Why not just make it a continuous flow through?

Like just a run-off line tapped directly into the main cooling tank, Which would then after its gone through the tank with the rad is in, Back into the heating tank?


Not only would it be more user friendly (not having to flush the water every once in a while), But the water will always be moving, And then there would be more cooling essentially to the radiator... But either way, Both solutions will bring condensation if the water is as cold as you say.
 

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wow dude

if you could do it that would be awesome

having you computer heat up your houses water would be so little....
unless that boy is hot hot hot


If I were to do something like that, i would justsubmerge A radiator inside some big tank thats tied into the cold tap ,maybe two or three radiators
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by ShawnMcGrail

Well, the tank that the Radiator or Copper tubing is going to be in, Why not just make it a continuous flow through?

Like just a run-off line tapped directly into the main cooling tank, Which would then after its gone through the tank with the rad is in, Back into the heating tank?


Not only would it be more user friendly (not having to flush the water every once in a while), But the water will always be moving, And then there would be more cooling essentially to the radiator... But either way, Both solutions will bring condensation if the water is as cold as you say.

Yeah that was the idea... the refilling and flushing would all be automatic... the problem is this...

Unless my calculations are incorrect, for the temperature to remain stable in a 30 gallon tank the water would need to be almost completely flushed (and refilled) every two hours. Thats a hell of a lot of water. Sure it would take like a day for the water to heat to room temperature, but that heating would not stop, and unless about 100 litres of water is expunged from the watercooling tank every two hours it just wont stabalise.

Its possible i've calculated it wrong. If specific heat capacity is measured in J/kg degree then i've just taken a water temp of 20 degrees, and 120 litres volume, worked out its energy (120 * 4190 * 20, where 4190 is the heat capacity of water)... then i've taken away the energy of 10 litres at 20 degrees and added the energy of 10 litres at 10 degrees... the result would be the energy of the tank after flushing 10 litres and refilling with the cold water... i've then converted this into degrees.

In order to get a change of negative 1 degree every two hours (to counter the heating i mentioned in my previous reply) i think i would need to be using about 100 litres of how water every two hours. Is this wrong?

The other alternative is to leave the water heating continually until somebody takes a bath, and most of the water is drained... it would then take a long time for the water to heat up again... i'm not so sure of this though...

I need to think about it more, at the moment its not looking too good though. I wonder what difference connecting the cooling tank to the feed for the toilet cisterns aswell would make? Oh well, good food for thought.

John
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by confusi0n

Yeah that was the idea... the refilling and flushing would all be automatic... the problem is this...

Unless my calculations are incorrect, for the temperature to remain stable in a 30 gallon tank the water would need to be almost completely flushed (and refilled) every two hours. Thats a hell of a lot of water. Sure it would take like a day for the water to heat to room temperature, but that heating would not stop, and unless about 100 litres of water is expunged from the watercooling tank every two hours it just wont stabalise.

Its possible i've calculated it wrong. If specific heat capacity is measured in J/kg degree then i've just taken a water temp of 20 degrees, and 120 litres volume, worked out its energy (120 * 4190 * 20, where 4190 is the heat capacity of water)... then i've taken away the energy of 10 litres at 20 degrees and added the energy of 10 litres at 10 degrees... the result would be the energy of the tank after flushing 10 litres and refilling with the cold water... i've then converted this into degrees.

In order to get a change of negative 1 degree every two hours (to counter the heating i mentioned in my previous reply) i think i would need to be using about 100 litres of how water every two hours. Is this wrong?

The other alternative is to leave the water heating continually until somebody takes a bath, and most of the water is drained... it would then take a long time for the water to heat up again... i'm not so sure of this though...

I need to think about it more, at the moment its not looking too good though. I wonder what difference connecting the cooling tank to the feed for the toilet cisterns aswell would make? Oh well, good food for thought.

John

The problem I see with this is you will have mineral buildup in your blocks. It also seems like if any of your calcs are a little off you could end up with a dead CPU or wasting a lot of water or money on this.

I do however like the idea. If the water stays as cold as you say year around you could put a res of distilled water in your cold water tank. That way the cold water would be circulated more because it will be tied into everything in your house and you wouldn't have to worry about the mineral build up.
 

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Sounds like a good idea but I see a problem. The hot water will never get hotter than your cpu... I don't know about you but most people like their hot water to be 140F and I don't think you want your cpu getting that hot. Also once the tank did get to that temperature your cpu would probably fry because the extra heat wouldn't have anywhere to go.
 

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he said that the hot water is used alot - they would be an almost constant flow of cold water being added to the new tank
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by The_Jester

he said that the hot water is used alot - they would be an almost constant flow of cold water being added to the new tank

Ah... must have missed that. It might work good then
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Originally Posted by Fishie36

Sounds like a good idea but I see a problem. The hot water will never get hotter than your cpu... I don't know about you but most people like their hot water to be 140F and I don't think you want your cpu getting that hot. Also once the tank did get to that temperature your cpu would probably fry because the extra heat wouldn't have anywhere to go.

Nah, thats not what happens. Its my fault, lol the diagrams so ****ty. The water wouldn't be the only heat source for the hot water supply, and the hot water tank would still be heated up by the central heating system. Further, the watercooling tank would never surpass the cpu temperature (and this is highly unlikely, as the water would be replaced frequently). Thats why i said its not a very high energy saving, because its only 70w going into the heating, but it is going in none the less.

I dont think it would work anyway; i dont use enough water to shed the cpu heat fast enough.


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by Snerp

The problem I see with this is you will have mineral buildup in your blocks. It also seems like if any of your calcs are a little off you could end up with a dead CPU or wasting a lot of water or money on this.

I do however like the idea. If the water stays as cold as you say year around you could put a res of distilled water in your cold water tank. That way the cold water would be circulated more because it will be tied into everything in your house and you wouldn't have to worry about the mineral build up.

There wouldn't be any mineral build up because the watercooling liquid never touches the water supply in the tanks, it just gets fed through in a copper coil. I could still use distilled water for the actual cooling. Sorry - i forgot to add the reservoir to the diagram.

Like i said above though i dont think it would work very well. I'm considering the possibility of just dumping a copper coil in the main cold water tank, removing the necessesity for an extra tank.

It really all depends on the capacity to remove the heat from the water, either by using some hot water, using some water from the upstairs tanks, or flushing the toilet. Even with all three combined, i dont think its enough to be left with stable temperatures. I doubt very much my household uses 100 litres every two hours (i sure hope my calculations are wrong).

John

PS: i cant confirm the water temperatures in my area yet, but suffice to say when running a cold tap its cold enough to the touch to hurt after about half a minute or so. It does get warmer in the summer, but it still stays way below room temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmm... after some thought this sounds like a failed idea. I might be able to salvage an old fridge or a freezer in the near future though. Maybe i should just throw a freezer in the loft and fill it with copper coils, heh. Think that would give me very good cooling? Not very economical though,

John
 

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I think your looking at your idea too deeply . In theory all you would need to do would have a direct feed from the main cold water tank,maybe a pump to help it on it's way .you would have a constant flow from the tank . the outlet could then be either directed down to the kitchen and out the overflow so no need for anything else in line not even the pump on the main tank gravity would gice a constant supply of cold water to the cpu.The other way is to have a resovoir to catch the water and pump back to the main tank . Its simple and would be very effective here in the uk.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by confusi0n

Hmm... after some thought this sounds like a failed idea. I might be able to salvage an old fridge or a freezer in the near future though. Maybe i should just throw a freezer in the loft and fill it with copper coils, heh. Think that would give me very good cooling? Not very economical though,

John

I give you credit for floating an original idea out there, and being willing to see the negatives in it.

My take is that the physics might be fine, but not the economics--sort of like solar electricity. I'm guessing that if one compared the extra cost of your rig over a boffo radiator, versus the energy saved by your rig, it just wouldn't pay itself back. And it's not portable, and it's unlikely the next resident would care about your unique set up, so hard to recoup costs.

But kudos for originality and open-mindedness.


Stay cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by markuk3

I think your looking at your idea too deeply . In theory all you would need to do would have a direct feed from the main cold water tank,maybe a pump to help it on it's way .you would have a constant flow from the tank . the outlet could then be either directed down to the kitchen and out the overflow so no need for anything else in line not even the pump on the main tank gravity would gice a constant supply of cold water to the cpu.The other way is to have a resovoir to catch the water and pump back to the main tank . Its simple and would be very effective here in the uk.

The problem with this is that where i live we pay for water by the litre, so wasted water is bad water, heh.

John
 

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First of all you should take into account the length of the run to an from the coil in the tank--I would imagine it is losing heat all the way there--and maybe picking up a little on the way back (depending on the temps in your house--using copper on the way there would help chill by radiating the heat, using poly that's insulated on the way back would keep the chill in. I would think that even with very little water going through the tank you would have a very effective heat loss--certainly more than something like a Zalman reserator.

Interesting idea...
 
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