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Somewhat involved, but economic passive radiator idea

792 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  CyberDruid
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...


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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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