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Old, Senile, and Happy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log

I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.

As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . .
biggrin.gif


Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.

That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.

I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.

Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene
 

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Hey, Darlene!

Nice to see that you have taken the plunge into icy waters! Subbed, too!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log

I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.

As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . .
biggrin.gif


Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.

That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.

I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.

Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene
Darlene:
Why do you want to use a pair of Hailea 1/2 HP chillers? Why not use a 1 HP chiller that is typically used for a large aquarium? What kind of plate heat-exchanger are you using? The Koolance one may not cut it for your needs, but I do not know that for a fact. All I can say is that Koolance is terribly expensive for its performance characteristics. You may want to consider the plate heat-exchangers used in the process industries (or those used in homes for wood-burning furnaces), which are also far less expensive. Also, these chillers have certain minimum flow-rate requirements; so, regular pumps used in computer cooling may not be sufficient. (For the record, I am using 2 Eheim1262 120V pumps, plugged into a relay-controlled sockets. For reservoirs, on the cold/chilled loop, I am using a drag-racing turbocharger intercooler "ice-water" reservoir. For the PC-cooling loop, I am using the Aquacomputer Aqualis XT (800cc) reservoir, in addition to the Aquatube. For the plate heat-exchanger, I am using a massive, 100-plate 316L SS one, designed for refrigerant return loops. Thus far, the system is functioning well, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees Celsius. (I have used neoprene foam insulation on every exposed tubing surface and part; so, I'm not seeing condensation, even when the temperatures and dew points are inconducive. I purchased most of these parts from various non-computer suppliers to save on expenses. There were significant differences in prices.) I am now attempting to incorporate an Aquacomputer 6XT into my PC-cooling loop.). Mine is still a work in progress, even after 4 months, as I, like you, have other things to do and priorities, interests, and necessities that take too much of my time.
biggrin.gif
 

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Old, Senile, and Happy
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragpad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

Welcome to my TROPICAL FROST Build Log

I spent the day getting parts orders in and working on the case I'm going to try to shoehorn everything into.

I took pics as I went along, and I have them pretty well sorted out and will be posting as I move along in the build.

It'll be during the week that I get the first ones posted. . . . . so the pic part of the build log is a bit behind my initial plan, but more parts are coming and I want to preface the build a bit so you know where I'm going with it and what my expectations are.

As many of you know, I live in a tropical climate on a rock in the middle of the ocean, affectionately called the Virgin Islands, . . . . . though from the population demographics, that's clearly a misnomer . . .
biggrin.gif


Anyway . . .

The nice thing is; . . . It's summer all year 'round, beachwater temps are ~80* F . . even at Christmas time.

The not so nice thing is; . . . . I's also hot all year 'round and we have outrageous energy costs, (about $0.55 KWH) so home AC is unaffordably rare.

That's a major pain if you're a computer nerd /gamer /bencher, trying to put together a nice machine with good clocks.

Because the in house ambient here runs in the 90's F most of the time, If I build a humongous system with huge amounts of rad space, enough fans to fly an ultralight, and from it am able to manage a 2* or 3* C delta t, . . . I'm still no better off than someone with an entry level water cooling kit who's lucky enough to have a ~ 20* C ambient.

So this build is going to be my experiment with active chilling to keep the system loop coolant temp just above the dew point, during high CPU/GPU load, which depending on humidity, can be significantly below ambient.

I'll be using 2 loops, a system loop for the mobo, CPU and GPUs, and a chilled / cold loop. The chilled loop will cool the system loop thru a plate exchanger.

To chill the cold loop coolant, I'll be using a pair of Hailea chillers, the 1/2 HP, HC500 model

The system loop will also have a single 360 rad with P-P fans, so that when there's minimal demands on the CPU / GPUs, the rad will manage the cooling just like any normal water cooling setup, and the chillers won't have to run at all.

Only once the delta t reaches a predetermined threshold brought about by elevated work load, will the chiller turn on.

I'll be using a new version Aquaero to control pumps on both loops, the rad fans, and the trip point(s) to control the chillers.

I'll be fleshing out the plan a bit more and putting up some pics as the week progresses.

Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene

Darlene:
Why do you want to use a pair of Hailea 1/2 HP chillers? Why not use a 1 HP chiller that is typically used for a large aquarium? What kind of plate heat-exchanger are you using? The Koolance one may not cut it for your needs, but I do not know that for a fact. All I can say is that Koolance is terribly expensive for its performance characteristics. You may want to consider the plate heat-exchangers used in the process industries (or those used in homes for wood-burning furnaces), which are also far less expensive. Also, these chillers have certain minimum flow-rate requirements; so, regular pumps used in computer cooling may not be sufficient. (For the record, I am using 2 Eheim1262 120V pumps, plugged into a relay-controlled sockets. For reservoirs, on the cold/chilled loop, I am using a drag-racing turbocharger intercooler "ice-water" reservoir. For the PC-cooling loop, I am using the Aquacomputer Aqualis XT (800cc) reservoir, in addition to the Aquatube. For the plate heat-exchanger, I am using a massive, 100-plate 316L SS one, designed for refrigerant return loops. Thus far, the system is functioning well, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees Celsius. (I have used neoprene foam insulation on every exposed tubing surface and part; so, I'm not seeing condensation, even when the temperatures and dew points are inconducive. I purchased most of these parts from various non-computer suppliers to save on expenses. There were significant differences in prices.) I am now attempting to incorporate an Aquacomputer 6XT into my PC-cooling loop.). Mine is still a work in progress, even after 4 months, as I, like you, have other things to do and priorities, interests, and necessities that take too much of my time.
biggrin.gif
That's one of the other "not so nice" things about living here . . . . . . . Nobody much wants to ship anything down here. . . . . and the ones that do, make sure you pay for it.

I'm rather limited on where I can order stuff from.

Additionally, I couldn't find any of the 1HP models for USA power, which is what I was really looking for, that would ship here, and it turns out, that even if I did, I couldn't physically deal with it. . . . . I'm an old lady, and the 50# weight of the 1/2HP model was as much of a struggle as I want to endure when I picked it up at the post office and put the box in my little truck.

At least I'm prepared for when the second one gets here this week
thumb.gif


The up-side to having 2 of them, may turn out to be that I can control them in stages, so that they don't both have to run together when the load is only a little more than the onboard rad can handle on its own.

As far as the Koolance exchanger goes, I'll have to see how it works out . . . . I could always add a second one if needed.

I have plenty of inline temp sensors so I can see how much thermal transfer I'm getting at various exchange points and flow meters to look at temps versus know flow rates.

Keep in mind too, that I'm not looking, at least initially,
wink.gif
at making this an "extreme cooling" rig . . . really, I'm just looking at another alternative to massive rad space and fans, to deal with the challenge of getting good performance in very high ambient temp conditions.

It will be a work in progress for sure . . . I have much to learn.

Darlene
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

That's one of the other "not so nice" things about living here . . . . . . . Nobody much wants to ship anything down here. . . . . and the ones that do, make sure you pay for it.

I'm rather limited on where I can order stuff from.

Additionally, I couldn't find any of the 1HP models for USA power, which is what I was really looking for, that would ship here, and it turns out, that even if I did, I couldn't physically deal with it. . . . . I'm an old lady, and the 50# weight of the 1/2HP model was as much of a struggle as I want to endure when I picked it up at the post office and put the box in my little truck.

At least I'm prepared for when the second one gets here this week
thumb.gif


The up-side to having 2 of them, may turn out to be that I can control them in stages, so that they don't both have to run together when the load is only a little more than the onboard rad can handle on its own.

As far as the Koolance exchanger goes, I'll have to see how it works out . . . . I could always add a second one if needed.

I have plenty of inline temp sensors so I can see how much thermal transfer I'm getting at various exchange points and flow meters to look at temps versus know flow rates.

Keep in mind too, that I'm not looking, at least initially,
wink.gif
at making this an "extreme cooling" rig . . . really, I'm just looking at another alternative to massive rad space and fans, to deal with the challenge of getting good performance in very high ambient temp conditions.

It will be a work in progress for sure . . . I have much to learn.

Darlene
Darlene:

I can only imagine the level of disservice (er.. bad service) you get from suppliers to you in USVI. (I live in Pittsburgh, PA, just for your reference.) Actually, I am pretty surprised at the $0.55/kWh electricity rates there. Hmmm... Perhaps, you have considered solar, geothermal, and wind as alternatives.
biggrin.gif
. But seriously, I am loath to giving money away to utility companies.

Yes, the 1HP models 8are few and far between; I was able to locate one right here in the US (but of course, made where else, in China) - ActiveAqua chiller, which I purchased from a reseller in FL - for my "long-term" needs. Having said that, in retrospect, your idea of using two 1/2HP chillers is great, because you will always have the second chiller as the backup, should the first one fail, in addition to load-balancing. (I wish that I had thought of that, but I try to live and learn.) However, the price difference between the 1/2HP and 1HP models does not neatly correlate with the capacity.

Is there a reason why you did not want to get the Koolance chiller? Yes, I think that the Koolance plate heat-exchanger might be sufficient for your current needs. I have also got a few temperature sensors, which I intend to incorporate into the loops at various locations. Also, I believe that if you insulate all the exposed cooling components (including the tubes), I do not think that you will see condensation issues. Needless to say, the insulation makes for one terribly ugly system - at least, visually; but it does a great job. Oh, by the way, the grommets that the most cases provide for coolant tubing are woefully small for tubes with Armaflex insulation; even the water blocks are really, really tight spots. I am using a relay-controlled sockets (two of them - one for the chiller, and the other for both the Eheim 1262 pumps on the chiller circuit) that I got from EKM Metering. (Yes, I could have jerry-rigged it, but they were readily available and compatible with computer PSUs.

As an aside, I wanted to ask you: What kind of oscilloscope are you using. (It appeared, from one of your photographs, that you are using a USB-based scope; could you please tell me the details on it?

I am certain that I will learn quite a bit from you (and others on this thread, also). I am also not keen on "extreme" overclocking. Thanks for sharing the information with all of us; I truly appreciate it.
 

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I'm definitely subbed for this...

Although geothermal seemed like it could have been a good fit. Assuming you own the land I guess.
 

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Good luck, very interested to see how this turns out! If it's even half as good as your usual masterpieces, it'll put the rest of us to shame
wink.gif


The Hailea units are very nice, great choice!
 

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Dude;You need AC if you want to overclock.
Where I live (FL) it was 93 + idk..definitely over 80% humidity today..and is pretty much every day from June-late Sept..
Condensation is a big factor.AC cuts condensation by drying out the interior air.
PS:How do you sleep at night?
Here's a thought:window-shaker for computer-room only?
headscratch.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

I'm definitely subbed for this...

Although geothermal seemed like it could have been a good fit. Assuming you own the land I guess.
deafboy:

I am not sure that your post was in reply to mine; in any event, no, I do not have a geothermal system, because my property is situated on a hilly terrain and not exactly sufficiently level to use a geothermal system.

Edit:

Sorry, I read your post incorrectly. Mea culpa!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
false
Quote:
Originally Posted by dante020 View Post

Did you ever consider an evaporation "bong" type cooler? I hear they can work great under the right conditions (temperature/humidity) and are pretty energy efficient.
I've read most of the bong threads, and the volente builds . . . Biggest downsides were size, portability, and logistical issues.
The chillers also give me the option later on to delve into sub ambient cooling if I want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post

Dude;You need AC if you want to overclock.
Where I live (FL) it was 93 + idk..definitely over 80% humidity today..and is pretty much every day from June-late Sept..
Condensation is a big factor.AC cuts condensation by drying out the interior air.
PS:How do you sleep at night?
Here's a thought:window-shaker for computer-room only?
headscratch.gif
I have window units in the bedrooms, but to use one on a regular basis would add well over $200 to an already nearly $300 monthly power bill.
I do use them judiciously when really needed, and for occasional bench testing. That's why I have all my rigs on wheeled carts, so I can move them from stations in the bedrooms to the usual one here in what was intended as a dining area.

No doubt that once I get the chiller build up and running to where I can start playing around and trying different options, I'll run it in the AC room to see how much that helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragpad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

I use this one:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/72-10165

D.
Darlene:

Thank you for the link. Do you like it, so far?
I like it a lot, it's really handy for evaluating controllers and such that I do.

It's a lot easier using my laptop, or my testing rig and putting the scope display on the screen, than dragging out my CRT scope that's big, heavy, and doesn't photograph very well.

You could easily use one of the less expensive models for almost everything you'd do at the student / entry level user level.

Darlene
 

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Have you tried using some peltiers on the cpu to low the temps? It would help a lot on a warm ambient. The only problem i thing is using one on a gpu requires some kind of custom water block.

Anyway i love to see some crazy system like you always do. Subbed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

false
I've read most of the bong threads, and the volente builds . . . Biggest downsides were size, portability, and logistical issues.
The chillers also give me the option later on to delve into sub ambient cooling if I want.
I have window units in the bedrooms, but to use one on a regular basis would add well over $200 to an already nearly $300 monthly power bill.
I do use them judiciously when really needed, and for occasional bench testing. That's why I have all my rigs on wheeled carts, so I can move them from stations in the bedrooms to the usual one here in what was intended as a dining area.

No doubt that once I get the chiller build up and running to where I can start playing around and trying different options, I'll run it in the AC room to see how much that helps.
I like it a lot, it's really handy for evaluating controllers and such that I do.

It's a lot easier using my laptop, or my testing rig and putting the scope display on the screen, than dragging out my CRT scope that's big, heavy, and doesn't photograph very well.

You could easily use one of the less expensive models for almost everything you'd do at the student / entry level user level.

Darlene
Darlene:

Thanks for the reply. Yes, a laptop-version does indeed help. I am not an electronics/electrical engineer and consider myself a greenhorn at those fields (although I have studied microelectronics - solid-state physics/electronics - I did not really do those with any level of great interest - well, shame on me for that, now, for I am only a materials - nanomaterials - engineer), so I have a loooooooooggggg way to go; however, I have used - sort of mucked around - an oscilloscope and an arbitrary function generator as a student about 35 years ago. (And of course, I had lots of help from a fantastic all-arounder engineer/technician - whom I consider to be the smartest guy I have ever known, even to this day - back then.) Back then, the scopes (the ones that I used were LeCroy, HP, and Tektronix - mostly LeCroy) were very expensive. It is gratifying to see to see that nowadays even the little guy could afford a "decent" oscilloscope, thanks to the miniaturization and manufacturing advances.

It is regrettable that as a student, I failed to realize the importance/significance of many things that were taught, but I see that now! I wish I could turn back the clock and go back to school - with just a little more understanding of the importance of these subjects down the road! I suppose that it is better to be late than never, huh?

I really am amazed that your power bill is that high! Seriously, have you considered alternative energy sources? (Having read some of your threads/posts, I am pretty sure that you have done your research.)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by NvNw View Post

Have you tried using some peltiers on the cpu to low the temps? It would help a lot on a warm ambient. The only problem i thing is using one on a gpu requires some kind of custom water block.

Anyway i love to see some crazy system like you always do. Subbed.
Peltiers have all the allure of a rabbit hole in quicksand, at least to me.

Monuments to inefficiency, hassle, and fuglyness.

I'll be staying with the chillers for a while, I have lots to learn and experiments to try.

Darlene
 
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