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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reading, Pa.
    Posts
    456

    Need some creative advice

    I currently have a hobby of modding (modifying) desktop computers and would like to combine work with hobby and come up with a refrigeration cooled pc.

    In case your not aware some hard core computer geeks (meant nicely) are spending upwards of $300 for a "phase change" cooling system.
    I'd like to construct a system, meaning a pc cooled refrigeration unit.

    Either by cooling glycol to directly cool the pc compoments or by directly cooling the pc components with refrigeration (more difficult)

    Since as far as I know the smallest txv is 1/4 ton this is WAY overkill for a pc as far as cooling goes so I'm thinking glycol, meaning cooling a glycol reservior to circulate and air/cpu cool the cpu so the refrigeration system can cycle off.

    What I need is the lowest btu compressor and smallest capacity txv to make this work, I'm not even considering cap tube unless you guys can convince me otherwise.

    As soon as I can come up with a btu load I'll let you know but for now I'd guess it's less than 1/4 ton cooling.


    Any suggestions?
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, for the ungratefull, have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

    Refrigeration is all the same weather your making Ice, refrigerating or freezing the product.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
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    19,244
    I'd be thinking about creating ducts to guide high velocity air over the heat sinks and the power supply. The Cray line of supercomputers uses circulating glycol, but for your garden variety Alienware overclocked gamer PC, I'd go with more air.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Orange Park Florida
    Posts
    224
    What about the old camper style cooling system? Those ammonia systems used a heat source to move the refrigerant in the system. The P.C. would probably create enough heat to do the job ,if you can harness it.Then it would be about coils and expansion devices.Probably looking for the smallest fixed orifice you coud get or make.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Coming to a town near you soon
    Posts
    774
    Why not check out some appliances like dehumidifiers and small refrigerators and steal their components. Also check out those coolers that plug into the dc in the car.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,371
    Pretty much all the info you need for direct die and chiller cooling pc's http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...splay.php?f=10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    4,380
    I think I would start by determing the heat load of the computer. When factoring in lights on a commercial heat load, 1 watt gets 1 btu of cooling. Figure in the average pentium uses 450 to 650 watt power supply, max output. Also at a modest 65% effiency, that's an extra 230 watts of additional heat load on a 650 watt power supply. Total of 880 watts on the power output. Now there is additional electrical friction from the hard drives, cd rom and processor, to increase the heat load. I would make a guess that that is about 50% of the output of the power supply, 325 watts. Giving us a grand total of 1205 watts. So I would start at 1200 btu depending on the temp that you want to keep the system at.

    Don't forget about condensation !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    100
    I'd goto http://www.overclock.net/ and go through the cooling section. Theres some pretty interesting projects in the Phase Change part.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southwest Missouri
    Posts
    162
    I understand the benefit of a high-temp cooling unit for a computer, but why would you refrigerate it? The condensation would destroy it almost immediately.

    However, there is already at least one specialized refrigerant out there for cooling computers. It's a non-conductive fluid and you literally immerse the CPU in it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,260
    I also have thought about this some, and I think that cold air is probably the best, and simplest way to do the job. Make the return side only 90% of the supply to maintain a slight positive pressure and you get rid of dust. The only serious problem I foresee is static charge.

    The problem with the water cooled units is that they have to fit a exact heat sink, and this makes them very limited in what you can change out in the future. If you have a air cooled case, it is easy to swap out cards, chips drives, main board....

    As for a metering device, what is wrong with a cap tube? And as far as good use for the heat generated, right now I could use a heated pad for my feet under the desk! The worst problem is noise. I hate a noisy PC. How ever you could set up your tower as a main in a separate room and just have a remote terminal for the desk.
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reading, Pa.
    Posts
    456
    It's a project "cause I can" to prove the commercial "Phase Change" systems to cool cpu's and pc's are way overpriced at $300+
    As far as condensation they have a moisture proofing coating for electronics I'm going to coat the intended victim err pc

    A few yrs ago I used an old LV1A recovery unit to cool a 5 gal. igloo cooler full of a glycol mix with a 1/4 ton r404a txv and a 4' loop of 1/4" copper as an evap. and circulated the glycol to the cpu and a small air over coil inside the sealed pc with a used water pump from a cornelius undercounter ice machine.
    The contraption cooled the cpu to around -20F I'm guessing, cause that's what the glycol return temp. was comming back from the pc since the built in temp. sensor for the cpu would not read that low of a temp.

    That was a big ugly setup, I'd like to remake that setup but small enough to fit inside a computer case.

    I'll prolly put the cooling setup in one case and pipe the coolant to the actual pc in another case.
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, for the ungratefull, have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

    Refrigeration is all the same weather your making Ice, refrigerating or freezing the product.

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