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-   -   An experiment I'd like to try, thoughts? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/water-cooling/56796-experiment-id-like-try-thoughts.html)

igot6strings September 18, 2012 11:02 AM

An experiment I'd like to try, thoughts?
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So I've been thinking a bit about odd cooling methods and one idea that stuck in my head was submerging a rad in mineral oil or even water and using an aquarium pump and flat air stone(s) to pump air bubbles thru the rad. I'm thinking this would cool the liquid inside the rad quicker than air and give an overall lower temp.
What you folks think? I'd be open to testing it myself if you folks think the results would be worth the effort. I have a coolit eco ALC that i'm doing nothing with that I can slap into a system to test temps with.

Did I mention I'm an awesome artist?

sswilson September 18, 2012 11:10 AM

The problem with using any liquid as a cooling medium (as opposed to air over the fins of a radiator) is that it holds it's temperature once it absorbs the heat. Submerged systems look cool, but the thermals keep going up until every component ends up at a relatively high temperature. Using water on a large scale (such as nuke plants) works because the source of water is a large body and thus acts as a huge heat sink.

igot6strings September 18, 2012 12:19 PM

Thats why I thought the air stone would be a good addition. Rather than using fans I'd put the flat air stones up against the rad to push the air bubbles thru and out of the container. The container could be capped and the pressure would force the warm humid air out thru another piece of aquarium tubing much how a terrarium humidifier would work. The water/oil in theory shouldn't be any more than room temp if the air bubbles can take the heat out with them.

Masteroderus September 18, 2012 08:18 PM

Water has a higher specific heat capacity than air. Thus if you pumped air through the radiator that was submerged in water it would result in a lower delta T (change in temp.).

If you're submerging the radiator in say an aquarium it will not keep rising in temperature as it has a massive surface area with which to transfer heat into the room. This of course depends on the heat load from the radiator, but think of the surface area that the aquarium has, it's huge!!

Galcobar September 19, 2012 01:39 AM

Actually, if you measure the surface area of a radiator it will be far larger than you might expect -- particulary when measured against a single flat plane of the water surface. Rather like your lungs -- if you unfolded those, they'd cover a tennis court.

igot6strings September 19, 2012 04:24 AM

Now we're getting somewhere.

Now, I believe if you add a bit of salt to water it takes away some of its ability to hold heat. I'd have to do some research to check but I wonder if there are any other substances out there that would do the same that wouldn't degrade the metals of the rad. I don't mind testing it with salt as I can clean it afterwards but I'd like to find a more permanent substance if possible.
As for the container I was planning on using, I was thinking a large square apple juice container that I have. Its slightly wider than the rad is square so it should fit snuggly and has a 2" cap on top that I can put the aquarium tubing thru. I think 2L of water/liquid would be a good place to start.

Squeetard September 19, 2012 09:09 AM

I tried this. With 10 gallons of water. The water just kept getting hotter and hotter until it was too hot. We are underestimating the ammount of heat a rad dissipates and the ammount of heat a cpu and gpu makes.

Skyllz September 19, 2012 09:28 AM

Mineral Oil Submerged Computer; Our Most Popular Custom PC

Works good apparently but it's more a novelty then an efficiency thing.

You still need a way to cool your water externally and faster then the surfaces of the tank can do.

Soultribunal September 19, 2012 09:32 AM

You're going to saturate the water and overwhelm its ability to dissipate heat passively.
If, you say had the rad and then made your own cooling tower that the water in the tank circulated to, you could get away with it. I've seen that before.


igot6strings September 19, 2012 09:46 AM


Originally Posted by Squeetard (Post 656687)
I tried this. With 10 gallons of water. The water just kept getting hotter and hotter until it was too hot. We are underestimating the ammount of heat a rad dissipates and the ammount of heat a cpu and gpu makes.

Did you have air stones pushing air thru the rad itself? I've seen several set ups with mineral oil that used airstones as a novelty but I've never seen them used as a means to push air bubbles thru a rad. Curious as to what you did exactly.

Also like I said above, salt takes away some of waters ability to hold heat. Might be worthwhile to give that a shot as well or another substance that has the same affect on water.

I understand water left standing with a rad in there will continue to heat up but if there is enough air bubbles being pumped thru the rad with a pair of flat airstones the warm air should exhaust out thru another tube or chamber. It should then be able to keep the water at a reasonable temp I would think. Heat rises no matter if its in water or air. With a few pinches of salt in there it should work even better however it may degrade the rad over time which doesn't really matter for this experiment as it won't be a long term project. I could even put a small 40mm fan or something on top of the container to exhaust the warm air a bit faster.

The key to my experiment is the flat air stones being pressed up against the rad much like a fan would be. If anyone has attempted this already I'd love to hear about it.

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