Constant running/Open Water Loop

Discussion in 'Extreme Cooling Solutions' started by jrrandell, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    So I recently bought my first house and am thinking of using this to upgrade my water cooling system in my PC. Its currently just a small 240mm Rad Pump and CPU block.
    The option I was thinking of are:

    1) Run some tubes down to the basement and put the radiator, and pump in the basement. Logic behind this is the basement is fairly cold and there is lots of space down there.

    2) Very interested in this option. I noticed my PC room is above the main water line coming into the basement. This gave me the idea of just branching off of my water main, run a line to the computer and then a drain line back down to the basement. This would give the computer access to water that is always between 5-10 degrees Celsius. However my main concerns with this idea are:

    Build up - Would counter with putting a Reverse Osmosis system before the water heads upstairs. This would make the water distilled quality and since the water is clorinated organic things should not grow.
    Pressure - The Reverse Osmosis would help with this some however a pressure reducer may still be needed as the water comes in at about 40 psi.
    Condensation - On hot humid summer days large amounts of condensation would form on the pipes and possibly inside the computer.

    Rough sketch of the idea: http://imgur.com/SmVopsM


    Just wondering does this sound like a bad idea or does it actually make sense? Input would be great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. MouseTrap

    MouseTrap Limp Gawd

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    What would you do with the heated water returning to the basement?
    Just draining it would be like leaving a garden hose on.
     
  3. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    Option 1: You're going to need a pretty strong pump for the vertical lift, but assuming the basement can absorb the excess heat long term, it should be fine. I actually considered doing this in one house I owned, but only if I was going to live there a long time, otherwise installing the piping would have been a tremendous hassle.

    Option 2: Expensive. You could insulate the tubing and waterblock to minimize condensation. If you're going to that level, why not just mount the motherboard upside-down so condensation would drip harmlessly away? You would of course need to regulate the pressure and flow rate. What does your local municipality charge for water? Calculate how many gallons you would use at a reasonable flow rate (maybe .5 gpm) and then calculate the cost. Remember that utilities usually have an increasing cost for usage. If run 24/7 at 0.5 gpm it would be about 20,000 gallons per month.
     
  4. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    I calculated 1400 Watts absorbed at 0.5 GPM with a 5*C rise in temperature. If you're cooling just a processor, you might be able to get away with somewhere around 0.1 GPM. It's all linear.. so if a 10*C rise is acceptable, then you can absorb 2800 watts at 0.5 GPM or 280 watts at 0.05 GPM (might need a heat plate with a pump to push the water faster at that low of a GPM though.

    The idea of directly feeding a loop is appealing. Don't have to worry about pump failures.
     
  5. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Since the water coming from the City Main is about 5-10⁰C it would be as cold or colder then what any radiator set-up would get me.

    I would just dump the water into the sanitary outlet also in the basement similar to a sink.

    I am not sure how long I will be here, but I am guessing the next 5 years at least so it would be a fun project in the meantime. The piping is no hassle since my PC room is literally above the waterline. Just two holes in the floor and it is done. Mounting the MB upside down is a good idea; however I don’t see condensation being a big issue except for maybe July and August. Since most of the time ambient temp in the room wouldn’t pass 20-25⁰C (On the hottest days, maybe 10-20 a year) Also we do not have water meters in my city so all I do is pay my property tax for unlimited water so no extra cost due to increased water usage.


    If I do something I am leaning more to the direct feeding loop idea since it would eliminate the need for pumps and radiators.

    Also doing more research myself it seems the biggest issue with the open/constant flow loop idea is actually Galvanic Corrosion. Since the city water mains are all ductile iron it would react with the copper cooling blocks. It seems that a reverse osmosis unit would help take care of this problem, but to be sure I may have to add a Galvanic Anode somewhere before the PC. It seems like the most expensive part of the project would be the reverse osmosis unit (about $250) which is not too bad considering the benefits it brings. (Cleans the water to distilled levels, reduces galvanic corrosion, and lowers water pressure greatly)

    Thanks for the input guys. Since this would be a big project the more it gets picked apart the better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  6. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    If water cost is no factor, that changes the story. Reverse Osmosis will probably help keep corrosion down. Be sure to install a valve or two to shut the system down for maintenance. Maybe install a manifold if you want to expand the loop. You could run the water to a radiator at the air intake of the system to pre-cool the air to the rest of the system and warm the water closer to air temperature to reduce condensation. The airflow through the radiator should be enough to prevent condensation buildup.
     
  7. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    I did plan on installing a few ball valves along the loop. One right off the main to shut down everything and then another in the PC room to shut off the loop when the PC isn't running, that way I wouldn't have to go into the basement every time. A manifold is a great idea for future expansions that way If I add more components they can have isolated loops and it should be easy enough due to the fact I will more then likely have to reduce the pressure anyway. Also the radiator on the intake to warm the water some and cool the PC air is a great idea, that didn't even occur to me. Ideally though once I get the money I would like to water block everything and just get rid of the fans altogether.
     
  8. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    You probably can't waterblock everything, miscelaneous support chips will still need some airflow, although a single silent 120 or 140mm fan would be more than enough. Also, the PSU will need some airflow.

    Want to get rid of fan noise altogether? Put the watercooled computer one floor below you and run USB, audio, and monitor wires through the floor instead. Plus it limits leaks to the basement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  9. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Ya that makes sense however putting the PC in the basement its really an option since I like looking at it. I would like to get this desk in the future.

    http://redharbinger.com/

    Also what cants you water block, you can get CPU GPU HDD NB SB RAM, I guess the only thing you can water block is the PSU.
     
  10. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'd call it bad idea, compared to other options.

    Why not run an isolated loop for the blocks cooled via plate heat exchanger with a second loop.
     
  11. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Sounds like an interesting idea. However I have no idea where to get a plate heat exchanger or how much one would cost.
     
  12. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

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  13. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    OK. So this plan has the constant flowing loop on one side of the Plate Heat Exchanger, with the closed loops of the PC on the other side. It makes sense, however the PC loop would still need a pump and a reservoir. Also would this Plate heat be efficient enough or would I still need Radiators in the loop, or maybe 2 of the Plate Heat Exchangers?

    I am looking at a set up similar to this correct? Were the number of Plate heat exchangers can change.

    http://i.imgur.com/8gwlDHZ.png
     
  14. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The plate exchanger could take the place of a radiator in the primary loop, especially if you're correct in the temperature of the coolant in the secondary...so long as the secondary loop maintained flow-adding a radiator to the primary would only reduce efficiency and heat up the coolant so long as the secondary was still flowing.
     
  15. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Ok thanks. The tap water is always cold so temp wont be an issue. Did you have a look at my diagram though? Would it be beneficial to add multiple Plate Heat Exchangers the way I showed?
     
  16. Archmage

    Archmage 2[H]4U

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    I 2nd the plate heat exchanger idea for water-chilling.

    If you cannot find a continuous supply of chilled water (without wasting a bunch of water), you can simply ditch the plate exchanger and use regular radiators if the air in your basement is cold enough, using your own pump and distilled water of course.

    Note that RO-setups are flow-limited. There is a high pressure required to force water through that RO-membrane, and pre-filters are needed to prolong the life of the membrane. Flow-Rates are generally measured in gallons-per-day for household RO-units (45-135 gpd is typical, higher flow is generally much more expensive).
     
  17. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    Household water is full of minerals and chemicals, bad for use in a watercooling loop.

    Solution, water to water intercooler with a recirculate pump.
     
  18. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you go the heat exchanger route, why not use a big (20') coil of copper tubing for your inner loop inside a waterproof plastic box full of slowly circulating household water fed by your water line? Huge surface area for conduction, simple construction, low cost. Alternately, two interleaved coils of 3/8" copper tubing soldered together would make a great heat exchanger. A traditional metal intercooler may suffer the same fouling issues with household water as any other waterblock.
     
  19. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Another excellent Idea. This is why I love discussing things before doing them. This would be cheaper and probably more efficient.
     
  20. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pretty sure the heat exchanger is going to be both better for heat exchange (ya know, since that's what they're designed to do) and have less issues with corrosion (nickel plated stainless steel is roughly a gajillion times more corrosion resistant than copper tubing).
     
  21. Nettwerk

    Nettwerk 2[H]4U

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    Where are you gonna discharge all this water again? A drain?
     
  22. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    What I proposed is a heat exchanger, and it's cheaper and much more effective in terms of surface area and maybe lower flow restriction. Stainless steel is not corrosion resistant when submerged 24/7 - that's why they don't make ship hulls out of it. And stainless is a poor conductor of heat compared with copper. Copper will be pretty corrosion resistant - most interior plumbing is made of it after all and it lasts practically forever in that role.
     
  23. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    I’ll just add an extra drain to the sewer line, not hard at all, or since the water will be under pressure it won’t be hard to get it across the basement and tee into an existing drain line.

    Yes exactly. The idea is to get the most bang for my buck. I might take the time to actually crunch some numbers when I get time off work and see what would be more effective. Time to drag out my hydraulics text books haha, they haven’t been opened since school.
     
  24. nissanztt90

    nissanztt90 2[H]4U

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    Considered burying a 55 gallon drum next to your house and using the ground as a heat sink instead of wasting water?
     
  25. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    This would be a lot harder to flush when cleaning. Also it means some waterlines would have to be outside, and since we have cold winters here the lines would freeze fast. The lines would have to be properly insulated which can become pretty costly.
     
  26. CannibalTrout

    CannibalTrout Gawd

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    Gonna have to play the environment card here for a moment..an open loop into a drain is a lot of wasted water. Free or not I'd feel bad. Are you on well water or something? I've never heard of a city that just provides a free water hook up. It's either city water you pay for or you're on a local well, at least from where I'm at. Wells only have a finite amount of water in them. Cody Lundin would find you and kick your a$$ lol.

    Instead of going that route how bout just craigslisting a mini fridge and throw a double 240mm rad inside and put the temp down low? That way you don't have to worry about filtering the city water which would I would think cause all kinds of mineral build up without having some sort of inline filter.

    You could even keep your beer in there too for a quick refill.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  27. CannibalTrout

    CannibalTrout Gawd

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    Just imagine if your sewer line backed up lol..that'd be one nasty mess to get rid of if it leaked in your PC
     
  28. Jorona

    Jorona Font Snowflake

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    This just seems like a colossal waste of water. Just because it doesn't cost you anything doesn't mean you should just pour it down the drain. I'm not a big "green" guy, but come on. This is like just turning on a faucet 24/7. Any idiot knows that's wasting that resource.
     
  29. nissanztt90

    nissanztt90 2[H]4U

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    Refridgerators are not designed for a constant load like that. You will burn it out in no time.
     
  30. CannibalTrout

    CannibalTrout Gawd

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    Ever look into a Thermoelectric Cooler (peltier device)?

    I dunno if anyone still uses them or not, but you could just setup a basic closed loop water setup on top of a peltier cooler to get that extra drop in temp.
     
  31. CvP

    CvP [H]Lite

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    What a big waste of water just to satisfy some unnecessary nerdy need.
     
  32. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    A constantly running water supply at 0.1gpm would be about the same daily water usage (144 gallons) as a slowly leaking toilet or running your lawn sprinklers for about 15 minutes, so not exactly a huge waste, just a small one. On average, Americans use about 70 gallons of water per day, so this would only be about double the usage of an average household. BTW, if you want to play the environmental card, about half of all city water is lost due to pipe leaks and mains breaks before it even gets to the house - our infrastructure is old and poorly maintained.
     
  33. Jorona

    Jorona Font Snowflake

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    Doesn't mean you need to make the problem worse.

    That's like saying my car has a dead headlight, so I may as well wrap it around a tree because, well shit, it's already broken, I'm just going to break it worse.
     
  34. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think it's more like saying my car gets 30mpg if I drive slow and 25 mpg if I drive fast. Is the expense worth my time? Obviously his water utility isn't having a water shortage or they would meter and charge accordingly. The fixed cost of running/maintaining infrastructure and operating pumps probably greatly outweighs the marginal cost of the water. There are probably hundreds of other places to focus on that would give greater return on investment for efficiency than this.
     
  35. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Ok wow, seems I am getting a lot of environmental flak here.

    To address some points, I am not on a well it is the city water supply, and there is no water meter. Welcome to Newfoundland Canada. Second I would consider my current water usage lower then the average citizen of this city, considering I don't water my lawn or water the snow banks to melt them away in the spring like many around here do. ( Yes they water snow banks its not a joke.) I also shower and have a low flow toilet. So I don't feel environmentally guilty. If that is the only thing you have to say you might as well leave.

    Someone mentioned sewer backups, not going to happen considering from my basement to the road is almost a 2 meter drop so the sewe line has over 10% grade and the sewer main has even more then that running down to the ocean. Another interesting environmental point, our city doesn't even treat waste water before dumping it into the Atlantic. Its horrible but that's what happens up here :/

    The refrigerator sounds like a good idea in principle but it would be a lot more expensive to run a fridge all the time since electricity cost more.

    I googled the thermometric cooler and it seems people say it is a bad idea. You still have to cool it down with a HSF or a water loop so it really doesn't eliminate anything.

    I am sorry if I offended anyone from the midwest or southwest with my crazy water usage ideas.
     
  36. Fenris_Ulf

    Fenris_Ulf [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ah, up north, that's why. When I lived in Alaska we had the same deal with unmetered water. There's just so much snowmelt that there's no shortage of clean water.
     
  37. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Pretty much this. There is a average of 5m (16ft) of snow each winter.

    Also Fenris, thanks for all your input. I am thinking of giving the Heat Transfer Plates a try honestly. However I wont have time for this project until the winter sadly :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  38. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    Unless the water useage is causing a shortage then just ignore all of the "environmental" comments.

    My two year old runs around with a hose on full blast everyday. My area doesn't see droughts, so I feel no bad feelings about it. I could get into this in more detail, but harping on someone's usage is hilarious to me.

    I'll rant a little - gasoline takes about 60 gallons of water to process one gallon of fuel. My wife drives 80 miles a day to work, which requires 240 gallon of water. Ridiculous! She should drive a pinto! No, ride a bike!

    Even better. Ever fly for vacation? Lets say you flew 3000 miles each way, it took 8000 gallons of water to process that fuel! What a waste! Never mind all the CO2 and actual bad affects on the environment.

    Overall I think there's nothing more dangerous than uninformed people pushing views onto strangers.
     
  39. jrrandell

    jrrandell Limp Gawd

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    Thank you
     
  40. c3k

    c3k [H]ard|Gawd

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    Environmentally, I'd say an open water loop, like you describe, would be a benefit. If your city dumps waste water straight into the ocean, you're diluting the waste with your open loop. Kudos to you! Heck, the city should DEMAND that all the citizens run a faucet all day long.

    Seriously, ignore the posts by those who want to bring you under their heel. They'd never let you tell them how to live their lives or dictate what choices they should make. Why should you allow that of them?

    Cool idea. I hope it works. Keep us updated!

    Ken