Extreme TEC chiller experiment with Antec

dr/owned

Gawd
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Snapped this pic on the way out the door:

What you can see from left to right, UPS backup for the pump, UV sanitizer (chemical treatment requires upkeep, UV doesn't), temperature controller (overrides the water chiller temperature control), water chillers, main circulation pump (Iwaki WMD300XLT I think), and my chilled water reservoir insulated by Styrofoam pannels.

What you don't see is a second temperature controller for room ventillation (the chillers exhaust out a window), a submerged pump circulating water through the chillers, and 2 wifi enabled outlets so i can remote monitor and control turning these things on and off.

Desktop is 75 feet away and that's where the heatexchangers, more pumps, etc are. Couldn't take a pic of it because it's buried under insulation.

Also, all this stuff runs 24/7. The cooling costs between $20 and $30 per month to run.

 
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D

Deleted member 82943

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sure as hell isn't portable but it's fucking cool, you win w/c'ing man
 

dr/owned

Gawd
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sure as hell isn't portable but it's fucking cool, you win w/c'ing man

There's also a dude on OCN who uses geothermal loops to cool his computer. That's pretty extreme, but it requires living in an environment where you can do that (soft earth) and I'm not sure how low or predictable the temperature of the ground is. Probably takes a pretty large pump to drive too. And what do you do when the water coming from the loop is too cold and causes condensation? Do you have to install an inline heater then?

I originally started off wanting to do exactly what the OP did, except using square copper pipe (3" wide) as watercooling "rails" and having a bunch of TECs sandwiched between them, but when I started doing the math of power consumption and performance and the fact I'd have to use 2-3 separate 15A circuits to run it at 120V I switched to aquarium chillers. There was also problems finding power supplies capable of driving that sort wattage not costing $10k. Don't think OP is realizing max efficiency using 12V.
 

Fenris_Ulf

[H]ard|Gawd
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Geothermal is very predictable. Basically, once you go below about 30 feet the ground remains at the average of the year-round surface temperatures ("seasonally invariant temperature" in geological speak), assuming the heat load on the buried heat exchanger isn't too big. Generally speaking, this will be between 45 and 70 degrees F, depending on latitude, IIRC. A few really cold places (Siberia, I'm looking at you) can have average temperatures below 32 degrees resulting in "permafrost", a layer of permanently frozen ground. Residential and commercial heat pumps work on this principle, although for practical reasons they're not usually buried more than about 10 feet deep.
 

Dayaks

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I like the UV light that dr/owned uses. I think I'm going to use my pool to chill my Q4 2016 build. If I add TECs I can pipe the extra heat into my pool. I always wanted to heat the thing. It maxes out around 76F in the summer.... and we use it every day. I think I'm in love with this idea. :)

TECs can pull a lot, but my computer is on the first floor and the main box is in the basement about 5' away. If I'm using the heat for something useful it makes me feel better about it. I can also setup a controller (I have a controls system background) so it only uses as much power as required to maintain xx temp. If the computer's idling it shouldn't need more than 300-400 watts.
 
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dr/owned

Gawd
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I like the UV light that dr/owned uses. I think I'm going to use my pool to chill my Q4 2016 build. If I add TECs I can pipe the extra heat into my pool. I always wanted to heat the thing. It maxes out around 76F in the summer.... and we use it every day. I think I'm in love with this idea. :)

TECs can pull a lot, but my computer is on the first floor and the main box is in the basement about 5' away. If I'm using the heat for something useful it makes me feel better about it. I can also setup a controller (I have a controls system background) so it only uses as much power as required to maintain xx temp. If the computer's idling it shouldn't need more than 300-400 watts.

It's best to build a thermal battery/buffer so then you don't have to worry about transient heat load changes. That's why I use 25 gallons of water - keeps the compressors from having to kick on every 30 seconds.

Unless you're aiming for crazy low temperatures in which case you want as little liquid as possible.

I also did the math and it would take in a theoretical world 8.78 hours for 5000 watts to raise a 10000 gallon pool 1 degree Celsius. Not very impressive heating performance :)
 
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D

Deleted member 82943

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so this is basically taking a radiator from say a h100 throwing it into a vat/pool of water and then keeping the water cool, more or less right?

Kinda speaking out loud here but still in awe of the solution, sorry to thread jack OP!
 

Dayaks

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so this is basically taking a radiator from say a h100 throwing it into a vat/pool of water and then keeping the water cool, more or less right?

Kinda speaking out loud here but still in awe of the solution, sorry to thread jack OP!

I think we thread jacked a long time ago, similar in nature though. I'd like to think we're giving OP ideas instead of using a rad. :D

I think it's more having a big vat of chilled water, to varying temperature extents, and pumping it through a custom loop. dr/owned has a neat system I may replicate. He already has it setup, others such as myself are looking into options.

Oh and dr/owned I only have a 5500 gallon above ground (15' round). I'd get 2C! I did the heat loss calcs a long time ago and that was substantial... But 78 feels warm and 70 is pretty cold so a few degrees help. It would be an interesting discussion with the wife why we don't have to close the pool in the winter and why vapor is coming off of it lol. Realistically I'd probably switch to chillers or a big rad and dump the heat into my house in the winter. I have time to think about this. Edit: I think it's 195 watts/degree F heat loss on the pool w/ 7 mph winds. That's not too bad... ba hahaha...
 
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dr/owned

Gawd
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so this is basically taking a radiator from say a h100 throwing it into a vat/pool of water and then keeping the water cool, more or less right?

Kinda speaking out loud here but still in awe of the solution, sorry to thread jack OP!

That was the first revision of my setup. I chilled water and dunked an RX480 radiator in it. It's not as efficient as using water to water heat exchanges though which is what I use now. Hang on I'll dig up a pic I took when I was installing the heat exchangers.

EDIT:



The 4 clear hoses are for my cpu and gpu loops (fully independent). 2 stacked plate heat exchangers, one for cpu loop and one for gpu loop. Each heat exchanger is sized to handle something like 800W and maintain a 1C temperature differential between the cold water. You can also make out my split reservoir underneath the mess of hoses and one of the D5 pumps under that.

The 2 green hoses are the hoses that run to the chiller room. You can see where the insulation starts on the right corner of the pic and they're insulated the whole way to the chiller room.

Here's what it looks like all buttoned up. 4 temperature probes monitoring inlet and outlet temps of both loops, and my cat taking a nap. To give you guys an idea of scal, the case its next to is a full size Rosewill Blackhawk. The blankets are there for sound and thermal insulation. If you reach your hand under there the air feels colder. The sound part is because the rest of my home office is so quiet that I can hear the D5 pumps running even though they're 6 feet away from my head.

 
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Dayaks

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Has the cat ever fallen in? 1 degree C is very impressive. If OP was to use chilled water rather than a maybe-big-enough rad his temps would be really low. A 50% glycolish mix is supposed to go to -50C, which happens to be the same minimum on most TECs.

I'd be concerned with two things with OPs build:

1.) Not enough radiator for cooling CPU and GPU OC'd. Those are big rads... but this is kilowatts of power.
2.) TECs with too much wattage for the surface area. He'll lose a lot of his delta C just getting through the thermal resistance of the blocks, approximately half from my calculations.
 
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dr/owned

Gawd
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Has the cat ever fallen in? 1 degree C is very impressive. If OP was to use chilled water rather than a maybe-big-enough rad his temps would be really low. A 50% glycolish mix is supposed to go to -50C, which happens to be the same minimum on most TECs.

I'd be concerned with two things with OPs build:

1.) Not enough radiator for cooling CPU and GPU OC'd. Those are big rads... but this is kilowatts of power.
2.) TECs with too much wattage for the surface area. He'll lose a lot of his delta C just getting through the thermal resistance of the blocks, approximately half from my calculations.

What he's laying on the second pic is a bunch of blankets on top of a custom table I built for the purpose. Previously I was just wrapping the garbage can with blankets, but I figured might as well give him another place to hang out and nap while I'm at it.

The reason why I use a garbage can - in case anyone was wondering - is in case a hose explodes or something. It's not going to catch 25 gallons of water, but it gives me some warning before trashing my brand-new-ish carpet The garbage can and my entire desktop is also sitting on top of some lipped plastic panels to shield the carpet further from leaks. Garbage cans are also one of the most cost effective watertight containers available. I tried building my own...what a mess.
 

dr/owned

Gawd
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So question for the OP if he's still alive. If not then it's a rhetorical question - but I'd love to borrow his TEC waterblock setup and plug it into my chilled water system. It'd be one extreme experiment to see what happens with $2k worth of hot-plate cooling equipment + 120V. Honestly I think I'd have to use 3 separate 15A circuits in my house to power everything. I'd probably use a cube of copper to determine how much cooling capacity such a setup has (since it's a trivial calculation to determine btu/hr based on a known mass of copper per degree C of temperature change).
 
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Dayaks

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I'm actually going to make a TEC setup and hook it up to my pool.... :D I got the idea from you dr/owned. "chilled water". In the winter I'll just pipe the heat into my house with one of those massive Airplex Gigant radiators. That way I capture the waste heat and do something useful with it. I'll eventually make a thread.

I do wish OP would return and give us some data.
 

dr/owned

Gawd
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I'm actually going to make a TEC setup and hook it up to my pool.... :D I got the idea from you dr/owned. "chilled water". In the winter I'll just pipe the heat into my house with one of those massive Airplex Gigant radiators. That way I capture the waste heat and do something useful with it. I'll eventually make a thread.

I do wish OP would return and give us some data.

Off the top of my head - watch out that the water in a pool is very contaminated. Chlorine, minerals, sand, insects, etc. You'll probably want to have some sort of fine micron mesh filter on the line and check chemical compatibility on whatever plumbing method + radiator + waterblocks you use.

If you want another idea I contemplated for a while - somehow using tap water straight from the tap to run through a loop. I was thinking some sort of system where once the water in the loop reaches a certain temperature, a valve opens and dumps the old water and replenishes fresh cold water from the faucet.
 
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