Inexpensive vapor chilling

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Oct 2, 2003
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As the title suggests, is there an inexpensive route towards vapor chilling? I've read of some people ripping apart cheap refrigerators, and using some components from there, but i have limited knowledge of vapor chilling itself, much less how do do this.

Which brings me to another question, are there any good sites that contain guides or tutorials in how to do this? Thanks.
 

WuTangClam

Limp Gawd
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Dec 11, 2001
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There are basically two main approaches to vapor phase change cooling. One is using the evaporator(the part that gets cold) to chill a liquid(such as water) down to sub-ambient temperatures and circulating that liquid through a waterblock.

The other is using the evaporator to cool a piece of metal that is in direct contact with the CPU or whatever you are trying to cool.

Of the two, I think that the water chilling method is both the easiest and cheapest. There are many inexpensive ways to go about building a water chiller. You can use a mini-fridge, refrigerator, freezer, dehumidifer, water dispenser, air conditioner, etc. Once you have your
phase change unit of choice, you need to expose the evaporator so that you can fit a resevoir around it. Then you must fill the resevoir with coolant (coolants will differ depending on the temps that you can achieve) so that the coolant is in contact with the evaporator. From there on, it's pretty much the same as conventional water cooling except that you have to protect against condensation.

The forums over at http://www.xtremesystems.org are a great resource.
http://www.phase-change.com/ also has some helpful information.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator.htm has some good information if you want to know more about how phase change works.
 
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Hmm, ok. I'll read up on those sites when i get some more time on my hands. But can anyone give me a rough estimate as to how much a home-made vapo chiller would cost? (an estimate of either implementation as described above would be great).

I want a better system, and i really like experimentation, but i dont wanna spend over $300 on a new vapo system. I'm not too gung-ho about TECs or water chillers either.

Maybe i'll just get a higher performance w/c kit and sell my exos...

Bleh, hard decisions when money is a factor :(.
 

WuTangClam

Limp Gawd
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Dec 11, 2001
Messages
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You could probably build a waterchiller for less than $75 if you used parts from your EXOS. It would depend on the price of the refrigeration unit, but I imagine you could get one for a pretty low price if you looked around.
 

Jonsey

[H]ard|Gawd
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You can find a brand new window mounted A/C unit for less than $100. There is no reason to get one larger than 5000 BTUs. Many people simply put the evaporator in an ice chest. If you are very careful, you can usually bend the copper lines so that evaporator goes into the ice chest without breaking. Keep in mind you will have to insulate the waterblock and water lines. You will also have to get an anitfreeze mixture instead of water for it to work properly.

Check out this thread for a good idea:

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22968
 

zer0signal667

2[H]4U
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Jan 11, 2002
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kronchev said:
ninja edit ;)

ive heard of people doing this but i have no idea whatsoever how to even approach that.


They work basically the same way as a refrigerator or an AC unit, I think. All you would have to do is put the evaporator in your res, or build a res to accomodate it. Or gut the whole thing and completely rework it to make an on-chip cooler.
 

WuTangClam

Limp Gawd
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Dec 11, 2001
Messages
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I went the dehumidifier route. Probably the easiest way to approach water chilling, since the evaporator is already exposed. All you have to do is find a resevoir that you can fit around the evaporator. Once you've done that, it's just like conventional water cooling except you have a dehumidifier instead of a radiator.
 

z3r0-

[H]ard|Gawd
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A dehumidifier or window AC with the evaporator bent into a bucket is pretty much the only cheap and tool-less way. I'm almost done my chiller and I'm up to over 200 dollars in tools and a year of reading and I still ask questions. A window AC compressor wont be tuned for the load and a dehumidifier probley wont either and the compressor would burn out FAST if its run 24/7.
 

Jonsey

[H]ard|Gawd
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A window AC compressor wont be tuned for the load and a dehumidifier probley wont either and the compressor would burn out FAST if its run 24/7.

You don't tune a compressor to a load. The compressor is one of the least important parts of a phase-change unit. You tune refrigerant to a heat load by sizing the cap tube. If you have the right amount of refrigerant (not too much, not too little) ,good oil return, and you are using compatible oils, I'm not sure why you think the compressor would burn up. These compressors last for years in A/C applications. A processor is actually much less heat then these compressors were normally designed for. The compressor would be working less than if it was used for A/C, so why would it burn out?

I would be much more worried about condesation. If you can insulate to take care of condesation 24/7, you're doing pretty damn good.
 

z3r0-

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
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By compressor I ment charge ;)
Gary and a few other HVAC guys at XS have said it will burn out compressors if the system isint properly tuned for waterchiller use and my window AC is overchanged for the load of a waterchiller meaning it would burn up the compressor.
 
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