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Old 26th September, 2001, 04:35 PM
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Oil Cooling?

I'm interested in learning more about alternative forms of cooling and I need to ask two questions about this topic.
1. What are the benefits?
2. Does have anyone info on this? Documents, links, etc.

I remember an article on this subject at overclockers, but I can't seem to find it now. If it was right in front of me, I apologize - I can't seem to find things that are under my nose.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 26th September, 2001, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
1. What are the benefits?
It doesn't conduct electricity. (;
It doesn't promote corrosion in the presence of mixed metals.

There are disadvantages though.

1. Oil doesn't have the same heat capacity as water, so if all things are the same you'll need a higher flow rate.

2. Not all plastics/rubbers are compatible with oil. Some of them will disolve into a mess and leak, so you have to check compatibility with your system.

3. Oil's a lot more expensive than water!

I haven't any links off the top of my head, sorry!

Áedán
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Old 26th September, 2001, 11:27 PM
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Dielectric tansformer oil is perfect for liquid submersion! The neat thing is that dry ice has dielectric properties as well, so you can submerse you whole motherboard in the stuff, and drop a bucket of dry ice in with it! I've always wanted to do this, but I don't want to void my warentees I know I'm a looser
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Old 27th September, 2001, 01:02 AM
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Warranty, we don't need no stinking warranty.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
It doesn't conduct electricity. (;
It doesn't promote corrosion in the presence of mixed metals
Also it doesn't suffer from scaling/residue from dissolved salts (don't ever believe de-ionised water cures that completely)

Can be taken to HIGHER temperatures (if you're using a dual-circuit setup, or putting it on the hot side of a peltier, you can thus reduce the size of your radiator )

Quote:
There are disadvantages though.
4. Tends to be more viscous than water, so requires a more powerful pump to achieve the same flow rate through the same size tube.

Note, though that the variation of viscosity with temperature for oil is greater than that for water - again, more suited to high temperature applications.

5. Shear effects: long term use of oil causes individual molecules to be torn apart, forming ugly black crud that clogs up your tubes. Same as in a car engine, you'll need to service your oil-block regularly.

6. Expansion effects: You need a much larger header tank for oil - it's index of expansion (based on engine oil) is several times that of water. (i.e. for the same change in temperature, oil will change in volume much more than water.)

7. Chemical effects: Some oils are hygroscopic (brake/transmission fluid is an example). They will suck up atmospheric moisture like a towel in a sauna, negating their use as an electrical insulator.

8. Environmental effects: Disposal is an issue - most hydrocarbons are toxic to some extent (except, maybe, cooking oil) so will need to be disposed of via an authorised oil collection/recycling facility.


I reckon that oil cooling could potentially be more effective than water cooling, but much more attention needs to be paid to the design, and the selection of the oil.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaitain
I reckon that oil cooling could potentially be more effective than water cooling
Not when used alone. It would need to be pared with some other form of cooling such as vaporphase to be more effective than water. Water absorbs heat faster than any other liquid*. Water can absorb a significant ammount of heat as far as liquids go. And Water can release heat very quickly aswell.

*Note: Ok I lied there is one liquid that I know of that absorbs heat faster. It is a substance known as "heavy water". It is used in nuclear reactors, and cost something like $1000 a liter, there for it isn't too practicle for the average overclockers.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
*Note: Ok I lied there is one liquid that I know of that absorbs heat faster. It is a substance known as "heavy water". It is used in nuclear reactors, and cost something like $1000 a liter, there for it isn't too practicle for the average overclockers.
If we're gonna get into speciality fluids, then liquid sodium absorbs heat faster than water as well. Liquid sodium, as I'm sure you're aware, is the coolant of choice for the experimental "fast breeder reactor" because even "heavy water" (deuterium oxide) can't transfer heat fast enough - heavy water does, however, have greater applications in terms of absorbtion of radiation, so tends to be used to drown radioactive waste (a la Sizewell C)

Quote:
Not when used alone. It would need to be pared with some other form of cooling such as vaporphase to be more effective than water.
Just thinking about it - you're right it'll never beat water in the temperature range at which computers operate; an excellent design might match water.

As regards vapour/liquid systems (active refrigeration), I'd love to have a go at making one of those - I've had in-theory designs for one for a year now - but I think I'd rather let someone else handle the freon...
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Old 27th September, 2001, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaitain
If we're gonna get into speciality fluids, then liquid sodium absorbs heat faster than water as well. Liquid sodium, as I'm sure you're aware, is the coolant of choice for the experimental "fast breeder reactor" because even "heavy water" (deuterium oxide) can't transfer heat fast enough - heavy water does, however, have greater applications in terms of absorbtion of radiation, so tends to be used to drown radioactive waste (a la Sizewell C)
You've been doing your homework, I can tell Now say, does liquid sodium happen to have dielectric properties. And how expensive is it? I imagin we would be talking gigabucks.
Quote:
Originally posted by Kaitain
Just thinking about it - you're right it'll never beat water in the temperature range at which computers operate; an excellent design might match water.

As regards vapour/liquid systems (active refrigeration), I'd love to have a go at making one of those - I've had in-theory designs for one for a year now - but I think I'd rather let someone else handle the freon...
Freon isn't too dificult to work with if you have the proper tools. As far as the knowledge you need to use those tools, and constuct a safe vaporphase refrigeration unit, your local library will be more helpful than any online source I've found thus far.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 11:28 AM
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You've been doing your homework, I can tell
Check the "Tell us a bit about yourself" thread in fwiw. I turned up to lectures

Quote:
Freon isn't too dificult to work with if you have the proper tools
The problem with Freon is it boils at a little less than room temperature at atmospheric pressure. It's also a CFC so handling it requires a licence (in the UK at least), and it's vapour is heavier than air. (A related CFC is Halon1308, a common large-office fire extinguisher in the days before eco-awareness.) I'm also told by medically-oriented friends that variations of CFC's are used as anaesthetics, so freon gas is quite likely to put you to sleep before you collapse into the heavier-than-air cloud of it that you caused by not sealing your unit properly.

Quote:
Now say, does liquid sodium happen to have dielectric properties. And how expensive is it? I imagin we would be talking gigabucks.
No, it conducts electricity amazingly. It costs... erm... a lot. Oh, and minimum operating temperature is >500C.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaitain
It's also a CFC so handling it requires a licence (in the UK at least)
Man, they don't let you guys have any fun do they? I can walk in to any automotive supply store in the US and buy a can of R134A, and I have a 20Lb bottle(meaning a preassurized tank or canister) of the good old R12 in my garage(this stuff is definately the worst from an envirometal standpoint, but it sure is an efficient refrigerant).

You could always go with amonia based refrigeration.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 01:04 PM
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You could always go with amonia based refrigeration.
Ammonia's never pure - it's a solution in water, 'cos pure ammonia's a gas.

Quote:
I can walk in to any automotive supply store in the US and buy a can of R134A
America's environmental policy's always left a lot to be desired.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaitain
America's environmental policy's always left a lot to be desired.
No it's cool you see, the can comes with all the directions you need to be a pro, and you can buy the $15 hose needed to recharge your cars AC while your at the auto store. Very rarely would any be released in to the atmosphere, the recharging tools are all idiot proofed. You would have to intentionally release it in order for that to happen, and the stuff is too expensive to waste. I'd be more concernded about improper storage resulting in a canister rupturing than anything else.
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Old 27th September, 2001, 03:44 PM
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Wow guys/gals! Thanks for all of the great info!


I'll have to look a little more in-depth into dry ice submersion (well, I needed to anyway).

Looks like oil cooling is out for me though - don't have the $$.
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Old 29th September, 2001, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dimmreaper
No it's cool you see, the can comes with all the directions you need to be a pro, and you can buy the $15 hose needed to recharge your cars AC while your at the auto store. Very rarely would any be released in to the atmosphere, the recharging tools are all idiot proofed. You would have to intentionally release it in order for that to happen, and the stuff is too expensive to waste. I'd be more concernded about improper storage resulting in a canister rupturing than anything else.
the big problem with the DIY freon kits is that the old freon had to go somewhere, 9 outa 10 times people will just keep adding a can every couple weeks to keep their car cool and never fix the problem because they dont know how
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Old 29th September, 2001, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by surlyjoe


the big problem with the DIY freon kits is that the old freon had to go somewhere, 9 outa 10 times people will just keep adding a can every couple weeks to keep their car cool and never fix the problem because they dont know how
Good point! I know mechanics who don't know how to fix the problem too though. Nine time out of Ten it is the hoses. Most people don't know it, but those rubber hoses will always leak some freon! It's just a question of how much.
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Old 1st October, 2001, 10:40 AM
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I thought aircon units tried to minimise that effect by using pretty thick vulcanised rubber tubes with a kind've metallic film bonded ot the inner surface. Certainly those are the recommended design specifications so far as I can tell.

Quote:
the big problem with the DIY freon kits is that the old freon had to go somewhere
The big problem with ACU's in general is that they should be high maintenance devices. The freon picks up various contaminants, such as solvents from plastic/rubber components, air from suction in the low-pressure section and general dirt and grime from the tubes (which won't have been washed prior to assembly).

In theory, an ACU should be taken offline periodically, have all its fittings inspected, all its hoses replaces and its freon completely replaced. Therein lies the problem: how many of you would just vent the old freon straight to atmosphere? Multiply that by the number of ACU's in America...

Your municipal tip won't be licenced to dispose of freon. It's a speciality waste: it needs either recycling or high-temperature incineration with high-pressure ammonia injected into the combustion chamber (to lock up the halogens). Problem with that is the volume of NOx generated Nasty stuff. Expensive to get rid of responsibly. Easy to dump in a ditch.
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