immersion cooling
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Thread: immersion cooling

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Question immersion cooling

    While I was at comdex this year I saw something that I have been hearing about and was hoping other people out there could tell me where to get this and how much it costs.

    What it is, is you have to make a special computer case that is "waterproof" and you submerse your motherboard and drives into a liquid, hydrofluoroether, and then you no longer need cooling fans or anything. I hear this liquid is like 200 dollars a gallon, I was wondering if anyone knew anything more about this or how much it has changed, Now this is only one of the two liquids you can use, and only one of the people you manufactur it. I am wondering if the other one is any cheaper. My included link is what it used to look like. Now they have it so it can fit into a normal size case

    Also would this cause any corosion of your hard ware? liquid is never good for metal.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    I believe I've heard this being done using ordinary mineral oil. It should be non-conductive, and non-corrosive as long as the components remain completely submerged. I don't know much about it's refridgerative properties, but if you had a way to keep the liquid cool, you'd be alright. Basically, you should have some kind of pump that cycles the liquid through the case and then back out through some coolant and then back into the case. This kind of setup is usually a bit messy, but definitely has some novelty benefits.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member tampabay420's Avatar
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    I saw that episode of screen savers. hydrofluoroether is commonly used to cool super computers...

    <edit>http://www.octools.com/index.cgi?cal...ubmersion.html</edit>
    yeah, I\'m gonna need that by friday...

  4. #4
    er0k
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    well do you think its worth it? i mean i know you can O/C it to as fast as the bus can handle.. but still... i wouldnt pay 200 dollars a month just for an extra .2 ghz

  5. #5
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    I wouldnt pay that much either, that is why I am hoping that perhaps it has dropped in price or some other carriers are out there. I would be willing to pay like max of 40 bucks a gallon.
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  6. #6
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    Sounds dead risky to me.

    The coolant could be either the restricted highly ozone-damaging CFCs or CCl4, or a highly flammable VOC, such as hydrocarbons (petrol for instance) or acetone.

    All of these are extremely hazardous to keep in quantities large enough to dunk a PC in, and would probably require some sort of solvent storage licence to keep in many countries.

    Traditionally, the liquid cooled supercomputers have been so expensive that the licence to handle the solvents would come out as relatively trivial (presumably to get the licence, you need personnel who are trained etc)

    I wonder if the mineral oils available for burning are pure enough not to mess up the insides of a PC, for instance paraffin sounds relatively safe (although still hazardous)

    The machine needs to be either completely sealed or kept in a very well ventilated room away from any possible source of ignition. Also note that many computer manuals say "never run in a potentially explosive environment", typically citing a paint store.

    Silicone oil might be safer (non-flammable and high bp, not too volatile), but it's expensive. I'm not sure if it's electrically insulating but I imagine so.

    Note that the chemicals I've cited above might be called something different in your country, afaik the names of solvents are quite different in the US.

    The snag with any of these is they aren't intended for dunking electronics in, so normal supplies may contain inpurities that corrode the components.

  7. #7
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    I've seen this before, on the back of a Cray 2.... the idea of submersion cooling has a long way to go still to allow technician friendliness, as well as stability.... gotta suck to spring a leak

    I have seen other rig's to cool large power supplies (such as a suppy for a laser engraver, etc) use a grease or oil, the thermal qualities of such a substance arent quite tuned, however the risk of shorts caused by a leak are greatly lowered.
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