Watercooled psu

The alternative to direct air cooling

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mpteach
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Watercooled psu

Post by mpteach » Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:56 pm

http://www.zerofanzone.co.uk/projects.a ... 50w&page=1
Does it have to be this hard to watercool a psu?

I think it would be easier to put a waterblock on the top of the psu, hermetically seal the thing and fill the psu with a dielectric cooling fluid, after all with no fans there would be not moving parts.

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Post by Rusty075 » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:16 pm

2 words:

Mineral Oil


:wink:
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Post by Gooserider » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:17 pm

It might work, although I'd be mildly worried about whether or not the coolant would circulate enough naturally to do the job. The other (solvable) issue would be making sure to properly allow enough expansion room for temp / volume changes in the fluid.

Now some of the radical cooling stuff that I've seen where they were dunking the entire PC (except the HDD's) left the fans in and running @ 12V. Supposedly they turned at some tiny fraction of their normal speeds, enough to circulate the coolant. I don't think the normal PSU fan location would work for this in what you suggest, but perhaps moving the fan to a more central location would do the job.

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Post by Rusty075 » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:23 pm

Actually, I can testify that a normal PSU fan will in fact spin while submerged in a tank of 0 weight mineral oil. Slowly, but it'll spin. :lol:

But given the density of the media, and its improved conductivity, it wouldn't have to move anywhere near the same volume as a fan in air would. Mine ran for weeks submerged.

As did the mobo, CPU, and everything else.


The HDD on the other hand.... :roll: ...not as successful.
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Post by Blackeagle » Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:01 pm

www.snt-systems.com

Heres a site with a watercooled PSU if you're interested in one available for purchase.

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Post by wumpus » Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:25 pm

$245?! do you know how many whores I could buy for that? And I mean the expensive ones, with all their teeth!

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Post by mpteach » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:01 am

wumpus wrote:$245?! do you know how many whores I could buy for that? And I mean the expensive ones, with all their teeth!

*Cough* Thats not apropriate SPCR material.

:roll: After all, thats not a silent endeavour :wink:
Last edited by mpteach on Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mpteach » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:05 am

Blackeagle wrote:www.snt-systems.com

Heres a site with a watercooled PSU if you're interested in one available for purchase.
I bet they took a fanless psu and joined a waterblock to the external HS. Costs enough.

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Post by chylld » Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:08 pm

mpteach wrote:
wumpus wrote:$245?! do you know how many whores I could buy for that? And I mean the expensive ones, with all their teeth!

*Cough* Thats not apropriate SPCR material.

:roll: After all, thats not a silent endeavour :wink:
*counterjoke withheld*

:lol:

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Post by mpteach » Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:27 pm

chylld wrote:
mpteach wrote:
wumpus wrote:$245?! do you know how many whores I could buy for that? And I mean the expensive ones, with all their teeth!

*Cough* Thats not apropriate SPCR material.

:roll: After all, thats not a silent endeavour :wink:
*counterjoke withheld*

:lol:
*counter-counterjoke withheld*

seriously though does anybody have an old psu they can fill with oil and then stiick a waterblock on top of it?

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Post by Leto » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:22 am

Yes :D where do I buy the Mineral Oil?
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Post by sthayashi » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:28 am

Leto wrote:Yes :D where do I buy the Mineral Oil?
Any drug store. Look in the Laxative section.
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Post by shathal » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:38 pm

OK - so one explanation for the watercooling unawares (like moi).

Why mineral oil?

Non-conductive (electricity wise) ... or ...?

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Post by Gooserider » Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:07 pm

Non-conductive, non-corrosive to electronic components, relatively non flamable, non-toxic (but will make you go....) no offensive smell, non-staining, reasonably decent thermal properties, reasonably 'eco-friendly', easily obtained and low cost.... There may be better dielectric compounds out there, but there are few that balance everything out so well.

My understanding is that even the transformer oil that the power companies use in power substations and the like is primarily mineral oil with a bunch of preservatives.

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Post by mpteach » Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:24 am

Mineral oil is aproved by the FDA(Food and Drug Administration). It cant be too bad for your computer.

here are some synonmy i pulled off of http://www.chemistrystore.com/mineral_oil.htm

Synonyms: Paraffin oil; Heat-treating oil; Hydraulic oil; Cable oil; Lubricating oil; Oil mist, refined mineral; mineral oil mist; oil mist, mineral, severely refined; Uvasol; Paraffin oils; Mineral oil hydrocarbon solvent (petroleum); Mineral oil (saturated parrafin oil); oil, petroleum; Nujol; liquid paraffin; white mineral oil; clearteck; drakeol; hevyteck; filtrawhite; frigol; kremol; kaydol; alboline; paroleine; Saxol; adepsine oil; glymol; lignite oil; blandol white mineral oil; carnea 21; Ervol; gloria; hydrocarbon oils; peneteck; primol; triona b; blandlube; crystosol; Molol; protopet; bayol f; crystol 325; fonoline; bayol 55; kondremul; neo-cultol; oil mist; penreco; perfecta; petrogalar; primol 355; primol d; tech pet f; Petroleum hydrocarbons; jute batching oil; paraffin oil (class); petrolatum, liquid; white oil; Mineral oil, aromatic; Mineral oil, paraffinic; Mineral Seal Oil; Electrical Insulating Oil; OIL MIST, MINERAL (MINERAL OIL)

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Post by Rusty075 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:46 am

One of the most economical sources for mineral oil in quantity is under the synonym "Turbine Oil" Just find the company in your town that sells industrial lubricants, and tell them you want the lighest weight they have.

It won't be crystal clear like the food-grade baby-oil is, but at $5-6 per gallon, it's much cheaper.

Goose: Transformer oil is of a mucher higher viscosity. That may not be of consequence if you're just packing the PSU full of it, but it would be if you wanted to circulate the stuff around. Part of my logic for seeking out the lowest viscosity stuff I could find was that it would setup convection currents within the vat, theoretically improving the over beyond what just conduction through the stagnent fuild would give you. Just a theory with no real experiments to back it up, but it seemed reasonable at the time.
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Post by Gooserider » Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:48 pm

Rusty, you may be right on the transformer oil, though it may also depend on the transformer. I didn't read the label, but at least some of the stuff I've seen was pretty thin looking, about like cooking oil. Might also depend on the grade of oil - some of the synonyms that Mpteach came up with sounded more to me like vaseline than anything liquid.

Doesn't really matter though.

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Re: Watercooled psu

Post by jack_r_k » Sat May 01, 2004 12:33 am

Watercooling a PSU is easy, all you need is some flexible groundstraps (copper flatbraid) and a waterblock. Connect the groundstraps to the PSU heatsinks and a waterblock. The waterblock should be outside the PSU.

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Post by chylld » Sat May 01, 2004 3:30 am

brutally simple and clever idea, jack_r_k :)

problem with that is that there are other components inside the psu that require cooling, not all of which can be cooled like that (they don't like electricity)

i think watercooling isn't very well suited to power supplies at all... i think the ones that are designed to run fanless are the best (the one with the big heatsink hanging out the back, although i haven't seen it on sale recently)

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Post by toiletduckuk » Sat May 01, 2004 6:57 am

Does anyone feel like explaining why mineral oil was suddenly a viable alternitive to swapping the fans in your psu for quiet ones? :roll:

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Post by Rusty075 » Sat May 01, 2004 7:40 am

toiletduckuk wrote:Does anyone feel like explaining why mineral oil was suddenly a viable alternitive to swapping the fans in your psu for quiet ones? :roll:
In reality, its not. :wink:

Consider it and "Extreme mod" Swapping fans would acheive 95% of the noise reduction, with virtually no risk.

But extreme can be more fun. :wink:

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Post by jack_r_k » Sat May 01, 2004 9:57 am

[quote="chylld"] brutally simple and clever idea, jack_r_k
problem with that is that there are other components inside the psu that require cooling, not all of which can be cooled like that (they don't like electricity)[/quote]

I didn't say the fan should be removed. Most temp.sensor is located on the heatsink so cooling it down like I suggested will keep the fan running at min. speed or you can replace the fan(s) with some very low-noise fans.

[quote="chylld"]i think watercooling isn't very well suited to power supplies at all... i think the ones that are designed to run fanless are the best (the one with the big heatsink hanging out the back, although i haven't seen it on sale recently) [/quote]

If it works with a big heatsink outside the PSU it will work even better with a waterblock.

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Post by MoJo-chan » Mon May 17, 2004 1:44 pm

A solution here might be heatpipes. Connect one end to each heatsink in the PSU, the other outside to a waterblock. You could use just about any waterblock with a clamp. Don't forget to isolate them if you have to :)

I like the oil idea though. Somene suggested this with transformer oil a few years ago on Slashdot. The biggest problem would be making the PSU water tight (or in this case oil tight). The cable exit gromet and power connector would be the biggest problem areas. It would be really heavy too, perhaps more than some cheaper cases/screws can take.

The idea that there are other components which require cooling in a PSU is interesting. Just how much cooling is the question. I would guess not that much, since massive heatsink PSUs are known to work okay in fanless systems.

MoJo

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Post by hwsboss » Mon May 31, 2004 10:26 am

why would it need to be oil tight if the oil is non cunductive?

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Post by AZBrandon » Mon May 31, 2004 2:43 pm

hwsboss wrote:why would it need to be oil tight if the oil is non conductive?
I don't think most people want oil dripping all over the bottom of their case.
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Post by MoJo-chan » Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:44 am

I have been thinking about water cooling my case for a while and came up with a plan for the PSU. Since the PSU already has one big 120mm fan on it, why not mount the radiator in such a way that the PSU fan sucks air through it?

The PSU is designed to be sucking in fairly warm air from above the CPU anyway, and so you might as well get as much out of that single fan as possible.

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Post by chylld » Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:27 am

MoJo-chan wrote:I have been thinking about water cooling my case for a while and came up with a plan for the PSU. Since the PSU already has one big 120mm fan on it, why not mount the radiator in such a way that the PSU fan sucks air through it?

The PSU is designed to be sucking in fairly warm air from above the CPU anyway, and so you might as well get as much out of that single fan as possible.
yeh that'd be an idea - although you wouldn't be able to do that due to the fact that every case has a different structure surrounding the psu.

a development on that idea - mount the radiator in a psu channel, so that from the front of the case to the back you have: radiator -> fan(s) -> psu.

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Post by MoJo-chan » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:15 am

chylld wrote:yeh that'd be an idea - although you wouldn't be able to do that due to the fact that every case has a different structure surrounding the psu.
I don't know... if you have a fairly flat waterblock on the CPU, it should fit in most reasonably roomy cases with a smallish rad. As you went on to say you could always put it in a bay and have a channel.

Luckily my case is a server case, which is basically like two cases stuck together so I have the PSU and HDs on one side and the motherboard on the other. I need one Panaflo 92mm at 4.5V to cool 6 suspended Seagate Barracuda HDs (RAID 0 array). The PSU has a 120mm orange fan which will either be undervolted or replaced (it's the loudest component at the moment), and I'd probably want a single 92mm Panaflo at the back on 4.5V on the motherboard side just to keep a bit of air moving for the voltage regs and other passively cooled components. I might try having the air from the HDs moves over there instead but it would be tricky.

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Post by Seal » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:17 pm

I think watercooling a psu isnt that good for silencing as the amount of heat psus create is extremely high! You do not want all that heat put into your watercooling loop as you'll just transfer the noise elsewhere to the radiator fans having to be on faster/louder!
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Post by moparchris » Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:35 am

i didnt have time to read all the posts but..

i was going to try immersion cooling with the PSU once, my idea was to make up a box i could put everything in (just a replacement for the PSU casing) that was watertight, fill it with mineral oil and i was going to have some 1/2" tubing in a 'U' that went into the casing and out so it kept the oil cool..
the reason why i didnt do this was because i thaught it would be too much of a pain to sort out all the wires going out of the oil so i didnt bother, i havent done anything to it yet, gotta sort out my HDD's then ill think about what ill do with the PSU :D
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