Anyone ever use a central heating radiator?

The alternative to direct air cooling

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BarakaBloke
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Anyone ever use a central heating radiator?

Post by BarakaBloke » Mon May 08, 2006 9:14 am

I'm thinking of passive watercooling my next system,
but I don't want to spend the kind of money Zalman want for their (admittedly desirable) radiators :shock:

So the other day :idea: I notice that second hand central heating radiators can be very cheap,
or even found in skips! I could easily screw one to the wall next to my pc, save piles of cash for other goodies,
and presumably get world class passive cooling if I use a large double convecting radiator :D
Even one the length of the room wouldn't look too odd, camouflaged as it would be as ordinary central heating.

On the other hand, a nice small radiator designed for a bathroom would look cute and may be perfectly adequate.
It would certainly be a lot easier to carry home!
But would it provide enough cooling?
After all, central heating radiators are designed to be efficient at higher temperatures than a cpu.

Has anyone tried this and learnt anything they can pass on?

Could this be the start of a whole new Passive Cooling revolution? :wink:

Cheers,

BB

Butcher
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Post by Butcher » Mon May 08, 2006 1:19 pm

You'd need a fairly hefty pump, but I can't see why you couldn't use one. They're so big it should work fine even with the relatively low temperatures. You're trying to cool the PC not heat the room after all. ;)

armystud0911
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Post by armystud0911 » Mon May 08, 2006 7:20 pm

Its been done a lot, if you can deal with the size, go for it. In many respects, its a lot more radiator than you need, I have seen a lot of people sufficiently cool a high end system with 30' of copper pipe bent into 4-8' sections for a good passive setup.

peteamer
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Post by peteamer » Tue May 09, 2006 9:00 am

Butcher wrote:You'd need a fairly hefty pump,...
Why?..

I run a WACC cooling resevoir (reserator style) completely passively.

The inlet is at the top, the outlet at the bottom is 2-3" above the water cooled and overclocked NVidia 6600 vid card which then passes the water up to my Thoroughbred B XP2400+ which is overclocked by ~10%. From there the water convects(?) back up to the top inlet...

Ambient of 20C gives me 52C CPU temps whilst in 2D graphics and upto ~ 56C in 3D.

And that's on 8mm ID piping.


However... a heating radiator on it's 'side' may not quite blend into the background... :D


Unless of course you tap into the bleed valve for an inlet... :wink:



Regards
Pete
P.S. as you can see, I don't believe big pipes or pumps are...'needed'...

BarakaBloke
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Post by BarakaBloke » Tue May 09, 2006 2:34 pm

I think I can just use my normal pump as long as I keep the connecting pipes as short as possible and as wide as reasonable!
My Eheim 1046 pump is totaly quiet as long as I hang it from some sorbothane straps (actually that's quite an art because the stuff splits
with the least provocation when under tension!).
It's been running non stop for a couple of years and hardly looked worn when I stripped it down a few days ago! Excellent pump, but a shame
it doesn't run on 12 volts!

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NeilBlanchard
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue May 09, 2006 3:34 pm

Hello,

I would think that rust might be a problem?
Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

BarakaBloke
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Post by BarakaBloke » Wed May 10, 2006 3:28 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hello,

I would think that rust might be a problem?
Yes, I'm not sure about corrosion. My old homemade system was copper and brass only and I got away with just deionised water.

Once you start mixing metals you'll probably want to add some sort of corrosion inhibitor, I imagine.

Another idea though would be if the system included a deionising cartridge. This would remove any ions from the deionised water and keep everything corrosion free, I think.

With corrosion prevented like this I think you should be able to mix steel, copper and aluminium with no problems

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zds
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Post by zds » Wed May 10, 2006 11:45 am

Hmm, I wonder could you use sacrificial anchors in PC water loop? Just attach small piece of tin to components made of lesser metals..

BarakaBloke
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Post by BarakaBloke » Wed May 10, 2006 3:02 pm

zds wrote:Hmm, I wonder could you use sacrificial anchors in PC water loop? Just attach small piece of tin to components made of lesser metals..

I think you'd be better off with zinc. If you scratch through the plating of galvanised steel (which is zinc plated)
it still doesn't rust because the zinc provides galvanic protection. The opposite is true of tin plate (tin plated steel).
Once scratched it corrodes more rapidly than plain steel would.

(I think that might have been a factor in the outbreak of botulism some years ago which lead to the joke
"What's pink and kills grannies? - John West Salmon!
And that's the same toxin that women pump into their lips and stuff now - botox!)

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zds
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Post by zds » Wed May 10, 2006 11:58 pm

BarakaBloke wrote:I think you'd be better off with zinc.
Oops. :oops:

Yeah, naturally I meant zinc, but due to some brainfart translated it wrong.

Butcher
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Post by Butcher » Fri May 12, 2006 2:19 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hello,

I would think that rust might be a problem?
Well radiators normally run with water flowing through them, so they should be ok. You'd want to use some sort of anti-corrosive I expect (perhaps one designed for central heating systems).

As for the pump thing - I was assuming he was planning to run it in standard orientation, which is inlet and outlet both at the bottom. You need a pump to circulate water in that case and given the size of a radiator it would need to be reasonably large. You could use a small radiator to minimise pump required capacity.

BarakaBloke
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Post by BarakaBloke » Fri May 12, 2006 6:07 am

Butcher wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:Hello,

I would think that rust might be a problem?
Well radiators normally run with water flowing through them, so they should be ok. You'd want to use some sort of anti-corrosive I expect (perhaps one designed for central heating systems).
As for the pump thing - I was assuming he was planning to run it in standard orientation, which is inlet and outlet both at the bottom. You need a pump to circulate water in that case and given the size of a radiator it would need to be reasonably large. You could use a small radiator to minimise pump required capacity.

The water in & out at the bottom aspect of central heating radiators worries me. Do they normally just rely on the water coming in and convecting up?

This sounds like a poor setup for pc cooling where the in/out temperature difference will be small. I can imagine most of the water coming in, flowing through the shortest route (across the bottom), and flowing out again, without circulating at all!

Regarding the pump: Surely you don't need a big pump for a big radiator? The bigger the radiator, the lower the resistance to flow it represents. It's a tiny radiator, with it's thin pipes that needs more pressure to shift water through it, isn't it?

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JTbo
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Post by JTbo » Sun May 14, 2006 5:40 pm

I really have not respect for corrosion, I have been running watercooling now for 4 years and I have not spend even slightest thought to corrosion.

I have had copper, brass, alu and now even Iron in my watercooling system.

Currently I have around 120cm x 40cm sized central heating radiator (hoses are connected to corners of one narrow end) that is iron and 3 alu blocks, pump is eheim 104x something, really can't remember even that :D

Cpu max temp has been 42C, radiator is passive, max watertemp has been 33C, while indoor temp 26C.
These have blocks:
Athlon 64 3200+
Radeon 9700np
Msi K8N Neo Platinum

Anyway I have not found any corrosion or any leaks that would been caused something else than my assembly. Typically I have used wrong clamps that cut hose and when changing new parts to system etc. I have bolted those clamps to same places in hose, that has made hole to them.

Here you can see those clamps that you should avoid (and lot of dust :D)
http://www.janiervast.com/mail_pics//IMG_3956.JPG

Took few pics when installed new x800XL but it was broken from factory so now running 9700np air cooled.

From my experience if you like to have really quiet setup, only with passive enough big radiator will do and that big radiator seem to be ok for this pump, no extra noises. I think that I have around 80cm hose to computer from radiator and pump pushes water to radiator from floor level, then water goes to gfx block in computer from top of radiator, that is around 40cm height difference.

System has around 3 litres of water, most of it is in radiator so that adds little water pressure to system as water is not very light, to get air out of system I think it is necessarily to put water in radiator from down, so it will fill up properly.

I use mixture of normal water and car coolant (I always have some around as I'm also car enthusiast), I think it has some 10-15% of coolant, but I really have not measured that very precisely.

I don't overclock, my water cooling is purely to get lower noise, I guess it may overclock ok, but maybe I'm just overclocker type :P

Sorry for you imperial guys, I felt bit lazy so not conversion of measures, but here is link:
http://www.onlineconversion.com/

Sorry for errors and so, I'm finnish so english is not my strongest language :)

cass
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Post by cass » Mon May 22, 2006 12:19 pm

if you dont want to risk letting the radiator rust, boil the water that you use in it (let it cool down before you try to cool your cpu with it :) ). This will remove the oxygen dissolved in the water, which is necessary for rusting (or oxidisation as its also called, a clue to why oxygen is needed) to occur. this will only work if the system is closed to the atmosphere though, otherwise oxygen will gradually dissolve in the water again.
this is why radiators dont turn to rust, cos the water flowing through tham has been boiled

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