Would plain oil immersion in an aquarium work?

The alternative to direct air cooling

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Would plain oil immersion in an aquarium work?

Post by Fire-Flare » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:55 pm

I'd like to save money on liquid cooling by putting air-cooled components with low-speed fans in an aquarium. But would the oil absorb heat faster than it would be able to dissipate in an average 2 foot long aquarium?

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Post by ascl » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:49 pm

Not sure this is really a water cooling question so much as an alternative cooling idea.... its been done before, but it just seems messy to me! Also, I really don't think it would dissipate much heat, as you only have the surface area of the tank (which is small compared to what is provided by a radiator with lots of fins). The glass wouldn't be a very good conductor either.

So, given the mess, and, I think, the limited amount of heat it could work with... you'd be limited to a system that air cooling could easily handle.

Thats my 2c anyway. Messy and not very effective.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:12 pm

I think no one ever tried it with the latest and greatest of components.

I would use a turbo head fish pump/filter thing. They have a jet on them and circulate water. I imagine they would be fine for oil too so long as it wasnt that thick, which it probably will not be. You definitely want a flow to the oil, that would greatly speed up heat removal. several gallons of oil has a lot of heat capacity. I would think it would take a lot over 150 watts of continuous power to really heat things up to dangerous levels. You know, they make a Peltier silent cooler for fish tanks. It goes on top of a flow tube from like an under-gravel setup. This would be really going the limit having like a 30 watts of miniature cooling power in an oil system

I still dont get the reasoning behind one of these systems as a long term plan though? I would imagine the oil would dissolve something eventually? I wonder about thermal grease, stickers, tape, glues. I wish I lived somewhere other than new york city and had lots of random empty space to try out such projects.

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Post by ascl » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:11 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote: several gallons of oil has a lot of heat capacity.
While this is true, its not heat capacity thats the issue... its the rate that the heat would be transfered out of the oil that is the issue. Even a massive reservoir will heat up eventually with a very small heat load, if it is in an insulated container -- which glass effectively is (not well insulated mind you, but glass is not a good conductor of heat). The important measurement is not liquid volume, but surface area.

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Post by deadbolt » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:55 pm

There's all kinds of videos on YouTube showing systems running in an aquarium full of mineral oil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJdUhtD1 ... re=related

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