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Old 04-13-2013, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Extreme" Water Cooling

For anybody wanting a bit extra on your water loop but too afraid or not willing to go phase I have a solution for you. It's been around for a while but I just recently thought of it for myself. It gives you sub-ambient cooling without the need for expensive rads or an expensive case to house huge rads.

Fish tank water chiller!

Performance-PCs carries a couple, but their wattage rating is rather low for a full loop.
Water Chillers : Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come

If you have a small loop, or low TDP devices like IB CPUs and 660ti cards those would be good for you. Anybody powering 580s, SB-E, Xeons, or 7970s (dual GPU cards) will want to look into higher BTU units such as these.

Aqua Logic Delta Star Chiller

This isn't for noobs!

Even though they make adapters for the smaller units carried by PPCs, and it excludes other pieces like rads I highly suggest you be experienced with a standard loop or basic plumbing!

For those experienced, this is seriously a great idea. Some come with pumps so all you need is a res or fill line. I'm thinking about going back to a smaller case and grab one of these with some quick disconnects for travel to LANs. With a smaller unit of course, because some weigh over 50lbs.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Extreme" Water Cooling

Isn't condensation a potential issue for chilled water cooling systems?
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Extreme" Water Cooling

Not as much as phase, but it has a temp control. If you don't go too far below ambient you won't have condensation problems.

To put it into perspective, -48c off my phase caused ice and serious condensation but was containable. Sticking to 20-27c would be fine and still be better (and cheaper) than having a ton of rads.

Edit: Just wanted to say, the smaller units can't cool enough to produce condensation. An 880 btu unit can only dispel about 425w of heat or something in that area. Water chillers aren't meant to fight heat, but cool water that isn't being heated. So a lot of overhead is taken away from that alone.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default

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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Not as much as phase, but it has a temp control. If you don't go too far below ambient you won't have condensation problems.

To put it into perspective, -48c off my phase caused ice and serious condensation but was containable. Sticking to 20-27c would be fine and still be better (and cheaper) than having a ton of rads.

Edit: Just wanted to say, the smaller units can't cool enough to produce condensation. An 880 btu unit can only dispel about 425w of heat or something in that area. Water chillers aren't meant to fight heat, but cool water that isn't being heated. So a lot of overhead is taken away from that alone.
That makes sense, I have heard of chilled water systems that have had condensation issues but they tended to be very crude and were very cold compared to ambient.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Extreme" Water Cooling

Yea when water chiller ideas hit me in the head I decided to Google because I was sure somebody already did it. Condensation isn't an issue if you are smart about it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Extreme" Water Cooling

Seems Koolance had the same idea, and made it better.

Koolance Launches the EXC-800 Portable 800W Recirculating Liquid Chiller - techPowerUp! Forums
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Extreme" Water Cooling

After looking for pics for the inside of one of these things to modify my own, I found Bit-Tech did the same thing 3 years ago. You can find their review here.
Hailea HC-500A Water Chiller Review | bit-tech.net

I disagree with them in one aspect. If you place a standard water radiator in front of the chiller it reduces initial heat load. This is so you don't overload a smaller chiller with too much heat, because as they didn't mention these chillers are not designed to sustain heavy heat loads. Fish tanks don't go from ambient to damn near boiling in under a minute due to heavy load like what your hardware can do. So unless you want to buy the Koolance mentioned in my previous post, I suggest adding a small 120x2 rad to the mixture for smaller chillers like a 1/4hp Aquaeurousa unit which is not designed for heavy heat loads.

This is essentially what I plan to do. The smaller units like theirs and others do not come with a pump. Considering my interest in these is to reduce the amount of water part clutter in my case, I plan on adding these to the unit itself. Yes this voids warranty, but I don't care. I will be planning to add an actual aquarium pump to the inside of the unit, as well as a standard 120x2 radiator with 120mm AC fans. The radiator will be placed on the return line coming from the PC to reduce initial heat load prior to being applied to the chiller itself. In turn, this reduces the amount of times the compressor should turn on as well, as it doesn't need to cool such a high load. Instead of what I'm assuming they are suggesting, placing the radiator after the chiller has done its job. That's just retarded, and I'm surprised they didn't think about that for a few more minutes before publishing.
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