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Old 03-26-2017, 07:36 PM   #1
The Dude
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Fanless Watercooling using salvaged indoor coil?

I'm remodeling a place I bought last year and part of the renovations include a new hvac system with cased coil and outdoor unit.

So I have this old indoor coil with about 18" X 30" of surface area. It's probably a 30000 BTU coil (2.5 ton) but it could be 36000 (3 ton).

It would require a bit of modding on the coil but I think I could wind up with 1/2" or 3/8" barbs in and out.

I'm going with my gut here, but I think this would be enough to dissipate 350 - 400 watts of cpu/gpu thermal output without fans?

I'll get a couple pics of the coil tomorrow when I head over there.

This could be fun, I'm hoping this turns into fun...

Additional Comment:

So after seeing the heat sink on that "passive" cooling solution from this thread, I'm relatively confident that the coil I'm considering would be sufficient for heat dispersion without active airflow.

I've attached pics of the coil. Basically there are 4 individual 3/8" copper lines which make a series of serpentine bends to pass through the aluminum fin matrix. One end of each line is 3/8" (suction line, green highlighting) and the other has a reducer braised on and the line is more like 3/16" (fluid line, red highlighting.)

My idea is to remove a small section of the aluminum fin around the fluid line ends so that I can properly cut the tubing. Then I'd fit some appropriately sized plastic tubing over all 8 of the copper tubing ends securing each with hose clamps.

From here on we will refer to the red fluid line side as "in" and the green suction line side as "out."

I would most likely run all four "in" ends into a manifold and all four "out" ends into another manifold. The manifold would resize the tubing to 1/2" The 1/2" tubing would run to the rest of the setup, the order would likely be rad(coil) -> res -> pump -> CPU -> GPU -> rad(coil.)

The rad(coil) would be under the floor hung from the basement ceiling where my previous air filtering radiator setup is still hanging.
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Last edited by The Dude; 03-26-2017 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:10 PM   #2
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Nice....that's gonna be a big *** pump lol
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Old 03-27-2017, 04:49 AM   #3
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I was thinking my mcp 655 would handle it, if not I guess one of those 35x dual pump custom enclosures would work. The hard tubing shouldn't put too much drag or restriction on the flow I don't think.
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:19 PM   #4
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I reckon that PC pumps will handle it, the MCP 655 is more powerfull than the pump I have in my fishpond lol (and that can drag water up 4 meters)
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
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Passive radiators normally have thick fins with a lot of mass, because it has to absorb and hold most of the heat until it slowly transfers to the air around it. What you have there is a whole lot of thin, light weight fins that maximize surface area to more quickly transfer to the air flowing over it. While it may work passively for you simply due to its size relative to the heat you're trying to dissipate, that design is still going to perform much better with some amount of airflow across those fins.
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Old 03-29-2017, 04:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input FunkZ. My plan currently is to separate the two sections of the coil and mount them both horizontally between the floor joists under the pc. I'll allow about six inches of clearance between the sections and the floor itself. Hopefully as temperatures increase this will create some natural thermal airflow as the cooler air rises through fins and the warmer air rolls out across the joist bay. This is an experiment and a way to directly reuse something that would otherwise end up in the recycling pile, so if a couple fans are needed I won't be too bummed.

That said can you recommend a good product and procedure for cleaning the tubing prior to putting it into use?
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:04 PM   #7
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Probably some type of HVAC line cleaner would be best. Searching online I found Rx11 Flush?

I have no experience with repurposing HVAC hardware for use with PC cooling, but I suspect leftover contaminants from freon, oil, etc. could harm your pump. I would think you'd want to use some cleaner/solvent that evaporates without leaving a residue, possibly automotive brake cleaner or even isopropyl alcohol would work?

Last edited by FunkZ; 03-31-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:58 PM   #8
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Yeah I was thinking first a high concentration of degreaser, then hot water flush from tap, then acetone or alcohol.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:05 PM   #9
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I would just use Acetone it evaporates and leaves no residue problem with water it will stay in the coils as it has nowhere to go Acetone will find the nearest exit.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:50 AM   #10
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Oily residue despite solvent

I have tried this in the past and it is posted March 25, 2012. It actually worked very well with even poor water circulation and no fans. It was low flow even with Aquastream Ultra and Koolance multispeed pumps in series. I had used professional solvent used for cleaning out air conditioning systems, then Brake-kleen, followed with soap and water, then distilled water, but there was still oily black residue that kept clogging the fine surfaces in the water blocks. Finally tore it down because of this.

Last edited by doggonit55; 04-16-2017 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:05 AM   #11
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You know after getting some compressor oil on a pair of jeans and trying to remove it I've been rethinking my plan. Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:38 PM   #12
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FYI - after monitoring my temps at work on a 140.2 Corsair aio (6700K OCed to 4.5GHz HT, 1.4v IIRC), and applying the same thinking on my home loop (~3-year old no maintenance loop with OCed 2500K), I plan on upgrading the GPU this summer and watercooling it using a fullcover block. I'll have a thick 120.2 XSPC rad and a slim 120.2 Swiftech rad to cool everything down.

Using an Arduino, I'll develop a small program to read the water temp from a probe located in the loop, and control PWM fans based on this (and not CPU/GPU temp/load). I'd basically make the fans not work at all until the water hits a certain temperature, at which point they would simply run slowly until the temps get critical (they usually don't move much even with fans at the slowest speed, even under full load, according to the H115i I have at work).

The fanspeed/temperature scale will be determined by testing the actual setup under different conditions to make sure it's rather bombproof.

If you're looking at a silent-ish setup and have enough rad area/water volume to contain the heat, that might be a solution.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:35 PM   #13
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That sounds like a great idea Nagoshi. I like the idea of controlling fan speed based on water temp. Writing a program to do so falls outside of my capabilities so maybe you could share that then.

Question: Could anyone offer some advise on whether my 240 BIX2 and EK Coolstream XT 240 will provide enough dissipation for an OC'd 1080ti and an OC'd 6700 or 7700k?

I'm thinking yes but I can't find actual btu ratings for the EK. The BIX2 says "1580Kcal per hour (6270 BTU per hour.)" That seems high to me considering the W*3.41214 = BTU's/hr formula indicates a 500w load (350 for 1080ti and 150 for cpu) would only require 1706.07 btu's/hr of dissipation.

There has to be something wrong with my math here. Can someone help out?

I would like to use the salvaged ac coil, but after hearing about doggonit's residue issue I'm more into trusting proper equipment for a long term loop.

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Old 04-25-2017, 07:26 PM   #14
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I think you'll be fine with those radiators. My 140.2 AIO at work barely breaks a sweat (the water doesn't really heat up) cooling down a 6700K @4.5GHz. But then again the block contact might not be optimal (IT doesn't want either me or them to touch the waterblock). But then again the CPU temps are "fine".

At home I feel some very slight warmth out of my thick 120.2 radiator on my 2500K @4.6GHz 1.375v after a while gaming and I think some of the GPU heat is directed toward the radiator (they are set as exhaust in the case).

A co-worker buys knock-off Arduino Nanos by 10s, they break easily since they are so cheap/inexpensive; I think I'll grab one from him along with a temperature probe and start experimenting.
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