Better Than Water Cooling?

Discussion in 'Overclocking, Benching & Modding' started by JavaFox, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. JavaFox

    JavaFox E Pluribus Unum

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    Here's something to think about.

    A comment on Slashdot regarding alcohol-cooling hotrods got me to thinking, so I did some research. Turns out alcohol --both ethanol and methanol-- outperforms water by a large margin in terms of thermal conductivity. So why aren't we using alcohol?

    Anybody know why that would be a bad idea? If not, let's try it!
     
  2. Mize

    Mize The quiet one

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    I'd be afraid it would boil in-line...both have very low boiling points...

    Mize
     
  3. zyfos

    zyfos New Member

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    Ever seen one of those little hand boiler things? (it's a little enclosed bulb thing that's usually twisted in the middle with colored alcohol in it. when you put it in your hand for a while, it causes the alcohol to rise like a thermometer.) If you could keep the cooling system presurized somehow (like a pressure cooker), it might could work.
     
  4. AT_curiousB

    AT_curiousB New Member

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    Well now I wonder why it is that alcohol has nevr been used primarily for the cooling of the combustion engine?

    Could it be that when it heats up it wants to expand, and if it gets hot enough it goes........BOOM.

    If someone wants to build some form of alcohol cooled system, i would hope that they will be good enough to give an indication of the area, so that sensible folks can keep well clear.

    It is all down to basic physics, go check the combustion point of alcohol and compare that to the combustion point of water, that in a pressurised system the alcohol would remain stable for a bit longer is true, but it would make for a even bigger BANG when it failed.

    I am only concerned about your safety, please do not try to cool a very hot system with something as volatile as alcohol, playing with fire always means but one thing, you get burned.
     
  5. Burn Out

    Burn Out New Member

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    Water has a high heat of vaporization, not to mention safer

    Water is can transfer alot of heat before it vaporizes unlike MeOH or EtOH. Alot of the new heat pipe technology use water. Heat pipes are in a vaccum, so pressure plays important role especially if the liquid is combustable. Phase change technology takes advantage of heat of vaporization to cool CPU to extremely low temp. These systems do not use water but a gas but the priciple is the same. Here is a link to a phase change system for CPU. Here's the shocker--converting the cost to US dollar--over $6,000. Ouch, but with time the technology will get cheaper. BO

    D'oh helps to put the link in:Super CPU cooler
     
  6. Yeti

    Yeti New Member

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    Pressure variance is the principle behind vapor phase cooling: Vapochill and Kryotech. probably a few others but those are the names of the Major manufacturers who use Freon based cooling systems. (Kryosys is better IMHO even though it is more expensive... it cools to -40 not -20 :/ )

    Know how your refrigerator works?

    There is a (and those farmiliar with watercooling systems will recognize these terms) radiator, coldplate and compressor.

    The system is filled with compressed freon. Lets start out at the entrance to the radiator... the freon in liquid form travels throughout the radiator and cools to the ambient temperature of the room. Then it travels back inside your refrigerator and reaches the coldplate (your freezer or ice box... its made of metal and has these bumps and ridges in it... thats where the freon is about to pass through). When it reaches the coldplate the freon passes through a valve which keeps the pressure low on the inside of the coldplate. All os a sudden the freon is no longer under pressure... and evaporates and expands to fill the volume of the pipes inside the coldplate. This process causes it to cool drastically (to less than 0C). Naturally at this temperature the freon gas starts absorbing heat from the inside the refrigerator (its waay colder than the air in the fridge). Once the gas passes through the maze of tubing that is the cold plate... it passes outside of the fridge to the compressor (you can find it mounted on the back of your fridge). Here the gas is recompressed untill it becomes a fluid. The process of compression heats the freon up to well beyond room temperature. Remember the heat the freon absorbed from inside the refrigerator? Well along with the rest of the heat acquired while traveling through the tubing and during the compression phase... it now dissipates it into the room while traveling through the radioator.

    The refrigerator... in fact ... does not actually "cool" anything it just moves heat from its inside to the outside... thus keeping things cool. The same principle is used to remove heat from the processor into the atmosphere by the cryocoolers...

    The end.
    LOL :)
     
  7. Mize

    Mize The quiet one

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    Re:

    There are no explosive alcohols...they all burn, but they don't explode.

    Mize
     

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