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Thread: Fridge cooling...

  1. #1
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    Fridge cooling...

    Now, read before you get your panties in a bunch thinking this is another "can i put my pc in a fridge" thread....

    Has anyone experimented with using coiled copper tubing running through the freezer and food side of a fridge before? I know that a fridge cannot directly cool the pc or a rad fast enough to be efficient, but what about 100' or so of tubing that stays at a constant (+/-ish) temp, with a fairly constant temp load. This would be with the tubing either entering the freezer part first, or vice versa.

    Another alternative would be to have 2 or 3 sealed 5 gal buckets in the fridge section, the idea being that the longer the water stays in the fridge area, the easier it would be to cool the heat from the pc.

    I want to point out that im not looking to get sub zero, just sub ambient.

    I seriously dont want answers of "well i googled and you cant do it" or answers from 15 year old pimple faced kids that think im their age and they read somewhere that you cant do it. Or someone thinking im one of those kids and want to do something cheaply, or that i have a lot of money to throw around.

    Im also not looking for ideas on how to implement this, unless you have done it, or can point to a log of someones who did this. Other than this, feel free to post

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Your proposal is exactly the same thing, conceptually, as the other dozens of failed attempts at using a fridge to cool a computer. The compressor used in those fridges isn't built to handle a continuous load, such as one created by a computer. It is built to cool small amounts of mass for short amounts of time. The fridge cycles through it's operating range and is actually off most of the time. This is why you cannot use these types of freezers for this type of application. Attempts at creating lag in the heat transfer process is only going to buy you minutes of operation, at best, until the compressor is required to run continuously to meet the on-going heat transfer (q-dot) from the computer.

    I also want to point-out that going sub-ambient has all the negative aspects (req. conformal coating, isolated lines, etc) of sub-zero but none of the benefits (the clock difference between water at 25 vs 15 is minuscule). This is why people typically do not use sub-ambient cooling unless they know what they're doing (i.e. a "bong", also called cooling tower with non-toxic/non-volatile chemicals).

    FYI, calling everyone who's going to read your post a 15yro pimple faced kids isn't the best way to get help. Especially when you clearly don't have any type of thermodynamic/heat transfer knowledge.

    Try being a bit more humble next time.

  3. #3
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    what you suggest, furball, is the fridge equivalent of adding a larger reservoir to a water cooled setup. it takes longer for the liquid to reach equilibrium, but the heat you're dumping into the fridge is still the same, and requires the same amount of cooling power to either hold equilibrium, or bring the fridge back down to whatever you set it at after you shut your computer off. This means either your fridge runs constantly because your computer does, or your fridge runs for extended periods of time after you turn the computer off (and depending on how long the 'computer off' period is, the fridge may still run constantly, burning up the compressor motor and thus spoiling your bacon).

    All this is in addition to the fact that your food will most likely end up warmer (not saying 'warm', just at a higher temperature than without the heat dump), which, depending on how much wattage you're dumping in there, could lead to faster food spoilage.

    and on top of all that, you won't get any overclocking gains worth noting, maybe a percent or two (who knows, maybe three), for all that cash and time outlay.

    You are actually better off buying a commercial water chiller that's designed to continuously run, or skipping that and going phase-change sub-zero (since even sub-ambient setups should be protected against condensation, and if you're gonna do that to the boards, you might as well go all the way extreme and make some overclock headroom).

    as Naekuh will say "you can't cheat thermo."
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    So you're saying I could use my own pee as coolant?

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    I didnt call anyone that, just trying to rule those types out, plus i copied form another forum who seem to have those types running rampant.

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    I didn't go this route, although I have seen a couple do this or something similar over on Extremeoverclocking:

    http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...archid=4196610

    That being said, there is also this build here:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...43-The-Freezer

    What I did was used a window AC and turned into a chiller. It could get as low as -12c roughly, but I have a thermostat on it that lets me set it to whatever I want and therefore can stay above the dew point avoiding condensation, so no conformal coating, etc. Here is the build log for it to give you an idea:

    http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...d.php?t=307110

    IIRC the total cost on the build was ~$150, just depends on how much the window AC costs you.

    I think one of these would work better and be cheaper unless you get copper piping for free.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by defect9 View Post
    what you suggest, furball, is the fridge equivalent of adding a larger reservoir to a water cooled setup. it takes longer for the liquid to reach equilibrium, but the heat you're dumping into the fridge is still the same, and requires the same amount of cooling power to either hold equilibrium, or bring the fridge back down to whatever you set it at after you shut your computer off. This means either your fridge runs constantly because your computer does, or your fridge runs for extended periods of time after you turn the computer off (and depending on how long the 'computer off' period is, the fridge may still run constantly, burning up the compressor motor and thus spoiling your bacon).

    All this is in addition to the fact that your food will most likely end up warmer (not saying 'warm', just at a higher temperature than without the heat dump), which, depending on how much wattage you're dumping in there, could lead to faster food spoilage.

    and on top of all that, you won't get any overclocking gains worth noting, maybe a percent or two (who knows, maybe three), for all that cash and time outlay.

    You are actually better off buying a commercial water chiller that's designed to continuously run, or skipping that and going phase-change sub-zero (since even sub-ambient setups should be protected against condensation, and if you're gonna do that to the boards, you might as well go all the way extreme and make some overclock headroom).

    as Naekuh will say "you can't cheat thermo."
    Well, one thing i forgot to mention was the fridge will only be for this. The tubing will enter the freezer packed with ice bags covering the tubing, go to the fridge with the buckets, there wont be anything else in this.

  7. #7
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    u can not use a fridge compressor..

    they are not designed to be on constantly..

    you want to use an AC.

    And this topic is in the WRONG section as well:

    Chilled Liquid Cooling.
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...Liquid-Cooling
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  8. #8
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    I got this from your first link, and its basically what im wanting to do. Any reason it wouldnt work when it did for this guy?

    http://www.inventgeek.com/Projects/K...ter/page4.aspx

    Ill be running an FX-6100, two 4890's, MCW30 on NB, three MCW60's on the HDD's (i laser cut custom brackets).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaeKuh View Post
    u can not use a fridge compressor..

    they are not designed to be on constantly..

    you want to use an AC.

    And this topic is in the WRONG section as well:

    Chilled Liquid Cooling.
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...Liquid-Cooling
    Im not using the compressor... did you not read the OP?

  10. #10
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    You are using the fridge's compressor since it will try and cool the air in the fridge which is cooling the keg or whatever you are using to store the fluid. This will cause the compressor to remain on so long as there is heat in the fluid. The compressors in fridge's are roughly 1/10hp in size, which is not big at all, great for keeping food cool, but not for dealing with a constant heat source. A window AC on the other hand is usually a 1/4hp or bigger and can handle the heat from a computer, which why people use them for chillers. Phase units usually use a 1/4hp compressor or larger depending on the application. We are just trying to help, but if you are like me, you will want to try it anyway just to do it. Can't hurt if you have the time and the money for it.
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  11. #11
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    Yea i wasnt sure what he meant. Either way i go, itll at least be the copper tubing mounted to the concrete inner wall (half of the basement isnt fully excavated) and when we get the new fridge the old will go in the basement for either this, or extra storage. Alternatively, since the front part that isnt excavated is fully underground, maybe i can just bury the tubing a few inches down and leave it as is.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball Zen View Post
    Im not using the compressor... did you not read the OP?
    do you even know what a compressor is?

    Do you know how phase change works?

    Do you know what is evaping and how thing are getting cold?

    Im not just asking this on your sake.. its the answers you are going to get in this section.

    Water is not compressable... while Freon is..
    Water can not go below ambient, while your model will.

    Your model will require special mods to the pump and coolant if your going for below 1C on the coolant side.

    And u dont use a fridge because as i said those compressors arent raited for the duty your asking for.
    There meant to bring down hold and turn off. Unlike an AC compressor which is designed for that type of duty.

    Once again, if it has no radiator and its below ambient, it doesnt belong in this section.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball Zen View Post
    I want to point out that im not looking to get sub zero, just sub ambient.
    Quote Originally Posted by NaeKuh View Post
    Your model will require special mods to the pump and coolant if your going for below 1C on the coolant side.

    And u dont use a fridge because as i said those compressors arent raited for the duty your asking for.
    There meant to bring down hold and turn off. Unlike an AC compressor which is designed for that type of duty.

    Once again, if it has no radiator and its below ambient, it doesnt belong in this section.
    Your panties are getting tight, and you still havent read anything enough to understand. I said sub ambient which is 68-72+/-. So, 50-60F would certainly be sub-ambient. 1C is barely above freezing.

  14. #14
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    What Naekuh is trying to point out, but just hasn't said it yet, is it is hard to control the temp without a thermostat. Granted, you have one on the fridge, but that will be hit or miss and you could theoretically go below the dew point which would cause condensation. I know you have already stated you are aware of this, but I think that is the point he is trying to get across. As far as burying the copper pipe in the walls of the basement, you would need to know where the freeze line is for your area so that you do not bury it too deep, yet deep enough for the ground to cool the fluid. Keep in mind that doing a passive cooling solution like this requires a very long run, most I have seen have been in the hundreds of feet of line length buried roughly 3 feet deep. That's a lot of copper. One thing I thought about was burying a large reservoir about 3-4ft deep, say a 10 gallon tank and let the ground cool it. Not sure how well it would work, but it was one of the crazy ideas I kicked around before I got married and had kids. What you could do is setup a rad array in your basement and pump the fluid up to your computer room. This has been done several times and works very well since the basement stays nice and cool regardless of the time of the year. You still wouldn't be sub-ambient, maybe colder than your computer room, but not so cold to really worry about condensation unless your room was way warmer than the basement. This would also allow for a virtually silent setup and could potentially handle extreme loads like three or four graphics cards, the cpu, the MB, etc. If I had a basement I would probably opt for something like this.
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  15. #15
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    Passive geothermal works well, and is a good reason to play with an excavator. It requires some proper planning, of course (and powerful pumps...)

    24/7 running quiet and nice

  16. #16
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    u know op, seems like you really dont care what the vets here say.

    let me tell you this as my last post...

    there is probably less then 10 people in this forum who understands what ur doing and how to do it. Out of those 10, probably only 1/2 has done it.

    And you just lost 1 out of the group that has converted a AC into a chiller.




    good luck on your project. once again, take all the answers here with a big grain of salt, as i wouldnt trust half the people who post in the LC section to trust with chilled liquid.

    Norris help this guy out... seems like im not compatible with him, as you are probably one of the 4 remaining here.
    Last edited by NaeKuh; 12-05-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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  17. #17
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    My fridge has a cold water dispenser. It works very much like your idea. It has a spool of tubing in the back of the fridge (behind the crisper drawers) that cools the water. however if I use it to fill 2-3 glasses the water becomes warm again since all the cool water is gone. It must go through a new cooling cycle before the water is cool again.

    Your idea may work, however only for a period of time (depending on how much water is in the system), at which time you will have to shut your PC down and let the fridge cool the water again.
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  18. #18
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    I still say its worth a shot since ill be buying the tubing anyways and the new fridge next year (planning on it anyways). So i figure whats to lose? What im looking for is someone who HAS tried or succeeded at it. I DONT want AC as a chiller, although i do have a spare window unit, but i dont want the ugliness of the insulation. I mean itll be in a UFO acrylic case....

  19. #19
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    For sure man I agree. Try it out at the least it should be fun, and you will learn from it too
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball Zen View Post
    I still say its worth a shot since ill be buying the tubing anyways and the new fridge next year (planning on it anyways). So i figure whats to lose? What im looking for is someone who HAS tried or succeeded at it. I DONT want AC as a chiller, although i do have a spare window unit, but i dont want the ugliness of the insulation. I mean itll be in a UFO acrylic case....
    Did you look at my final build? There is no insulation because it has temp control, that's the beauty. I use a chart to tell me what the dew point is at a given temp and humidity and set the chiller slightly above that. Because it has a high capacity the fluid doesn't fluctuate much. Again, I would try what you are wanting to do, but I would be afraid of the cost for the copper piping you will need to make it functional.
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  21. #21
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    The tubing is about $1.20/ft, which isnt too bad, plus i can get contractor price from a client i did 3 websites for. He already gave me a 700gph Tetra pump. He would be the one to help me dig out the basement and bury the tubing, im just worried about rot after a while, so i may just do the wall trick and add the fridge later on.

    Your design looks nice, but i want to stay away from chemicals and its more work than i really want to mess with.
    Last edited by Furball Zen; 12-05-2011 at 07:45 PM.

  22. #22
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    Even subambient takes a LOT of work. I don't mean "but I read a bunch of websites" work, I mean "did I conformal coat my board properly, and are my lines insulated enough?" Even dropping a few degrees below the ambient temp can create condensation on your waterblocks given the right conditions. Also, if you run the PC for a while, the water in the fridge will heat up, which might take you out of subambient and into an extended duty cycle on the fridge's compressor attempting to keep the internals of the refrigerator at the temp it's set at. If the PC continues to run, the fridge continues to overwork, likely burning out in under a month with that duty cycle. It's also interesting to note that you could not only kill the fridge, but you could conceivably raise the temp of the water high enough for it to become a thermal insulator to your setup, frying it.

    Geothermal works, is well understood, and is 100% silent. A fridge will be noisy, hot, and ill-suited to your setup no matter what part of the duty cycle it's running in. It's like asking to kill your components AND the fridge. If I did that, I would sleep outside under the car with the dog for like six months. Dunno how it is with you.

  23. #23
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    where do you live? depending on weather, say its winter you could fill a 3x120 res with anti freeze and hang it outside your window. insulate all the tubes and the board and you could do it. the fridge imo is a bad idea. If I were you and you really want cold save your headache. and get a good cpu pot and when you want to bench jsut get some dive or ln2 and a dewar on ebay and have your fun. for 24/7 just get some good air or h2o setup. keep it simple.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaeKuh View Post
    u know op, seems like you really dont care what the vets here say.

    let me tell you this as my last post...

    there is probably less then 10 people in this forum who understands what ur doing and how to do it. Out of those 10, probably only 1/2 has done it.

    And you just lost 1 out of the group that has converted a AC into a chiller.
    Lol, I'm pretty sure you and me both figured out after the OP's initial post that this wasn't the kind of guy who would listen to sound advice based on science.

    I mean, several people came out to say this was a ty idea for very specific reasons and he's still going to do it because he just knows that he can beat heat transfer. Who cares if we have engineering degrees and tell him it's not going to work :P

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    Antiacid, I think he's just doing it because he's bored, not because he thinks he can beat the system or something like that
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