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Crazy Cooling Concept (oooh alliteration)

By Flame_demise · 45 replies
Apr 24, 2005
  1. I was wondering what everyone thought of the feasability of having dry ice as a cooling element? I have a 120mm fan in there already and I think I could make the space to have a tray for the dry ice to be in some water... then I would get a very cool fog effect (I have plexiglass case on one side) and I could throw some pretty lights in there... everyone would OOOHHH and AAAAAHHH at my ingenuity... I'm really not so sure how much of an effect this would have on the actual temp of the thing but it would look SWEET... umm yeah tell me if you've heard of an idea like this or if you think it wouldn't work... or if you have anything to add at all...
  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Nice use of grammar

    It is not often that someone uses aliteration on a thread, nor do they often suggest putting dry ice in a rig. Im not sure if i would, but it would defintly give it a creepy look. My only concern, and i am no dry ice expert, isnt there a amount of moisture that is given off by dry ice? But maybe not. Good luck either wat

  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    having an open container of water in a computer will undoubtedly lead to a bad experience.
    dry ice is carbon dioxide in frozen form. when it warms up, it sublimes (term for going from solid directly to a gas) instead of becoming a liquid. it does not last forever and you would be opening your case frequently to add it. the ice will remove heat from anything metal it's touching, causing a buildup of condensation on those parts.
    heard it many a time, but ive never seen it done, on account of the concerns i already mentioned. plus you'd constantly be paying for new ice as it's not the same stuff you make in your freezer.
  4. Flame_demise

    Flame_demise TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hmm... thanks for the input... I probably wouldn't just have that running all the time, just if I ever had someone over, so I could show it off... dry ice comes for $1 per lb here so I don't think I'd do too badly in the financial way... yeah an open container of water scares me, but I think I would make the sides high enough... I dunno about the condensation... that is a good point... I'd like need to drain it off... or something... anyone else have something to say? like maybe how to make it work... heheh, shucks I really thought this could work... oh well...
  5. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    you can always smoke some pot to give your system the desired effect...and it's an activity you can do with your friends. ;)
  6. r_u_kidding

    r_u_kidding TS Rookie

    i read an article about dry ic3 in MaxPc (www.maximumpc.com) and it had soso effects. Its just too dang3rous 4 most people :|
  7. Flame_demise

    Flame_demise TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah it has uhhh... averse effects to the skin...
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    This might be just as crazy as the whole dry ice idea, but here it is.
    You could put a second plexiglass panel about 1-2" behind the main window, enclose it on the sides and put the dry ice in the compartment. It would keep the worries of condensation away(it's contained), and it would still look cool. Just a thought.
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    not really feasible. CO2 boils at a low temperature.... mainframes that supercool use noble gases like argon or xenon..... otherwise they use liquid nitrogen (not a noble gas, but not flammable).

    I have NEVER recommended using water to cool overclocking computers. Water and electricity just don't mix. If you get the smallest leak - bye bye computer.

    Some have talked about using alcohol.... (isopropyl or glycol) as an antifreeze cooler.... never really discussed this with anyone who had done it though.
  10. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    the problem is that alcohol lacks the heat capacatence of water. water cooling has just got to be done right, is all.
  11. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    This is not true.

    Water is not conductive. (At least not with the power we have access to) Anyone who is anyone that watercools will, at the very least, use distilled water. Now granted, the water will not remain pure, but the fear of it suddenly rupturing and causing a massive short is akin to fearing your car's radiator will suddenly start unloading on the contacts to your car battery. You can also add other chemicals to the mix to keep it pure enough and keep its conductivity low. Water cooling systems these days are very reliable, and THE primary use for them, aside from noise, IS to overclock. Not use water to cool an overclocked machine? I suppose you think that air cooling alone is sufficient?
  12. derrycraig

    derrycraig TS Rookie Posts: 47

    Sounds very risky, dry ice starts to sublime at -78.5°C, which makes it hard to store as most freezers have a minimum temperature of -20°C. Secondly you would be releasing a lot of CO2 gas in a confined space and would your PC case be able to withstand the extreme drop in temperature without cracking.
  13. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    if this was false i'd have died in may 2004 of electrocution. my tap water barely conducts anything at all.
  14. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    true. PURE water is not conductive. Tapwater tends to be pretty coductive though by nature of the impurities in it.

    Personally, I'd be more concerned about my body being able to handle the increased CO2 in the air from regular use of this party trick. Normal air contain's only about 0.4% CO2 or lower, and to unleash a full Lb of dry ice into a small room... ... well, it's going to play with the ratios just a little I would have thought.
  15. ßeetlejuice

    ßeetlejuice TS Rookie Posts: 30

    CO² in a confined space

    Using it once or regularly?
    Anyhow, due to the CO² level in this I'd say there are easier and cheaper methods to give your friends and yourself a oneway ticket to Walhalla.
    Using it regularly will make continious ventilation of your room an absolute necessity.
    Dry-ice is always used in ventilated area's and poured in containers in open air, and that's for a very good reason.
    Second due to the sublimation, when it contacts your skin you can severely burn yourself. :hotouch:
    What are you trying to do?
    Build a cool looking and fine running system or are you trying to make the national news? :knock:
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Liquid cooling is always superior to air cooloing from a thermodynamic standpoint, and yes, if you know what your're doing I suppose water cooling would work good. But I don't recommend it for newbies. Water and electronics just don't mix.
  17. ßeetlejuice

    ßeetlejuice TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Liquid cooling is indeed better

    Liquid cooling is indeed a better way of cooling then aircooling, technically speaking.
    It is more complex to build-in in your system and to maintain and therefor not that suitable for dummies in this area.
    I also agree on the fact that before something enters the market some, sometimes nutcases, make a lot effort and destroy a lot of equipment before a market-suitable product can be released.
    The first watercoolers for pc's I heard about, where demolishing more machines then giving them better cooling.
    For instance a small element they lacked was mg-probes (mg=magnesium) which caused oxidation pretty fast with people getting up and find their computers flooded.
    Needless to say those PC's where trashbin-food on the moment that happened.
    Of course you can think of designing better ways to cool a PC.
    In this dry-ice, to use the above mentioned example, perhaps could be an improvement.
    But if you want to do that, I suggest you search yourself a very good sponsor and another PC, more then one will be needed, then yours to do the testing on and of course a decent, safe, working/testing environment.
    Also, always inform yourself very well about the products you want to use.
    This is necessary because you have to know in advance what possible reactions might occur in each stage of the process.
    You don't want yourself get killed or severally injured over some chemical reactions that you didn't think about.
    If you have a design in mind, great, set it out on paper, think about it twice, correct where you think is necessary and when you finally got something that you can build...
    Start all over as if you where drafting from scratch.
    After that you can start building your first proto and do some real-life testing.
    Even then you'll be surprised of all the problems you'll be facing and have to find a solution for.
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    to use CO2 cooling, you would need a compressor to recycle the gas once it boiled at room temperature. It would be a kind of sophisticated refrigerator at a small scale. This is not practicle and also would be energy consuming. The evaoprator side of the system would be very hot and would have to be external to the computer case. In theory it could work.

    I kind of compare this project to the pogue vapor carborator of the 1930s that got 200 miles to the gallon by totally vaporizing gasoline before combustion. In practice it was very dangerous to put together and quite difficult to assemble.

    The plus side of CO2 is that it is not a conductor of electricity unlike water, which is a very good conductor due to the fact the molecules of water contain hydrogen.

    The bad side of of CO2 is that it is a very mild corrosive. In a contained system this would not present an issue, however under high pressures and temperatures it does factor in.
  19. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    WATER IS A BAD CONDUCTOR. hydrogen molecules are responsible for making water polar, not conductive. water is only conductive when it has substances dissolved in it, creating ions. didn't you take chemistry in high school?
  20. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    you could have a closed loop CO2 system with a compressor to return the sublimed gas back to a solid..... but that part would get quite hot.

    I was thinking recently that there are products sold for the automotive coolant aftermarket that might work (like antifreeze additives) that help cool engines.
  21. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    the addition of automotive products to the cooling water would render it conductive.
  22. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Water is already conductive. In a closed loop system it wouldn't matter.

    A water cooler mod for a computer is essentially an auto radiator on a small scale.

    Adding a product like heat-take, would increase the surfactancy of the coolant thereby allowing additional heat removal.

    In a water cooler system, water never actually touches the CPU.
  23. 1000cc

    1000cc TS Rookie Posts: 70

  24. ßeetlejuice

    ßeetlejuice TS Rookie Posts: 30

    I like this... alot

    Hehehehe, the way things are going on in this section we might indeed end up with a new CPU-cooling system.
    Wouldn't that be "cool"? ;)
    Indeed addition of automitive cooling improvers, like antifreeze or synthetic coolingliquid, will improve its conductivity, but then again that only mathers if your system starts leaking.
    Also true, it is after all a closed circuit, so the conductivity of the "water/coolingliquid" doesn't really mather.
    Good maitenance should prevent that.
    I was more like thinking in the direction of synthetic oils that are used for cooling.
    They've got a few advantages to water, lower or even no conductivity and higher temperature resistance.
    For instance, since we're comparing to automotive, the water circuit of a car is going over the red at a 115-120°C but the oil-system can go up to 150°C before things starting to go the wrong way. :hotbounce
  25. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    yes but oil is not as good a thermal conductor as heat, plus you would need a stronger pump because oil is more viscuous.

    I like the idea of a water/antifreeze system.
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