Liquid Nitrogen?
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  1. #1
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    Liquid Nitrogen?

    Is it possible to use liquid nitrogen instead of water in a regular water cooling setup? Sorry if this is a n00b question, but it just kind of came to me.

  2. #2
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    I think what you're trying to move toward is a better heat transfer medium than water, an antifreeze in a way. I'll leave that to others, beyond mentioning that automotive coolants sometimes have a wetting agent added to make the fluid flow better rather than bead up. Kodak made a wetting agent for negatives called PhotoFlo to prevent water spots developing (p.i.) on them as they dried.
    But liquid nitrogen will go from a very cold liquid to a gas. It's going to take industrial equipment to get it back to a liquid -- likely a mega compressor.

  3. #3
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    The setups I've seen with LN2 was a standard watercooling system with the radiator submerged in a box of LN2. The liquid used was obviously some sort of anti-freezing mixture, and the entire surrounding area of the CPU and CPU block was heavily insulated.

    I know some people also use CO2, but these are usually where the CO2 just makes direct contact with the CPU (well not quite, usually through some sort of mating surface such as a modified heatsink) through a large tube that it is poured into.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Liquid Nitrogen?

    Originally posted by hacker 8991
    Is it possible to use liquid nitrogen instead of water in a regular water cooling setup? Sorry if this is a n00b question, but it just kind of came to me.
    Anything's possible, but at what cost...
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  5. #5
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    Well, I'm looking to make a water cooled mini PC, so I wanted something that is very cold...

    Anyway, since LN would be expensive - it seems - here's my next question:

    Is a 3 1/2" resivor (sp) big enough? The min-PC I'm looking into has 1 5 1/4" drive bay an 2 3 1/2" ones. So, is a HDD sized tank big enough? And can you hav a watercooling setup without a radiator?

  6. #6
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    I'm a noob /w watercooling also, but I can tell you that you must have a radiator, or else where is the heat supposed to go? There's other less common methods I've heard of (bongs, waterfalls) but you need something that is removing heat from the water.
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  7. #7
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    In theory a resivour is not really needed. If your radiator can cool the water then the system does not need a resivour. The onlt problem is the water does eveporate and expand and contract when heated and cooled. If you used something more stable then water, then you might be able to make a completely close curciut cooling system. I know a few laptop manufacturers were looking very heavy into this as the back of the LCD monitor could be a nice passive heatsink to disipate the heat. The big thing is that the system had to be sealed and not need mantenance (refilling and such).

    You could get a 1" peice of PCV pipe with a threaded fitting on the top for filling and thread in two barbed fittings (one toward the top and the other toward the bottom) for an outlet and inlet. Make it as tall as the case and cut a hole in the top of the case so you can open the resivour and fill it without having to open up the case.
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  8. #8
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    I was aware that you could, hypothetically, work without a resivour. However, since I am aiming to make a water-cooled mini-PC, I need everything to be compact. I am planning to have the biggest thing in this setup be the pump. After reading an article on www.bit-tech.net, it said something about not needing a radiator. Anyway, is there any way to make your own raditor so that you can make it to your size/shape, or do they have to be manufactured?

    # EDIT
    Can't I, given enough time, make all the parts necessary for watercooling? Make a waterblock out of copper and Dremmel out a design for waterflow, make a resivour out of copper, acrylic, or whatever, and then by a pump from a hardware store? Also, if the resivour is made out of a material that is good at dissipating heat (ie copper), is it necessary to have a radiator?

    # EDIT
    Just saw this: http://www.bit-tech.net/review/244/. Perhaps that would work for waterblocks? Sorry about all the question, but one more: can you cool a CPU, GPU, and PSU (?) all from one pump? Is it _possible_ to watercool a PSU?
    Last edited by hacker 8991; January 3rd, 2004 at 10:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by hacker 8991
    Is it _possible_ to watercool a PSU?
    Ah, we have a young BladeRunner amongst us! Its kind of risky though. You have to make sure you design the system very well.

    Yeah, you can cool all of that with one pump/system. What exactly are the specs of the system you are going to try and cool?

    The most common home-made radiator is just made of copper tubing in a spiral shape with a fan blowing on it.

    If ya want, send me some low-res (640x480, JPEGs please) photos of the inside of the case, and give me the specs of the computer you want to cool, and I could try to think something up to help you. dean@xibase.com or IM me at deanh87 on AOL Instant Messenger.
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  10. #10
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    :/

    Haven't bought the system yet (I need a brain, Igor...). It is going to be this with a P4 2GHz and most likely a Radeon 9600 Pro. I need to find a pump that is either small enough to fit inside, or to be put on the outside, and made to look like it was meant to be there.

    Once again, though, can't you combine the resivour and radiator? Here's a breif Photoshop representation:



    If you made the channels wide enough, it could hold enough water to make it flow alright, and copper would act as a passive heatsink for the water, right?

    The reason for all of this is that I am trying to make a portable, compact watercooled system/LAN computer/HTPC. I want it to be VERY silent, so I opted for watercooling. Also, I haven't seen any watercooled mini-PCs yet.
    Last edited by hacker 8991; January 3rd, 2004 at 11:44 PM.

  11. #11
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    That's going to be one hell of a project. Quite a bit different than I expected. We really won't know what will fit until you actually have it where we could see a pic of teh inside of it with the Radeon in there and all the drives. I would imagine that you could fashion a small waterblock though for the chip. As for mounting it...try LEGOs pieces You might think that's weird, but I used some 2" long #10 screws and some LEGO Technics pieces to mount my watercooled peltier combo to my old Athlon XP. I'm actually going to see if I can fashion something similar for my P4, so I'll start looking around for a easy and cheap way to mount a waterblock to a P4 board *cough* LEGOs *cough*

    Anyways, I think I'm getting of HWC for the night, and I'll go take a look at my spare P4 board to get the dimensions for the heatsink mounting holes and the like.
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  12. #12
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    there are no real limits to what you can make...given your time, tools and willingness to learn... i made all my own stuff save the normal stuff like pump hose barbs etc etc..ultimately i bought a heater core..and a oil cooler..both of which are very good for dissapating heat...as for not having a heat exchanger aka radiator..no you must have something to scrub the heat energy from your water or whatever medium you use...if you do make your own water blocks be sure to post pictures.... was a great learning curve i wish i had documented gl
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  13. #13
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    Ok well I'm having major problems with my ISP at the mo... so it's kind of touch-and-go when posting, but here goes...

    I came across this site a few times when searching for small components, and some of the custom jobs are awesome.

    One of them was a silver box, about 30cm square I think, and was watercooled. It was absolutely amazing, but since I can't see any images I can't find it for you, sorry.
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  14. #14
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    Those VIA C3 CPUs are not made for LAN parties. They can not handle 3D games.

    I would use an over the counter radiator. The main reason is that these coolers will always cool better than a home made one, so you can get a SMALLER one. A homemade one will be much too big for your case. Also I would still use a fan. The shuttle cases are laid out a bit better for water cooling as they have a spot on the back for a larger fan. You can slap the radiator in place of the ICE heatsink system Shuttle uses. You can even use their shroud and temperature controlled fan. Actually I'd try their air cooling first as I've heard it is VERY quiet and cools pretty good.

    Here is an idea of a smaller cooling system. The included plumbing might not fit or really be needed.



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  15. #15
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    Why aren't those MegaPCs good for Lan games? Also, couldn't I buy a radiator that is just as big as the back of the case and plaster it on with some bolts, then run the tubes out? Like this (ASCII DRAWING!)

    []==[CASE]

    So tubes go out of case thru PCI slot, into radiator, and out again. I could just use some long blots to fasten it to the back of the case.

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