Using the waste heat - does anyone do it?

Ok, so we spend loads of time and effort getting the heat out of our cases, but then what? Do we just heat our rooms with it, or does anyone use it for another purpose?

I'm going to go off tangent here, but bear with me.

Here's my idea for my next case/system. Firstly, I grow tropical orchids. In the summer, they grow like mental, and I really like the cool flowers they produce, and they like heat and humidity. Secondly, I have a water cooled pc. Surely I can do something here??? So here's my idea:

A large-ish case, with a hole in the top for a triple or quadruple size 120mm rad and fans that suck air out of the case through the rads. A psu at the top of the case also sucking air out. Finally a grill on the top of the case to place pots and saucers on. The saucers contain run off from the watered plants and can therefore evaporate water to create a humid enviroment. No other case fans. I have the cpu, gpu, chipset and hds water cooled. 3 or 4 120mm fans should create enough air movement in the case to cool everything else.

The only worry is that I might spill water into the case when watering the plants.

What do you think?
32 answers Last reply
More about using waste heat
  1. Yep I use the heat to warm my thingee :D
  2. I don't think water is good near computer or vice-versa. It would be like "the final destination" outcome if you do your plan. But I see what you're trying to get and save energy as much as possible. So basically you're trying to get a "green house effect" room or duh a green house using the pc to create warmth and higher humidity.

    Are you sure you're not trying to grow weed inside your house? :P :P

    Just kidding!

    But it is possible, however putting plants on top or over the case is not a good idea.

    For the case that close match your description, I suggest the Thermaltake Armor. Yes, its big, roomy, and screen all over including topside with 3 fans. Psu placement is on top,yey. It's aluminum so worry about rusting due to high humidity. :P

    Check it out dude! 8)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133155

    P.S.

    Do not be fool Gomerpile's idea and stick your thingee in the back case fan. :lol:
  3. If you had a prescotty (the old 115W models) I had an idea about replacing the heatsink with a huge piece of metal which is connected to argh i cant explain it.. huge metal fin thingys filled with water which are in various rooms of your house which will radiate your CPU's heat. so basically i guess just a CPU-powered radiator for both cooling your CPU, and heating your house. that would be a sweet use for that wasted energy!! on a winters day: "...is it a bit chilly in here? sure. i'll just go overclock the scotty"
  4. be seriuos i think his idea is really nice but here's the proble how are you gonna get the heat where you need it are you gonna us a huge copper heatpipe or what thats the problem heat dissapates through conduction on a longer tube faster than on a shorter tube here's an example
    say u have a proccesr that generates 50c of heat with a fan and an aluminum heatsink at 1 inch high but you get a huge copper tube at 1 foot long no fan chances are that the end of the tube will get hot but not hot enough in order to generate enough heat for what u want to do say cook an egg you would need 150f to do that so 150f=(150 minus 32 divede by 1.8 equals)65c so one end of the tube would be a little cooler than the other maybe 5c less(i dont know im just taking an educated guess with my knowledge of math :D )so you would need a proc that runs really hot like a pentium d 840ee or 670 to get really high temps. hope that clears it up a little.
  5. maybe you have the copper tube (filled with water?) with copper fins on it running around all the rooms in your house. The whole thing will take a while to heat up to a substantial temperature as the total surface area of it is huge, but do you really not have any sort of airflow at all moving through your house?
  6. not really but think about it for a second is his idea posible to divert the heat from his pc and grow weed i mean tropical plant's :lol:
  7. i reckon :wink:

    but its a scotty and you might fry your poor plants...
  8. Yeah I fry bacon and eggs on the top of my case with a P4 i it!
  9. I've done it!

    I have worked out how we could all use the waste heat.


    First of all you need a small steam engine which a reciprocating wheel to which you can attach a long cylindrical object - lets say 6 inches long. This whole device you attach to the bottom of the chair that you use while typing in responces to this thread making sure you cut a hole in the seat of the chair to allow the long cylindrical device to pass through it..

    Using a radiator ( one normally used for water cooling while having to o/c an amd ) without a fan and the hoses attached to the small engine mentioned above.

    Hopefully, not only will you have the thrill of knocking Intel but also the joy of amd giving it to you where it counts. :lol:
  10. Hey Lost, you lost me. :?
  11. I've been lost for a long time.

    Thats why I'm Lost.
  12. Sorry, forgot to say - place the radiator next to the not hot prescott and generate steam to power small steam engine under chair.
  13. damn, you guys must have no free time whatsoever...


    ...making greenhouses out of cpu waste heat...

    ...what will they think of next!

    :D
  14. Quote:
    damn, you guys must have no free time whatsoever...


    ...making greenhouses out of cpu waste heat...

    ...what will they think of next!

    :D
    Yeah untraceble weed :D
  15. I think it's a creative idea. Did you come up with that while you were in deep thought with the help of your "tropical plants"?

    I think you should keep a small fridge next to the computer, you can use the excess heat from that too! And when you get the munchies :twisted: , just reach right over!
  16. Yep, I know a guy in Wisconsin who has a huge SETI farm comprising over 120 rack-mount 1U servers. The machines are cooled by a very sophisticated, single reservoir water cooling system. There's a heat exchanger in there, and he uses that to heat his swimming pool water in summer, and his home hot water in winter.

    He saves some money I guess, but the extra cost of running 120 AMD CPUs isn't cheap, I bet!
  17. Well lets see.. if we were heating our houses with a or several 115W Prescotts, then we wouldn't need any more 3-5KW electric heaters for the house anymore :p..
  18. have you thort of getting a large server case or summat and then putting a uv light in the top and and perspex side then you can wack the plants inside the case, and in the case of weed *ahem* you could always put the origional side back and hey presto a covert growing machine :D

    my amd chucks out nice and warm water, about 35-40 degreese which is perfect for tropical plants. another idea would be to use sillicone pipe to the growing box because it doesnt dissapate heat easy then run a copper pipe back and forth through the soil to heat it, painting the copper pipe matt black would also help.

    achually i just thort i could use my computer to heat my tropical fish pmsl at having real fishies going around the watercooling system
  19. i also have several ideas on how to water it :D lol
  20. You would require more than 1 PC to get the amount of heat you want.... think 100+ PCs, all running at full load in a small house.

    I don't think it would be all that efficient at the end of the day.
  21. Quote:
    You would require more than 1 PC to get the amount of heat you want.... think 100+ PCs, all running at full load in a small house.

    I don't think it would be all that efficient at the end of the day.


    achually my computer will heat my room after being left on for a few hours, altho having 2 17in crt monitors kick out alot of heat too but the psu on my computer constantly chucks out hot air because it is being pushed to its limits
  22. If you are gaming, not only your computer puts out a load of heat, but you would be too.
  23. Err, it's for orchids that I want to be on display. And you wouldn't want any humidity in the case.

    Although there is water in the system, you can't use that to water the plants or create a humid environment because it needs to have corrosion inhibitors in it and they are toxic. Therefore any leaks in pipes buried in soil would quickly kill the plants. You wouldn't want to smoke anything you grew either ;) But yeah, it's a nice idea. I think that heat transfer via air is probably easiest, plus you have the flexibilty of being able to move your plants around (most need rotating to stop them growing skewy).

    Even a huge system doesn't generate any more heat than the power supply draws. So an 80% efficient 600W psu would still be a weedy heater for rooms in a house. Most electric heaters power outputs are measured in kW.

    However, it could create a nice micro-climate :)
  24. when our school bought some new prescotts, the room seriously started to get HOT... you could tell so much that the room was like walking into a bathroom (EXCEPT without the humidity) after someone has showered.

    2 of our IT labs are equiped with ~25 computers from IBM (which i don't know why i hate) which are all scotties a more powerful air conditioner had to be put in just for these mamoths. Our 1 iMac lab is actually coping well with the standard A/C (our school has the same system in all rooms)

    Ara
  25. thats true but i often turn my computer on and then go downstairs and watch tv infront of the fire for an hour or 2 and then when i come back upstairs i have a nice and toasty room :) my dad not too happy about my computer draining so much power because the electricity bill is huge lol
  26. Here's a thought. Why bother converting the heat into steam power or some of the other exotic ideas people have offered? It's already heat. Keep it heat. Converting one form of energy to another invites inefficiency.

    Hook up the radiator fins to the cold water input to your water heater. This will heat up the water coming in, which in turn will reduce the amount of energy used heating water.

    Let it be what it is.
  27. Good idea!
  28. Quote:
    If you are gaming, not only your computer puts out a load of heat, but you would be too.


    Someone gaming, not resting but not doing anything to demanding, will convert oxygen in the body and the excess will be about 200W worth of heat.

    So, if you start doing push ups and running laps, then perhaps you could turn your radiator off, and perhaps mounting a heatpipe from yourself to the swimingpool... :)

    ------

    Here's the constructive serious idea to the creator the thread.

    Haven't your mother ever had the great idea that the tv could serve as a nice pidestal for pots with flowers, watering them --> burning the Tv?

    Mine have... Twice...

    But if you're serious then why don't you build or convert another big tower case into a greenhouse, mount the rad to the side and connecting with the other case. See my picture.



    Good Luck!
  29. Not a bad idea at all. I think you are right about the plant watering danger. However, some of my orchids are too big to fit into a case easily, even a full tower (it's too thin). Instead I am thinking of placing a large rad into a tray of water, that I mount as a shelf, with the pots on top of that. Therefore, if the pots leak, they drain into the water tray. The downside is that the comp is now connected to the tray, and not as portable without fitting some cut off valves.
  30. Quote:
    However, some of my orchids are too big to fit into a case easily, even a full tower (it's too thin). Instead I am thinking of placing a large rad into a tray of water, that I mount as a shelf, with the pots on top of that. Therefore, if the pots leak, they drain into the water tray. The downside is that the comp is now connected to the tray, and not as portable without fitting some cut off valves.


    Ok, that's an approach. (I think your solution would be cool looking, but not so cool when you have to clean the rad from dust, dirt and soil.)

    I have some gardener skills, and my experience say that what you need for the orchids are heat and humidity.

    For your computer you need chill and dry, witch you achieve using watercooling. (unless something starts to leak).

    But when it comes to the orchid. You really don't want all that evaporated water in the same room as your computer. It will start to condensate as soon as something gets cool, probably also inside your computer. So my recomendation is to (in the case of not large enough case), build your own greenhouse, using plexi or similar. It wont be that hard, then use a pretty sealed system, air out low.

    As long as you have a roof and not to large exhaust holes, then the water will condense and stay inside the box. You calculate the humidity water / m3. So it will be easier to have less m3 to humidify (new word perhaps).

    And using some sort of tunnel into the box leading the hot air.

    Then you both have hot air and humidity. If you have a greenhouse you won't need to arrange special evaporation devices, the stickyness of the air will take care of that. Also, you should build some kind of hatch incase the temp inside the greenhouse gets to high

    Good Luck!
  31. Nice - I'll see what happens.

    Thanks for the ideas...! 8)
  32. you guys go too far sometimes.

    2 PCs + stereo -- they heat my apt just fine
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