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liquid nitrogen and water cooling

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  • Heatsinks
  • Water Cooling
  • Overclocking
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May 16, 2007 8:50:32 PM

i think this a total stupid question and wont work but...Can liquid nitrogen be put into a water cooled set up with out mods or slight mods?

wont the nitrogen crack the tubes and wont there be mad condensation?

More about : liquid nitrogen water cooling

May 16, 2007 9:18:52 PM

LN evaporates when it hits the air. It wouldn't last long. Your stuff would need to be heavily insulated because there would be condensation. And yes, plastic parts would become brittle when exposed to sub-zero temperatures.

When they do record-breaking overclocks they insulate a metal tube that sits on top of the CPU block and fill it with the nitrogen.
May 16, 2007 9:19:11 PM

I've never heard of anyone using N20 in an H20 cooling setup, probably because like you said it would crack the tubes. Most N20 coolers I know of involved directly putting the Nitrogen on the PC...as in dumping it on the CPU.

Condensation can be fixed, if you look at the way phase change coolers work you'll see that there are ways around it.

If you want a super-chilled liquid cooling system that could get the CPU below ambient, one idea would be to drill an entry and exit hole large enough for the tubing into a minifridge, then put your resevoir in there. Slide the tubing into the fridge, hook up the resevoir inside the fridge, then seal the holes with a caulk gun or something.

Then you'd have to worry about condensation in the socket, and you might still run the risk of blowing out the fridge's compressor, since there's an endless supply of heat inside.
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May 16, 2007 9:32:19 PM

Quote:
i think this a total stupid question and wont work but...Can liquid nitrogen be put into a water cooled set up with out mods or slight mods?

wont the nitrogen crack the tubes and wont there be mad condensation?


LN2 is something like - 320 degrees Fahrenheit, tends to make metals extremely brittle and subject to shattering, would probably freeze your pump solid without special lubricants, would likely cause such a temperature differential on your mobo as to crack it, the CPU socket, or both.

Besides, where are you going to get a supply of LN2? Dunno what a large cryo dewar container would cost, but you would have to resupply it on a regular basis.

When I belonged to an astronomy club we checked into the cost of a LN2 generator unit - the smallest available - and it was about $27,000 discounted if we submitted the purchase order on the club letterhead. Not including the cost of compressed N2 gas bottles either. You have to use pure N2 as a source because LN2 has a lower boiling point than LOX (liquid oxygen); therefore if you try to liquify air you are going to get LOX first which can be highly explosive. As I recall, the output was something like 3 liters per day. Oh, and the electricity costs were rather substantial to boot.

So, other than risking explosion, cracking and ruining your mobo and CPU, and shelling out huge amounts of money, it's a really good idea :lol: 
May 17, 2007 12:26:24 AM

A dewar large enough to supply the nessary amount LN2 for any reasonable amount of time would cost hundreds, if not thousands depending on your location. It would cost about the same to fill the thing and transport it.

So yeah, phase or a chilled liquid system are your only options if you want LN2-like temps.
May 17, 2007 2:21:52 AM

ya the minifridge wouldnt work..you would have to get a large cooler and fill it with ice and run tubes threw it and have the radiator sit atop of it or someone else....

i was going to do that...but then wooooooo nitrogen sounded sweet...i knew it wasnt going to work..


iam stickin to the cooler idea
May 17, 2007 3:46:30 AM

Have you heard of bong coolers? They're pretty awesome. You can get sub-ambient temps for about $50. All you need is a showerhead, a couple lengths of PVC pipe, a bucket, and a pump powerful enough to move the water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bong_cooler
http://www.overclockers.com.au/techstuff/a_bong/
http://www.wc101.com/guides/bongs/
http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=321055
http://www.overclockers.com/articles389/index.asp
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=78543&highlight=bong



Oh, and about your cooler full of ice idea. If you do go through with it, along with the regular ice, throw 5 or 6 pounds of dry ice in too. It'll make the regular ice last alot longer, and net you better temps.
May 17, 2007 3:52:31 AM

The cooler idea won't work so well, regardless of the cooler. They are not built to handle constant heat sources.

The best methods for cooling below ambient temperatures are peltiers for a cheaper alternative, and phase-change if you can afford it and want to go extreme.
May 17, 2007 5:31:28 AM

Everyone worries about the tubes, very understandable. What about the pump. Will it even work at those temps?
May 17, 2007 5:34:17 AM

Everyone worries about the tubes, very understandable. What about the pump. Will it even work at those temps? Can you say antifreeze?
May 17, 2007 9:39:45 AM

Use a heat exchanger instead of a radiator on the water side of the loop, and connect the heat exchanger to a phase-change system. LN2 isn't going to work here.
May 17, 2007 10:28:44 AM

It is quite easy to overclock with liquid nitrogen, that is of course if you are Tom's Hardware. :wink: If you really want to go for the gusto here is a how to, but be prepared to get your wallet out. Note the video download on page three it may be old but it's still fun to watch.

5 GHz Project: CPU Cooling With Liquid Nitrogen
http://www.tomshardware.com/2003/12/30/5_ghz_project/
May 18, 2007 2:11:38 AM

what about liquid co2? Not as cold as liquid nitrogen. I think it still would break the tubes....

I WILL GIVE SOMEONE 5 BUCKS THROUGH PAYPAL IF THEY GIVE ME ANOTHER LIQUID TO USE IN A WATERCOOLING LOOP THAT IS BETTER HEAT CONDUCTOR AND COLDER THAN WATER(BUT NOT TO COLD) AND IT HAS TO BE EASILY AVAILIBLE( :x :x :x :x )
May 18, 2007 4:59:27 AM

First if all colder then water? Water isn't naturally cool, it's temperature is determined by the ambient temp of the environment the water is in and the technique used to cool it (if applicable.).



Anyway, here's my second shot at reorganizing this post.

From your posts it sounds like you're trying to mix two, completely different forms of cooling.

Any liquified gas such as LN2 or liquid CO2 wouldn't work at all in a standard water cooling loop. The first reason is that almost, if not all, liquid gases are WAAAAAAAAY to cold for standard parts to handle. The second is that, well, it's impossible. For you to understand why it's impossible you have to know how water cooling and LN2/dice cooling work.


Water cooling uses conduction cooling to cool a pc. LN2, dice, ect., use evaporative cooling.


The principles of evaporative cooling are a little hard to understand, but I'm pretty sure I can explain it. For a liquid to turn into a gas it requires energy, but it can't just create energy, since energy can be neither created nor destoryed, just transfered. So it has to get it from somewhere else, in this case, from heat energy. When using evaporative cooling to cool a pc the heat source is whatever component you're trying to cool, the cpu, gpu, whatever. Energy is transfered from the heat source to the liquid. Less energy = less heat. When the liquid has enough energy it turns into a gas. Then both the gas and the transfered energy become a part of the atmosphere, removing them from the pc completely. The colder a liquid is, the more energy it requires to turn into a gas.

Another example of evaporative cooling us the creation of dry ice. Liquid CO2 cant exist at regular atmospheric pressure. That's why it turns from a solid to a gas. All you need to make dry ice is a tank of liquid CO2. When the tank is depressurized the liquid immediately evaporates, this lowers the temp of the liquid CO2 that hasnt vaporized, since the evaporating liquid needs energy, creating ice. The ice is then packed into pellets, blocks, ect., and shipped out.

Conduction cooling does just that, conducts heat. In a water cooling loop cold liquid starts by running across the hot components, the water absorbs and thus removes the heat from the components, cooling them. The now hot water moves to the cool radiator, where the heat energy is transfered yet again, then removed from the pc and into the atmosphere through the use of fans. So the water cools the components, the radiator cools the water, and the fans remove the heat. Same end for heat energy, just a different way of getting there.

The best fluid to use in water cooling would be an anti-freeze/water mix, possibly with some water wetter thrown in. Water has one of the highest specific heat capacity of all liquids, the only thing I can find that's better is liquid ammonia, and that would be insanly hard to use safely and effectively in a wc loop. Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy it take to raise the temp of an element by 1ºc. The higher the specific heat capacity, the more energy an element can absorb before it's temperature is raised. The water wetter and anti-freeze pretty much do one thing, heighten the boiling point and lower the freezing point, essentially raising specific heat capacity of the liquid.


So now that the basics are covered, I can explain WHY it's impossible.

A water cooling loop is closed, meaning that the only way to expel heat is from conduction cooling, since there are no exits for gases and the energy they contain to escape, so energy can't be removed from the system. To turn LN2 (or a liquid gas like it) from a gas into a liquid you need extreme cold. Regular conduction cooling can't get below the normally hot (when compared to LN2) ambient temp of the room, because it expels energy into the atmosphere, and there's a certain amount of energy already in the atmosphere. As I said before, energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transfered. If the gas cant get to the necessary temp for it to turn into a liquid, the evaporative cooling process cant start over again, and you end up with a WC loop filled with gaseous nitrogen.
May 18, 2007 6:08:35 AM

Why not deuterium? Or heavy water? It has superior heat displacement propertied than regular water and you can make it yourself, it will take a long long long long time, but it can be done. Wiki explains how you can do this on your own, but the easiest method really is the peltier, you can also make this yourself, peltier are the simplest methods for cooling out there.

Okay, I want the five bucks. Add some CFC or commonly known as freon, to your water, it boils at room temp and will act as a cooling agent, you will have to seal your setup from air so it doesnt evaporate out. Al Gore will cry if you do this, but his tears cure cancer, so it all balances out in the end.

I've already given you my email via PM, I'm so buying slurpee's with that finsky!
May 19, 2007 2:41:56 AM

Quote:
what about liquid co2? Not as cold as liquid nitrogen. I think it still would break the tubes....


Unfortunately, there is no such thing as liquid CO2 at atmospheric pressures. Solid CO2, aka dry ice, sublimates or evaporates directly to gaseous form at 1 bar (sea level) atmospheric pressure. If you want a liquid (recommended for pumps :) ) you'll have to raise the pressure to 5.1 atmospheres and cool it to -65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you raise the pressure to about 100 atmospheres it'll liquify at +88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Really, your practical choices are water, peltier or phase change unless you are Bill Gates in disguise :) ...
May 19, 2007 5:18:42 PM

You forgot one other reason liquid nitrogen or liquid CO2 won't work in a water cooler... They Are Under Pressure. Nitrogen or CO2 would simply cause the water cooling system to Explode before it even got cool enough to crack the tubing.

Water is probably the Best liquid heat conducter there is.

Other liquds or adatives are often used in place of water due to there anti-corrosive or anti-freeze properties, but they don't conduct heat any better than water. You'd need to find a liquid that is denser than water in order to conduct heat better.

Now that I think about it, Mercury might be a better conductor than water but since it won't wet with most materials, it'd probably act as an insulator unless you made your radiator tubing and "water block" out of gold.
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
November 5, 2008 11:25:15 AM

In fact, the best liquid heat conductor - the liquid with highest thermal conductivity - would be Helium II, liquid helium cooled below it's superfluid transition temperature (2.17K, -271.0C for Helium-4: much, much lower for Helium-3, but this is very rare). The component which is superfluid has a notionally infinite thermal conductivity, but this component is always accompanied by a non-superfluid component; the cooler the fluid, the more of it which is superfluid. So the conductivity is always finite. The conductivity at 2.0K, though, would be orders of magnitude higher than liquid water at any temperature and pressure.
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 5, 2008 12:12:54 PM

Seriously...TEC (Peltiers) or Phase Change is your best bet...just go that route and use your water loop to cool the hot sides of your TECs if you go that route.

I know that a user by the name relttem is working on a nanofluid that is being tested by various labs (including Tom's apparently). Might be worth a shot for a liquid coolant substitute.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/248371-29-nanofluids
November 6, 2008 2:10:41 PM

relttem's nanofluid is actually water + nanoparticles.

There exist half peltier/water blocks. It is a bit more costly and I don't think it is quite widespread.

You could try having a large reservoir held in a fridge or periodically add ice cubes (of de ionized water) to your reservoir to reduce temps even more ;) 

Then again, there's really no point in going sub-zero for a 24/7 build. If you aren't benching, forget about LN2.
November 6, 2008 2:39:00 PM

What about the old trick of using a heat exchanger with one side connected to the loop in the system, and the other side connected to a large (ice chest size) container of mineral oil with dry ice pellets thrown in. I remember a system that some site in Australia (http://www.tweaktown.com/news/5310) did where it ran at roughly -30 to -40C for quite a while. I know he would need to keep throwing in dry ice to keep it cool but that should work fairly well for him. He wil just need a very good pump i nthe container to pump the cold mineral oil to the heat exchanger. I know a diesel fuel pump will do it.

-ouch1
November 6, 2008 6:34:37 PM

Just go with chilled water cooling. As was mentioned a mini fridge wont work but you can make a cheap system from a 5000 btu air conditioner.
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 7, 2008 12:09:08 PM

55 gallon drum full of ice water eliminates the need for reservoir or radiator. Might make it a tad less portable...not to mention the constant need to refill the ice.

Ok, ok...so that's not a good recommendation.
November 7, 2008 4:46:10 PM

Homeboy2 said:
Just go with chilled water cooling. As was mentioned a mini fridge wont work but you can make a cheap system from a 5000 btu air conditioner.


The OP could always use an aquarium water chiller. Like this one: http://www.marineandreef.com/4_Aquarium_Chiller_1_HP_Ge...
It is rate up to 1000GpH and has temp controls for down to 40F. I have used them before for fish tanks that tend to stay around 80-90F 24/7 (due to the heating and lighting in the home) and they work great. I have never had one fail. If you were to add this into the loop with a rad still in place (just to get rid of any extra load) you should be able to get your look below ambient (but not below freezing) without a problem.

I would hook it up like this:
Pump->Chiller->CPU->RAD->GPU(s)->Res->Pump

-ouch1
November 7, 2008 5:40:38 PM

problem is that water chiller is 600 bucks and 4000 btu. a new 5000 btu air conditioner is 98 bucks or less. you have to be able to DIY tho. My understanding of this type of system is that a radiator would only add heat to it.
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 8, 2008 1:25:40 AM

Cascade water tower or something similiar might work. I think the biggest questions here for the OP are:

1) total cost
2) DIY factor
3) desired result without disappointment
4) portability and maintenance
5) moving to new/updated hardware

Quote:
Everyone worries about the tubes, very understandable. What about the pump. Will it even work at those temps? Can you say antifreeze?


Even if you don't have tubing or pump failure, you still have massive frost and condensation to worry about in and around almost every piece of the loop and inside the case.
November 8, 2008 2:46:07 AM

deuterium is radioactive though isn't it? :??: 
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 8, 2008 5:21:55 AM

^LOL...what?? Where were you going with that one?
November 8, 2008 6:38:49 AM

i had a feeling someoen was going to say that. scroll up

"Why not deuterium? Or heavy water? It has superior heat displacement propertied than regular water and you can make it yourself, it will take a long long long long time, but it can be done. Wiki explains how you can do this on your own, but the easiest method really is the peltier, you can also make this yourself, peltier are the simplest methods for cooling out there.

Okay, I want the five bucks. Add some CFC or commonly known as freon, to your water, it boils at room temp and will act as a cooling agent, you will have to seal your setup from air so it doesnt evaporate out. Al Gore will cry if you do this, but his tears cure cancer, so it all balances out in the end.

I've already given you my email via PM, I'm so buying slurpee's with that finsky! "

im too lazy to do a full reply and quote l0ol
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 10, 2008 12:31:46 PM

Oh yeah...I did read that...just several days apart. You have a good point; you might be able to do a good job cooling your CPU with that, you just might not be alive to find out after you get it going.
November 11, 2008 4:10:24 AM

well you just let me know how it goes :)  if i dont hear word within a week i will assum ur missing in action :D 
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
November 11, 2008 7:53:17 AM

Deuterium is not radioactive; it is perfectly stable. The next isotope of hydrogen, tritium, is radioactive, with a half life of less than a year. It is used in some permanently glowing items - paint for watch dial markings, that sort of thing - to provide the power source for the lighting; but the short half life means it will fade massively over just a few years.

CFCs are all completely immiscible with water, as are PCFCs and all related compounds; you cannot mix them with water. And as someone has explained already, attempts to combine evaporative and conductive cooling are non-starters, for several reasons. If the water circuit is sealed, adding CFCs will only reduce it's heat capacity, and make it less efficient. If it isn't sealed, the CFCs will simply evaporate off, or remain unmixed with the water (they certainly don't all evaporate at room temperature.)
November 11, 2008 8:17:17 AM

o..k
November 11, 2008 9:08:43 AM

H2O freezes @ 32° F > will not work with anything taking it below freezing without some addative or using a different fluid altogether.

Pelts suck alot of juice and cannot maintain consistent temperatures required for high clocks.

Phase is good for average sub-zero stuff

Dry Ice is the entry-level choice of benchers learning the extreme side of overclocking

LN2 is the best for maximum performance, cold enough to max the setup and fairly easy to work with. All the other things mentioned in here are useless.
November 11, 2008 9:26:56 AM

And just to add...

Your best bet would be to throw some regular ice into a bucket with an open-loop. Dis-connect the rad before you go for it (or you can toss the rad into a bucket of ice water). Only thing you need to be carefull of is condensation which can destroy the board, graphics card and lots of other stuff in your PC if you're not carefull. If you put in just enough ice to keep the water cool but not below ambient...say around 50° F or so, you'll be running faster than you ever have on a regular rad cooled loop.
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 11, 2008 12:06:19 PM

Quote:
Your best bet would be to throw some regular ice into a bucket with an open-loop. Dis-connect the rad before you go for it (or you can toss the rad into a bucket of ice water).


I have always wanted to try both of these ideas, but never really got to the point of doing so. That's why I suggested the drum (or even a 5 gal bucket) of ice water. I would bet that using it as a reservior would give you better temps as long as you kept adding ice. Might be a good idea to submerge that tubing or tap some barbs into the bottom. You wouldn't want to sucking up any ice in that loop.
November 11, 2008 6:12:16 PM

why don't you just try a good quad-core?
November 12, 2008 4:01:26 AM

^
w
t
f
.
a c 337 K Overclocking
November 12, 2008 1:33:02 PM

^ +1 on wtf
Quote:
why don't you just try a good quad-core?


Upon further thinking:

A quad radiator??
December 2, 2008 8:07:03 PM

try using an old dehumidifier, use the pump and condensing elements, you have to you either antifreeze, alcohol or water with glycerin but it will bring the water down to subfreezing temps
a b K Overclocking
December 3, 2008 7:55:40 PM

Who brought this from the dead?
Good ol' times lol. No one talks about LN2 cooling,etc around here any more :cry: 
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
October 19, 2009 7:40:47 AM

i have a question how about desinging a small aircon

i have worked with earth moving equipmen and i have tested and atd's aircon and it goes -58 witch freezes the coper piping
outside the truck

so wat if u could make a small aircon for you pc????
a c 86 K Overclocking
October 19, 2009 12:24:43 PM

Been done. Google Phase Cooling for PC's.
a b K Overclocking
October 19, 2009 9:57:20 PM

@pora:WTF? DON'T BRING UP THE DEAD!!
a b K Overclocking
October 20, 2009 1:17:21 PM

its his first post give the poor guy a break :D  theres a thread from early 2008 about 45nm degradation i wan to bring it back up and say hahaha i was right my cpu hasn't failed yet but tbh im not a fan of dead threads coming back up either
November 4, 2009 6:23:19 AM

I know its a bit of work(nothing compared to other suggestions), but if you get a car radiator, and make new adapters for the intake and return, then use a decent water block that will allow the water to pass through the block without much resistance at 1500L/M. Also you want at least 1/2" tubes, and a mighty pump(at least 1500L/M).

Seriously, with the enormous amount of water in the loop, it will raise 1 degree before it starts to be cooled by the radiator.

Why do you need a ridiculous setup to cool you cpu for overclock, when all you need is an i7 975, the cooling required for a good overclock, and 2 GTX 295's. You wont get up to 5GHz, but it will be the fastest computer you can buy.

Overclocking used to be a way of getting more bang for ya buck, now its "MY OVERCLOCK IS HIGHER THAN YOURS!".
a b K Overclocking
November 5, 2009 3:59:49 PM

DO NOT BRING UP DEAD THREADS!!!!!!

Also, most of us arn't fans of spending money on an $1000 CPU.
November 10, 2009 8:41:24 AM

Upping again LOL :D  just travel to north pool and dig ur PC in ice lol... would be way cheaper and Life time ! :D 
November 10, 2009 6:01:39 PM

THere are chillers out there but it requires far more work and gives less effect than a simple TEC. Anyways its a pain in the ass to try to build that kinda systems.
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 11, 2009 3:05:53 AM

cats, let dead threads die please.
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