Cooking oil cooling?

Hey guys, new user, first time poster, long time reader of the forums here. I wasn't sure which sub forum this belongs in, hence any moderators who does know, is more than welcome to move this topic.
So, to the point! I have a old system just standing around at my parents house and i've been fascinated with the idea of trying to cool this in some unconventional ways, my brother is a industrial cooling technician, and we started bouncing some ideas around about cooling a system with oil and a external pump. We thought the most economic way to try this out would be with some kinda vegetable oil, I asked one of my teachers (I am currently an apprentice IT-supporter) that I know is a watercooling veteran. He told me that there are some kind of acids in vegetable oil that will eventually ruin a coating on the PCB's of the system and cause it to fail.
My question to you, the gurus, is this true? If yes, is there another kind of oil that we could use instead?
If vegetable oil is suitable, I might be able to run some test this weekend and will, ofcourse, upload them here if anyone is interested in this little project of mine.
Thanks in advance guys!
23 answers Last reply
More about cooking cooling
  1. While I believe there are some oils that may work for your purpose, it's worth understanding that oils as a group are lousy for cooling purposes. Oil absorbs and dissipates heat very slowly compared to water and many other liquids. Oil is often used in large electrical transformers for cooling because it's cheap and a viable solution.

    I can't think of any PC application where it would even be remotely worth the effort to use oil cooling vs. air. Cooling the PC board isn't necessary at all as air cooling is fine so that leaves the CPU and possibly Vid card, both of which can easily be cooled with air or water without being submersed - which is what I believe you are considering?
  2. beenthere said:
    While I believe there are some oils that may work for your purpose, it's worth understanding that oils as a group are lousy for cooling purposes. Oil absorbs and dissipates heat very slowly compared to water and many other liquids. Oil is often used in large electrical transformers for cooling because it's cheap and a viable solution.

    I can't think of any PC application where it would even be remotely worth the effort to use oil cooling vs. air. Cooling the PC board isn't necessary at all as air cooling is fine so that leaves the CPU and possibly Vid card, both of which can easily be cooled with air or water without being submersed - which is what I believe you are considering?


    Well, this isn't really for efficiency purposes at all, just for a bit of fun, since it's an old Core 2 Duo system that is just standing around, doing nothing.
    With regards to the absorbtion and dissipation concerns, we have a bit of a plan to have it a run through a system with a pump and what I'll call a RAD since i don't know the correct term in english (I'm Danish).

    I was thinking of submerging the entire system in a custom made case and having the oil circulate using an external pump, through the "RAD" i was talking about earlier.
  3. This kind of thing :)
    http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=163649
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Mineral-Oil-Submerged-PC/
    I'd like the idea, but the reality is impractical for me hehe
    but yes, Rad/Radiator translates fine from Danish man, pics in the build log thread please!
    Moto
  4. http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=163649
    Exactly! Thanks Moto! : D
    I'll be sure to get some in progress pics in, for now I need to think about what kind of oil I'll have the easiest access to for testing...
    Thanks for now guys, i'll keep you updated on this!
  5. Awesome, look forward to it man :)
    Moto
  6. Why not do a more rewarding project like refrigerant cooling?
  7. Too much work, research and finance expensive. I work seriously enough with computers at work, this is a play project, beenthere, but I understand where you're coming from!
  8. I wouldn't use cooking oil. I'd recommend the purest mineral oil you can find.
  9. Morsing said:
    Too much work, research and finance expensive. I work seriously enough with computers at work, this is a play project, beenthere, but I understand where you're coming from!


    It sounds like you have an addiction to the smell of french fries... ;)

    BTW, an old refrigerator can supply the hardware for a simple refrigerant cooling project.
  10. beenthere said:
    It sounds like you have an addiction to the smell of french fries... ;)

    BTW, an old refrigerator can supply the hardware for a simple refrigerant cooling project.


    I do love that smell.. (;

    Yeah, my brother has access to some old open fridges that we've been thinking about doing something with, but the cost of this is higher than I can afford at this time. Might do a refrigerant build at a later date, when my economy stabilises and I have the room to do it in my own appartment.. I'm doing this little project at my parents house.
  11. The only question that comes to mind repeatedly after looking at all those that have done this is, Why.

    It would be a novelty conversation piece and a heck of a lot of work, but cooling doesn't appear to be it's strong point and the examples are all using air cooling type heatsinks.

    You cannot submerge a standard HDD, you could submerge an SSD so really the posted links to successful builds are not fully submerged, I mean having it submerged in an aquarium is cool looking but, Why do it in the first place?

    I don't mean any offense by asking, I'm just curious as to what would motivate you to undertake such a project, as the work load to accomplish this according to others is quite major.
  12. I'd say the Everest approach,
    Because you can :)
    although I'm with you on it, nice idea but highly impractical Rl
    Moto
  13. jsc said:
    I wouldn't use cooking oil. I'd recommend the purest mineral oil you can find.


    Sorry man, overlooked your post earlier. I work at a school that educates people in hydraulics and I've heard that hydraulics oil is the best option for this, so I was gonna ask for their prices when it comes to this.

    My motivation is, as Moto said, more of the everest approach. This is more for the challenge of it than the practicality. I know oil cooling is just about the most inefficient way of actually cooling a system, but I want to see if i can make it work. : D Since I'm just gonna be using an old core 2 duo system i have lying around, I thought, hey why not try : D
  14. yea... cooking oil tends to have contaminants. Especially the biological type that tends to feed on it and grow...
  15. Chavs?
    :P
    Moto
  16. I've wanted to try EDM oil. Just havent had a chance to bring my fish tank/cpu to work lol
  17. I wouldn't use hydraulic fluid either. All the specialized oils (engine, gear, hydraulic fluid, etc) have chemical additive packages added to them to help customize them for their specific purposes.

    You want something as pure as possible with no additives.
  18. /puts the Kool-aid back in the fridge.......
    :)
    Moto
  19. jsc said:
    I wouldn't use hydraulic fluid either. All the specialized oils (engine, gear, hydraulic fluid, etc) have chemical additive packages added to them to help customize them for their specific purposes.

    You want something as pure as possible with no additives.


    I just don't know where I am gonna get pure mineral oil...
  20. Morsing said:
    I just don't know where I am gonna get pure mineral oil...



    Baby oil is a type of mineral oil.

    Either that or you might find it under the name of paraffin oil!

    "If olive oil comes from crushing olives ... How do we get baby oil?
  21. ukee1593 said:
    Baby oil is a type of mineral oil.

    Either that or you might find it under the name of paraffin oil!

    "If olive oil comes from crushing olives ... How do we get baby oil?


    I've heard that parafine(?) oil is the worst kind of mineral oil around, it's supposed to be like acid on most thermal compounds.
    I was thinking about baby oil... Might have to give that a try (;
Ask a new question

Read More

Cooling Cooking Overclocking