Ya, I went there. Hear me out though. (I haven't actually done it yet.) Take a sealed or open loop water cooling setup. The liquid is cooled through the Radiator, by fans blowing air thought it. It is understood that these fans cannot cool the liquid beyond the temperature of the ambient air that they are moving. ie: if the room temp. Is 75°, a typical Rad cannot cool the liquid below 75°, right? Now I live in the southwest, aka Hot All The Time. We use our fair share of AC's. I have one that sits inside the house on wheels, with a tube leading outside for air exchange. This design is an alternative to the "Hang out your window style". NOW, if I pipe just the cold air it spits out through a standard non-modified Rad, it should lower the liquid temp down to it's AC level of cold correct?
(Keep in mind I'm not modifying the AC at all, just funneling the cold air though a Rad.) Wouldn't this cool the liquid and in turn CPU and GPU an extreme amount, compared to room temp. Air?
Please discuss this, it's not that big of a risk or change for me as the AC is on all the time anyway! I would just be putting all that chilled air to good use!
First of all, yes it will work, the radiator cold capture is a good idea, not as well as you may imagine but will work.
The not as well is because an AC unit cycles the compressor, meaning there will be build up time period of very good useable cold output air, then it gradually gets warmer as the cooling coils equalize down to the compressor cut in point again.
You will need to insulate the tubing distance from the computer to the radiator at the ACs air output.
The air coming from the AC unit itself is always going to be cooler than the mass ambient room temperature, but with the CPUs supplied heat to the loop an equilibrium point will still occur in the loop and it will be below ambient, to some point.
Possibly not as much as you may be hoping for, but enough because anything below ambient is good, but don't be concerned with the thoughts regarding condensation worries as I don't think condensation will be a problem for this cooling idea at all.
I run peltier chilled water cooling and condensation doesn't begin to form where I live until 15c below ambient and I don't see you being able to go that low with your AC unit, simply because of the AC cycling.
How far below ambient you'll be able to go is a test you'll have to learn for yourself, I would leave your cooling fans on the radiator to assist pulling the AC air through the radiator to assure a constant flow of cooled air through the radiator at all times.
Sounds interesting, Let us know your results? Ryan
Thank you so much for your post, I was really hoping to get someone who really knew the territory. I've been doing custom loops for a few years now, and I have a spare system that I think I'll try this technique on. I appreciate the info on the AC Cycling, that's one of those things I never would have known about. I don't think I'd do this on my main system, but I think it would be an interesting experiment if nothing else. I'm going to fabricate a mount for the AC unit, so all the air gets pushed through a pretty big Rad I have laying around. Once I do some tests and benchmarks I'll post my results. Thanks a lot for the tips!