3M shows off demo PC submerged in liquid

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ronjor, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    By Rob Thubron 12 Feb 2019
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Cool :thumb:

    Back in the day, I did high-voltage paper electrophoresis. The paper (about 2-3 times as thick as coffee filter) was immersed in Varsol (basically, paint thinner) to keep it from going up in flames. And the Varsol was water-cooled, for the same reason. Because there was a potential of ~100 VDC/cm on the paper, with ~1 W per cm^2 being dissipated.
     
  3. plat1098

    plat1098 Registered Member

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    This looks like a wonderful innovation. I looked up the 3M Novec fluid this demo uses and among other things, it is reportedly nonflammable and "practically" nontoxic. If/when it's available for the common consumer, I'd certainly look into buying something like that. :thumb:
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Why? Just for fun? There certainly are more effective, much more convenient and less expensive alternative cooling solutions. No doubt there are some great applications for this product, but I don't see computer cooling as one of them - even if it works.
     
  5. plat1098

    plat1098 Registered Member

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    Yes, just for fun. It so happens I like watching stuff immersed in very clear liquids or very faintly tinged. I'm stupid like that. :)

    I guess I'll have to settle for the regular liquid-cooling apparatus you can get in your box store or online. But that Novec device sure was neat.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Nothing wrong (or stupid - at least in this case ;)) for doing something just for fun. As long as you know the facts and consequences and are not falling for some marketing scam... err... scheme... err... gimmick... err... hype (hmmm, can't seem to find some good word for it!). ;)
     
  7. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    I got prematurely overexcited - for some reason expecting this to be pump free and therefore totally silent cooling method. :(
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Even in a 500 gallon tank, without some circulation, heat will eventually build up in the stagnant fluid around the heat generating devices. We've built a few "silent running" (zero noise) HTPCs (home theater PCs) but they require very large heat sinks and lots of open space for the stack or "chimney" effect to work (heated air rises up and out the top, cool air to replace it is drawn in from the bottom).

    I suppose with this fluid, the heated fluid will rise in the tank too (if the space above the components is open). But depending on the viscosity, it may not be quick enough to provide effective cooling unless helped by a circulating pump.

    I say buy yourself a quality (quality = quiet) refrigerated wine cabinet - one with a nice glass door. Mount your computer in there, set the thermostat to maximum cool and party on! ;)
     
  9. Socio

    Socio Registered Member

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    I remember years ago some were building PC's in mini-refrigerators, I think the problem with that method was condensation build up.
     
  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yeah, I saw that with the Varsol thing. Very pretty. So I put a SS-shaped cooling coil there (glass tubing and water from a recirculating chiller).
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Not really - at least not with a little care and most importantly, you ensure all the seals properly seal - especially around cables and the door. I mean, think of your own refrigerator in your home. Why do ice cubes shrink? They evaporate. You can actually "dry age" a nice steak in a fridge by leaving it unwrapped for several days. Any exposed item with moisture content dries out inside a fridge.

    So if the seals are working, you keep the door closed, you don't keep open jugs water or a bunch of sopping wet sponges in the fridge, condensation will not be a problem.

    Remember what "air conditioning" (the same concept used by refrigerators and dehumidifiers) really does - it removes and controls the moisture content in the air.

    Now if you stand around with the refrigerator door open all the time, condensation could be a problem. And if you remove a chilled computer from the fridge, you should let it come to room temperature before applying power - just like you should do with all electronics you bring in from the cold.

    I can see how that would work and look cool (no pun intended) too!
     
  12. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Indeed. And I built the whole thing from plexiglass, glass and silicone adhesive :)

    I wondered about effects of Novec (methoxy-nonafluorobutane) on boards, insulation, etc. But it seems like most standard computer parts would be compatible.

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/104167O/3mtm-novectm-7100dl-engineered-fluid.pdf
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I would worry about the boards themselves. Most are coated in epoxy resins to prevent moisture from creeping in between the layers and perhaps allowing corrosion (or mold! :eek: ) to set in. But that layer of resin can be damaged, either accidentally or through a repair action. Of course that Novev is not "wet" (as in water) but as seen here it is a cleaning solvent so I would be afraid overtime, it might cause problems.

    multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/199818O/3mtm-novectm-7100-engineered-fluid.pdf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2019
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yeah, they don't say whether they had to build custom boards and stuff.

    There is that comment:
    I have no clue what computer components contain "fluorinated plastics and elastomers".
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No? And here I thought you were a man of the world! ;) hehe
     
  16. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I could have searched, and feigned expertise, but I was feeling lazy ;)
     
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