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CPU Water Coolers - Useful?

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Paul9 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 January 2016 at 9:11am
Hi people,

I am trying to keep my 300amp controller from overheating on long trips on hot days. It probably doesn't help that I am putting around 110v through the 96v controller.

As per very good advice in a separate thread, I have fitted some fans to the heat sinks I had already installed on the controller. I am however still concerned that air cooling may not be sufficient to prevent overheating problems.

I noted in a mate's computer magazine an advert for water cooling "systems" to keep the CPU in the computer from overheating and wondered if such a water cooler could be more effective in keeping my controller cooler than the existing fans.

Would anyone know if these water coolers are effective? Useful?

Thanks in advance,
Paul
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TooQik View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TooQik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 10:50am
Hi Paul,

I run a water cooling loop in my gaming PC which works extremely well at keeping my CPU, three graphics cards and motherboard chip set cool. To give you an idea of effectiveness, my CPU runs around 20 degrees cooler while each graphics card run around 30 degrees cooler than air cooling.

Like all cooling systems, you'd need to calculate the amount of cooling capacity you need and size the system accordingly. You'll also need a cooling plate to attach to the component(s) that you wish to cool. You can probably buy a large cooling plate that will attach to where your current heat sinks attach.

The down side to water cooling is the amount of components for a loop. You need cooling plates, radiator(s), cooling pump, a reservoir, cooling fans (attach to radiator), hosing, associated water fittings as well as a means to control the loop electronically - you can buy controllers that monitor the temperatures and turn on/off, adjust flow accordingly, or simply have it powered on/off by a switch or left on permanently. All these components can get expensive quite quickly.

Personally, while I think water cooling is a good investment, if you find you're only needing extra cooling on rare occasions then I would look at simply purchasing larger fans to get more air flow over the heat sinks.

Good luck.
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T1 Terry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote T1 Terry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 11:25am
Pure water will transfer 2 times the heat energy of air. If you can come up with a system that can transfer the heat from the controller to the water cooled pad, piped to a small radiator in good air flow and cycle the fans on the radiator to control optimum temp (can you run a controller too cold?)you will have a lot more success than attempting to use a computer cooler pad as there is a lot more heat to move.

T1 Terry

Edited by T1 Terry - 13 January 2016 at 11:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 11:27am
i agree with TooQik

even a HUGE water cooling kit for a monster of a gaming system is only good for around 300 watts of heat at its best and that can cost up to $1K just for the cooling system

it comes down to how much heat you have to get rid of and how much your willing to spend

you may be better off just making a much bigger heat sink with more fins and have a cool air intake at the front of the car and duct it strate to the fans on the heatsink

Edited by Adverse Effects - 13 January 2016 at 11:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 11:43am
I have a tendency to avoid liquids in a prototype system chock-a-block full of lethal voltages. But that's probably just me.
Just be careful with your air-cooled design and ensure that it has enough heatsinking area and plenty of air movement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 12:33pm
Thanks guys!

There is not much air movement in my "engine bay" as I have closed off all the frontal area to improve aerodynamics.

My 96v set up lacks a little power, particularly at higher speeds up hills. Had I known back in 2008, what I know now, I would have opened the wallet a little wider and bought a 120v or even 144v system.

My "hobby" now is making modifications to the vehicle both in regard to rolling resistance and aerodynamics to get its performance up to satisfactory levels under all circumstances.

The photos of water cooling units I have seen on websites appear to consist of only three parts - a copper plate on a water reservoir from which come two pipes which link up to a 120mm x 120mm fan. I couldn't see any pumping mechanism in the photos (nor was one mentioned in the detailed product description). Maybe it works by thermodynamics or whatever they call hot water rising thru pipes?

Thanks TooQik - I already have two fans totaling 120mm x 120mm screwed on two heatsinks which are held onto the controller by double sided sticky thermal transfer paper. It is the possible inadequacy of this system I am worried about.

Thanks T1Terry and Adverse Affects - the size of the water coolers on the net appear to be roughly the same size as my existing fan/heat sink arrangement. On the net they are advertised at around $179 for the top-of-the-line coolers. If they can cost up to $1k then maybe there are other "bits" required to set up the water cooler?

Thanks Johny - I know what you mean about water and voltages!

I am going to drop into a computer shop which sells these things next week so I can get a better concept of how they work. I just wanted to talk to you guys first so I could visit the computer shop as prepared as possible.

Any further comments appreciated.

Thanks
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote T1 Terry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 1:50pm
A possible "outside of the square" idea is using Peltier effect modules between the controller and heatsink. This effectively raises the heatsink temp another theoretically 25*C above the controller temp and the increased difference between ambient temp and the heatsink will allow a greater amount of heat transfer into the air, but it must be vented outside the car after that point though to prevent the heat being recirculated.

T1 Terry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TooQik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 2:17pm
Originally posted by Paul9 Paul9 wrote:

There is not much air movement in my "engine bay" as I have closed off all the frontal area to improve aerodynamics.


From this extra piece of information you posted, I think the key factor to solving your controller cooling is getting more air into your engine bay.

I'd be starting with ducting some outside air into the engine bay to increase the amount of air movement as both Adverse Effects and Johny have highlighted. You may find that this alone will be enough to keep the controller cool as your existing fans will be pushing potentially cooler air through your heat sinks. If this isn't sufficient, then start looking at the other options.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 8:26pm
here is a good beginner guild as to how a PC water cooling system is setup

this kit would be able to remove about 100 watts of heat

i am guessing your going to be dealing with LOTS (over 1000 watts) of heat



now the sticky parts here are

1:- finding a water block that will fit to your needs and have enough coolant flow

2:- finding a pump that will have enough grunt to push enough water through your cooling loop

3:- a large enough radiator that will handle the amount of heat your putting in to the coolant

4:- getting cool air to the fans on the radiator (no point in running hot air from the engine bay in to the hot radiator)

*********************
problems with PC gear
*********************
1 CPU water blocks are only good for about 80 to 100 watts of heat at best

2 PC cooling loops have only a small volume of coolant flow

3 PC radiators are not designed to be in a vibrating environment and will fail quickly if they are

__________________________________________________

if it was me i would

1St get some forced cool air piped directly from the front of the car (if you have 120mm fan you want a 200mm hole and pipe)to the fans you have now

2nd remove that heat sink you have now and lap the base of it and the base of the controller where the heat sink go's to get them as flat as possible so you have as perfect mating faces as you can then work out a way to mount them together (and not with double sided tape, )


see how it has springs to make sure it will all ways have a good connection

and use about 1/8 of a pea size dolip of some form of heat past so you have as little as possible there the less you have in the gap the better the stuff works (hence the lapping the 2 faces to get them flat)


-----------------------------------------

if this is still not enough just let me know and i will try to work out a cheep (scrap yard) set of parts list for a water cooling rig for you

Edited by Adverse Effects - 13 January 2016 at 8:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 9:25pm
Originally posted by Paul9 Paul9 wrote:

the size of the water coolers on the net appear to be roughly the same size as my existing fan/heat sink arrangement. On the net they are advertised at around $179 for the top-of-the-line coolers. If they can cost up to $1k then maybe there are other "bits" required to set up the water cooler?


let me guess your talking about one like these






one of thes units couldn't handle the heat from a cigarette litter

you would need 3 or 4 units the size of this one to come close to the amount of heat you need to remove and its $635

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2016 at 3:06am
Thanks tons for the info guys!

Thanks TooQik and T1Terry - The Peltier thing is something I will investigate as is the piping of air into the engine bay. From the replies I have received it appears the water cooling I was thinking about will be less successful than I hoped. As a result, the ducting of outside air into the "engine bay" may be the way to go.

Thanks AdverseAffects - very much appreciate your comprehensive reply. Your photos are of exactly what I was talking about! And it appears the CPU water cooler would be grossly inadequate!

I knew asking you guys before I went to the computer shop would be the sensible thing to do!

Thanks again!
Cheers
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2016 at 9:50am
See also cooling gear arrives for the MX-5. This has an AC controller, designed for water cooling, it doesn't have an air cooling option. The Tritium Wavesculptor 200 is possibly a bit more efficient than some DC controllers, but it's rated for 165 kVA peak, and over 75 kVA continuous at 50°C. You can see the size of the cooling components required for this power level.

Edited by coulomb - 14 January 2016 at 9:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2016 at 8:10am
Thanks coulomb,

Looks like I need something a lot bigger than a computer cooler!

Cheers
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2016 at 10:10am
you want something like
pump :- Laing D5 Vario pump brass head , brushless , hot water up to 95o c , and no bearings

storage tank of your choice (1 to 2 Lt would be good)

and a car automatic transmission cooler
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2016 at 11:03am
Thanks Adverse Effects,

A mate of mine lives very close to the retailer of the transmission cooling systems. I think I better ring him and see if we are due for a bit of a drink over at his place! Its a long trip without two reasons to go.

Thanks
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2016 at 1:07pm
Originally posted by Paul9 Paul9 wrote:

Its a long trip without two reasons to go.

Thanks
Paul


you need 2 reasons to have a drink?   

your no Aussie

hahahahaha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2016 at 7:33am
Nup!

I need two reasons to travel that far to see a transmission cooler! Don't need any reasons to have a drink!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EV2Go Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2016 at 7:43am
Forget the peltier, too much current draw for the heat exchange achieved. I would go with Adverse Effects solution and go for the free cooling from the front of the car. If you have the front blocked off you could basically do a ram air effect on the motor. I would however add one small addition to Ivan's suggestion, and that would be to put a drop out area in the path to allow water to separate from air (small hole to let water drain).
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2016 at 7:45am
Thanks EV2GO,

Shall put that on my list of things to do!

Cheers
Paul
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