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Air Flow/Fans for trunk computer build - is this how it should be done???

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  • Air Flow/Fans for trunk computer build - is this how it should be done???

    I am wanting to ensure my computer is kept as cool as possible in preparation for the hot summer.

    Attached is a diagram of how the air flow will work with my set-up...i need from you guys some guidance/confirmation on this from people who have strategically installed fans for their installs.

    The 120mm fans will act as in-takes, and the smaller 80mm fans are exhaust. Air is sucked from the right of my open trunk space and is guided down where the tire wells are and underneath to where i've built a chamber for my computer. On the opposite end where the chamber meets the spare tire well, there is an exhaust fan sucking air out and around it goes.



    Will this work?
    2003 Mitsubishi Lancer CarPC Build Thread

  • #2
    Fans "to push the air in" are generally better than sucking out - in particular if they can be aimed at the hotspots.

    I'd try to stick with a single fan to push the air through. Adding other fans can cause restrictions (pumping slower) or decrease pressure and hence cooling.


    Where is your air intake and exhaust?

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    • #3
      try to stick with similarly sized fans-- the 2-80's are going to restrict the airflow of the 120's.

      i also think you are focusing too much on the general direction of airflow, and not actually cooling the pc-- for this, i would either place a fan directly in front/above the pc, so cool air is being forced across it..

      if you hold your hand in the front and back of a fan, you will notice that the air pressure is always better in the front then the back where the air is getting sucked into the fan--because fans can draw air from everywhere, but only direct it in a very specific form..

      the only way you could get a 'pull' setup to work would be to very carefully create ducts to only draw air from across a very narrow area across the length of the pc components.

      also, the overall air within the trunk can get very hot on a warm day, so on those days, the fan setup would be useless, because it is just cycling already-hot air,that would do a better job warming the pc then cooling it.. to remedy this, it would be best to pull air from the cabin--whenever you drive the car, the cabin would have relatively cool air, because nobody likes driving a car that is 120deg F inside...
      Last edited by soundman98; 06-15-2011, 01:55 PM.
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided

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      • #4
        See if we can get sonicxtacy to pipe in here, but he has a setup where he pulls air from the rear of his car, and runs it through some duct to his dash to cool his PC. This type of setup might be useful here, as you can pull cooler air from the cabin and push it into the trunk area where the pc is perhaps?
        "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
        RevFE
        My Shop

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        • #5
          thanks people for the suggestions.

          do you think a water cooling set-up would be possible? how much power does a water cooling system need?
          2003 Mitsubishi Lancer CarPC Build Thread

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          • #6
            Originally posted by doncarbone View Post
            thanks people for the suggestions.

            do you think a water cooling set-up would be possible? how much power does a water cooling system need?
            having installed several water cooling systems and currently running one, I would say they're too high maintenance to have in a car, and water cooling can only cool to the ambient temperature of the air in the surroundings. Taken from a study that was done ( http://www.mydogiscool.com/x_car_study.php ) cars can get to 159F, or 70C, or even higher on the interior. The ambient temperature of the air blowing through the radiator for the water cooling setup would be 70C, so it'd already be past the temperature point of several processors. I think the best way would be to vent air from one of the baffels (trunks generally have 1-way baffels which allows air to be blown out (to assist when the trunk is slammed) but not blown in) You could rig a fan up to these, or get your air source from these baffels and throw it onto/into the motherboard/case. Just throwing some ideas out, it's 3am and I'm tired.. lol

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            • #7
              I might get this for my setup, maybe this might work for you also......

              http://www.xoxide.com/antec-k-hler-h...idcooling.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Liquid cooling does not add much over air, much debate... search around a bit. Air should do what you need.
                TruckinMP3
                D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                Read the FAQ!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TruckinMP3 View Post
                  Liquid cooling does not add much over air, much debate... search around a bit. Air should do what you need.
                  in a cool environment, I'd disagree. Granted you can add some crazy fans onto a huge copper heatsink, but a proper watercooled system can help it run just a few degrees above the ambient temp because water has much greater thermal conductivity vs volume of air/water moving.
                  I would honestly look into adding a fan into the baffels...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jamee View Post
                    in a cool environment, I'd disagree. Granted you can add some crazy fans onto a huge copper heatsink, but a proper watercooled system can help it run just a few degrees above the ambient temp because water has much greater thermal conductivity vs volume of air/water moving.
                    I would honestly look into adding a fan into the baffels...
                    Disagree if you like that is how opinions work.
                    Cost and complexity .... Air
                    Cost and reliability .... Air
                    Longevity and maintenance ... yup also air

                    Assuming the same temp liquid and air:
                    Slower change in PC component temperature over time... liquid, I do not see the value.

                    Good luck with Liquid, it can work but my decade plus experience of car computing say "no need" and my two decades of general computing agree
                    Last edited by TruckinMP3; 06-16-2011, 06:34 PM. Reason: removing key word matches
                    TruckinMP3
                    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                    Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                    Read the FAQ!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Seeing as we are all throwing our assholes opinions in here, I will throw mine in.

                      One of the issues with air cooling is, you bring all sorts of ****e into your PC case and around your components, especially if you hook up a fan to draw air in through the 'baffle' (I know the suggesting was to blow air out of this but then you aren't really bringing cool air in. Water cooled (as long as the case is air tight) will prevent this, but then you need to water cool the video chip, memory and HD's (is there water cooling for the drives?)


                      Bringing cool ar in from the cabin is probably the best idea, like someone said, you ain't gonna wanna be in a hot enviroment yourself. But rigging this up could be messy and/or ineffective.

                      Plenty of heat sinks and somehow contact with the vehicle body to help as an extra heat sink, but then seeing as how hot the vehicle body can get on really hot days, maybe not.


                      I think each individual has to experiment and finds out what works for them. Also your location in relation to the equator wil be a factor as well. (I reckon the canucks are laughing at the moment, saying "what heat issues?" In fact they are probably asking "How can we prewarm our PC's before starting the car?")
                      Last edited by Enforcer; 06-17-2011, 08:28 AM. Reason: just

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Enforcer View Post
                        Seeing as we are all throwing are assholes opinions in here, I will throw mine in.
                        Sounds like a disgusting version of the hokey pokey.


                        I'm not going to add much to the conversation that hasn't already been addressed, really.
                        For a performance PC, liquid cooling is great stuff. It's a must-have if you're going to do serious overclocking, and adds a cool aesthetic to a "show-off" PC.

                        However I don't think a vehicle is the right environment for a watercooled PC.
                        The cooling benefits won't be all that great, since you're only going to cool to ambient temperatures.
                        If your PC is in the trunk, the ambient temperature on a warm summer day is going to be too high for liquid cooling to be effective. That said, air cooling under those circumstances won't be much better.
                        It doesn't matter whether you're pushing warm liquid across the CPU or blowing hot air across the CPU, the net result is the same: You're not getting the sucker cool.

                        The main reason I would recommend air cooling over liquid cooling in a vehicle install is vibration. You don't want a hose from your water cooling rig coming loose and spewing coolant on your electronics, especially while driving. Vibration is what can and will work the tubing loose from the fittings.



                        That said, the trend now is low-power CPU setups (like Intel's Atom) that don't generate much heat, many of which are passively cooled. This hardware will fare much better in a trunk install than a "standard desktop" counterpart. It's no guarantee that it won't have problems on the hottest of days, though.

                        doncarbone, I have yet to see any info on what PC hardware you are looking at. I searched your threads and came up with naught.
                        The hardware you choose will really determine the cooling needs.

                        That said, your diagram shows a pretty inefficient airflow setup. You have the fans pushing/pulling air around a 180 degree bend. Pulling the air through that isn't much of a problem, but the fan pushing the air (the 120mm on the right) will simply blow the air at the side (the inner fender wall?) and the air will stop and disperse a bit. Think of aiming a water hose at a wall, and you get the idea.




                        (is there water cooling for the drives?)
                        Of course there is! Links, if you're interested:
                        http://www.dangerden.com/store/aqua-...lock.html#tabs
                        http://www.koolance.com/water-coolin...hp?cPath=29_45
                        http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g30/...locks_HDD.html
                        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                        How about the Wiki?



                        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post

                          Of course there is! Links, if you're interested:

                          Nah, I'm not. There is no way I would water cool a PC, even indoors, in a stable enviroment, water and elec trickery just do not mix.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My wife's car has a ac vent aiming towards the back passengers, so now I'm working on this idea where I tie in from one of the AC vents in my Formula Firebird, using a clear flexible hose that I have laying around, this is from a Heil Talk box (ala-Frampton,bon-jovi,aerosmith)that I used a few times for certain gigs in the past, until I toasted it....never go over a 100 watts!

                            .....Then this hose would get fed under the carpet to the CarPC, then would blow COLD air in through a filtered hole on the side of the CarPC enclosure.
                            I also have two fans already used for pulling the air out on the enclosure.

                            The trick is keeping moisture from entering the enclosure, by opening and closing the vent at will... being used. And also make sure to run the AC at least 5 minutes before opening the vent, to ensure that all moisture is gone. This only will be used on really hot days.

                            I'm sure there is going to be a bunch of doubting Tomassses here............ so I'll tell ya' how it goes if this brainstorm works or Fail. Don't know will see...........

                            OH, and I'm still going to use this to...

                            http://www.xoxide.com/antec-k-hler-h...idcooling.html

                            Last edited by RAWPWR; 06-17-2011, 08:34 AM.

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                            • #15
                              In the OP's diagram I can say that won't work effectively, as others have mentioned, the top right fan being the worst implementation as the air will not disperse correctly when hitting a flat surface head on. Angling fans may help you here...

                              As for the how to cool a CarPC talk, I may be new in the CarPC world, but have been working with PC's for many years... I personally have a Water-cooled desktop PC (I'm typing on it right now actually), and I LOVE it. Yes I am an overclocker, and clearly a big PC modder/enthusiast, however, water-cooling is very complex and I feel it is not ideal for a CarPC setup. Definitely stick with air cooling, as for keeping the CPU cool, this is a very good reason to use a low-power CPU, such as an Intel Atom. Much easier to keep it cool, as well as things like on-board video instead of a powerful PCI-Express 1Ghz monster video card, lol. That's just not necessary for this application.

                              Regarding the ducting A/C air from the vents to the PC enclosure, this is a very good idea, just be careful with condensation forming, remember condensation will form on a PC's components if the temperature of the cpu(heatsink, technically)/other components is lower than the ambient temp. (Temperature outside of the PC's enclosure) However, if you do a little bit of reading up on extreme PC cooling, ex forum: xtremesystems.org, and other various extreme overclocking sites you will be able to learn that people who cool their PC's using TEC's (Peltier's) or Phase Change cooling MUST keep the components from frying due to condensation. There are guides out there that will show you exactly what you can do/need to keep the PC from being shocked by the condensation. (I.E. Die-electric grease in the CPU socket, neoprene foam around the socket, etc).

                              HOWEVER, I personally think that this is taking the CarPC to unnecessary limits (IMO, and again this is just MY OPINION), as you will not be pushing the hardware this hard that deems this necessary... unless maybe if you live ON the equator, then looking into this stuff isn't such a bad idea, lol. But alas, most people do not live in this type of climate, I personally live in NJ where we get a good mixture of cold winters and hot-humid(yuck!) summers.

                              For my CarPC I will be placing the enclosure in the trunk, and just making sure there is enough air flow to keep a steady movement of air over the components from/to the trunk space... even on the hottest of hot days this should be good, I will watch the temps of the PC to be sure, and if there are any issues I'll look into better cooling, but I think that should be good, especially running a low power Atom CPU.
                              Worklog: 2006 Nissan Altima SER CarTab!

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