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Thread: Carputer Cooling

  1. #11
    Maximum Bitrate crooper's Avatar
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    Why spend all this cash on a complex cooling solution when you can start off with a cooler-running PC? Get a low power CPU or something. How about a large heatsink and dual fan setup (one on either side of the case) with a passthrough design?

  2. #12
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Did you say low power CPU? lol

    I yanked off a dual fan CPU cooler already from it...
    Going H2O isn't a LOT of money, is far more efficient, and just plan looks cool!

  3. #13
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the limits on my PC are; but they are higher than my power supply (Carnetix 2140). It won't turn on if the temp is over 130F. For the past week, I've had to run the AC on max for around 10 minutes before I turned my PC on. I need to find a solution for this soon, because it is driving me nuts.

  4. #14
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirk78h View Post
    I'm not sure what the limits on my PC are; but they are higher than my power supply (Carnetix 2140). It won't turn on if the temp is over 130F. For the past week, I've had to run the AC on max for around 10 minutes before I turned my PC on. I need to find a solution for this soon, because it is driving me nuts.
    Is it the power supply that has this thermal limit?
    Where in the car is the PC located?
    There is likely a way to hack the limit on it. I use to run an OmniFi and it (the HDD) had a limit for low temps, but I hacked it so it would still run in the freezing cold...

  5. #15
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    Suppose you could hook up a watercooling loop and put a 80w peltier unit in the line to chill the water. Just put a Ultra120 or similar large heatsink on the hot side of the peltier to cool it. Be a difficult setup though as you actually have to have ROOM for that time of setup plus airflow to the heatsink to cool the peltier so it does it's job.

    Where in your car is the pc/psu mounted?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
    thread moved....why this was in the forum suggestions/comments section I don't know....
    You still have that power eh?

  7. #17
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    Is it the power supply that has this thermal limit?
    Where in the car is the PC located?
    There is likely a way to hack the limit on it. I use to run an OmniFi and it (the HDD) had a limit for low temps, but I hacked it so it would still run in the freezing cold...
    The thermal limit is in the power supply. There was discussion on their forum that the limit is for very valid reasons to keep components from being damaged. Everything is mounted on the rear deck, behind the seats. Right now, it is open to the ambient air. I've read some people have better luck with heat control by enclosing everything and mounting case fans for circulation. I have no idea if this would be better or worse, or how long it would take to cool.

  8. #18
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    Ok, I'm posting up even though I am pretty new to car computing- still working on my first one right now.

    I do have a wee bit of experience with water cooling though-

    web server thats been running 24/7 for a couple years now- homebuilt water cooling
    main computer- running 24/7 for a couple years now- homebuilt water cooling
    media server system running 24/7 for a couple years now- insane geothermal homebuilt water cooling
    And a few others over the years.

    Considering water for my carpc as well- not so much because it needs it as because I just hate air cooling computers.

    Water cooling has two big advantages:
    1) size of heat exchanger (radiator vs heatsink) and surface area RULES in heat exchange as a rule.
    2) the ability to remove waste heat to an area where it doesn't matter.

    There are also a few disadvantages:
    1) maintenance is required
    2) added complexity
    3) freezing issues in cold weather
    4) I am not sure how vibration may affect such a project.

    Comments on some of the points made so far:
    using an inline pelt to cool the water in a liquid cooling loop is not very effective. Pelts work best when used directly ON a chips die, not remotely, as an inline pelt is. (Yup, its been done many times, and rarely worth the complexity.)

    Very little airflow is really required on a liquid cooled computers radiator- more is better, yes, but good temps are achievable without massive airflow.

    Long tubing runs are bad for flow rate, which is one of the most crucial parts of computer liquid cooling- shorter is better. (The pumps that are typically used for computer cooling are sensitive to flow restriction in any form.)

    Coolant: water cooled computers rarely run "straight" water; instead, it is usually some mixture of distilled water and additives to prevent algae growth and corrosion. And when a system is to be exposed to extreme cold temperatures, antifreeze MUST be used to prevent freezing.

    I am considering water cooling the system that I am working on, and if I do, my general plan is this:
    computer is to be mounted in the back of the car anyway, and the coolant lines will be run through the floor to a spot under the car where the radiator will be mounted. (This gets it away from heat sources and to a place where some airflow can normally be expected.)
    The components I would use IF I do end up doing it are all aluminum- mixing aluminum and copper in a cooling system increases corrosion, especially in the aluminum parts- and to protect against cold weather, my coolant would be about 35/65 antifreeze/distilled water.

    Keeping the radiator inside the passenger compartment of the car is not exactly pointless (you still have a much larger possible surface area to dissipate heat with) but it is a limiting factor, and means that additional fans are required to cool it.

    Not trying to shoot any plans down, per se, but share a little of the expertise I have gained over the years and discuss the plan I am considering myself.
    Good to see other water coolers here too.

  9. #19
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Heat up the all water (coolant) in a parked car.... then try to cool the PC with it.....
    Nope, not a good idea.
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  10. #20
    Constant Bitrate txspazz's Avatar
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    The problem isn't that the computer runs hot, it's that the car's interior gets hot while it is parked.

    Here are a few more suggestions, crack your windows when you park, put a sun reflector in your windshield, paint your roof white Land Cruiser style. Fog the power supply with C02........

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