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This is a copy of an email that I just sent out to some of my best friends. Since they know nothing about computers like I do, I've gone into detail explaining to them what I'm doing. I think that anyone reading this will come away fully informed of what I'm up to here.
I'm all excited. I've been smiling ear to ear today ever since I opened the packaging and got the reservoirs out. These things really are huge. Sitting in my bare feet, they come just above my knee. The appearance is everything that I hoped for. They will definitely play the part of looking like I ripped them off from some Alien spacecraft.
And then last night, I found another major component I was depending on for the completion of this project. But I should give a simple explanation of how things work, so you'll understand what I'm talking about.
I'm building a computer and all of the cooling equipment to fit inside of one case. In fact, there will be FIVE computers inside that case. This all started after I built my first liquid-cooled computer. When I first started using server-level equipment, the one thing that was really unbearable was the sound level produced by cooling multiple processors in a single machine. These things are just plain LOUD! So I decided to start using liquid-cooling. When I went into my veterinarian's office, and saw by chance that her computer was liquid-cooled, and realized that I couldn't hear anything coming from it, that sealed the deal.
Come to find out, her husband was well known on the internet (as DarthBeavis) for building exotic computers. I mean the kind that use liquid nitrogen for cooling. Yes, you read it right. So he and I chatted online, and I got some of the pointers that I needed to start my own project. My first build was successful. But it could have been better. Nonetheless, I was pleased with the absence of sound emanating from my machine. I never again had to sit in a room with a noisy computer. Realizing that, I wanted to build the rest of my computers with liquid-cooling too. But with the number of computers that I own and want to operate simultaneously, placed high demands on how I went about building my network.
I thought of various solutions to this. One of them was to build a system which used a mini-freeze to cool my fluid and transfer it out to each machine. Then, I thought about building them all into the freezer itself. But I didn't like the resulting size I would be faced with. Besides the fact it wouldn't be very easily transportable. So then I thought of other measures. That's when I came up with the idea to build the entire system inside the Pelican case. I was familiar with Pelican from my days as a photographer. The Pelican is waterproof, so I could move it from place to place, without having to worry about the atmospheric conditions while doing so. I could actually float this thing, and it could care less!
So now let's get back to the issue of liquid-cooling. In order for me to use liquid-cooling practically, it too would have to be inside the computer case. Another high demand on the design. And even as large as this case is (at 42"x22"x15" internally), it's still limited. So I had to design something that make the most of that space while getting the best (lowest temperature) possible cooling I could. And all of this from a man who has no money! But let me cover some of the theory behind this build.
I'm using what's essentially a swamp cooler inside of my computer case. It's very simple. When you drop the pressure on any fluid, it will boil due the low pressure. Do you still remember your science class projects? Once boiling, the vapor from the fluid carries away with it some of the heat the fluid contained. Needless to say, the coolant loop is completely sealed. So unless something breaks, there should be no leaks. And there won't be any moisture floating around to screw things up. So here's where my selection of parts comes in.
The tanks I got today are for my liquid-coolant storage. But they also serve another purpose as well. They will be my coolant-vapor chambers. That's where the evaporation process will occur. These coolant tanks will be connected together by what's called an eductor pump (sitting between them). Eductors are something I learned about years ago from a friend of mine who was a well driller. Anyone who has a water well, especially a deep well, has an eductor in the bottom (or top) to move fluid to the surface. It works by pumping water under high pressure through a nozzle inside the eductor. The stream of that water then creates a suction around it as it moves into what's called a venturi. A venturi is like the throat of a carburetor or a rocket engine. The purpose in each is to increase the velocity of the fluid passing through it. The faster the movement of that fluid, the greater the vacuum that's created. So in a carburetor, fuel is suck in and mixed with the air. That's just some background.
With the eductor that I'll be using, it'll be doing the same thing. Except that my fluid is water, like the pump in a water well. Every eductor has at least three ports on it. I say at least three, because last night, I found one that has four! But the basic design is simple.
1.) One port (on one end) is where the fluid from the pump enters. It provides the flow necessary to drive the eductor.
2.) Another port (somewhere in the middle) is where the suction is created and draws additional fluid into the eductor, combining the two separate flows into one.
3.) The third port (on the opposite end) is where the combined mixture of fluids is ejected from the eductor.
Now on the device that I found last night, the port above marked as #2, has been doubled, having one on each side of the eductor. I had never seen this before. But when I saw it (and gee was I thrilled!), I knew immediately, it was exactly what I was looking for. Because now, I could simply attach my two reservoirs, one to each side of the eductor. No more fiddling around with adapter fittings. It'll be a direct fit.
Now since I've been wanting this completed build to look like something out of a science fiction TV series or movie, I wanted this to look as alien as possible. And the more the design progresses, the more I visualize how it will look. I want the inside of the case to look like the body of an alien creature. And these reservoirs will appear to be the lungs, filled with fluid and violently boiling (in the vapor creation process). That vapor will get suck into the flow of the coolant fluid causing it to drop in temperature. But then, the fluid remaining in the reservoirs will also have it's temperature lowered as well. That's where I'll get my cooling from. At least the first stage of it anyway.
I say first stage, because I'm also thinking about using a modified Air Conditioning system to further cool the antifreeze mixture that's circulated throughout my computer. The objective being to get my liquid as cold as possible.
So that's what I've been up to. Oh yeah, one more thing. I mentioned last week that I had ordered my Pelican case. I don't remember if I later said that it was back ordered or not, but it was. So after being notified of the delay by the shipper, I got the thought to write the manufacturer and ask if they could expedite the shipment to the supplier. I finally wrote the email on Sunday after procrastinating. I didn't hear anything from the manufacturer until Tuesday. But when they did write, they said they were in fact shipping my case ahead of schedule. So I'm hoping I get the case in the near future. Because without it, I really can't determine how things are supposed to fit inside the case and how much room I really have.
But at least now, the project is in motion. And that makes me feel very good.
Love to you all,
My case is the Olive Drab green (the one that's open). I included the second image to show how it looks closed.
My reservoirs are the large clear tubes you see here. But mine have black heads (like the smaller one), not blue.
There will only be one eductor. That long black tube with the ports on the ends and two in the middle, like I described.
My pump is pictured at the very bottom of this email. It's big, But I need it to drive this system.
I don't know if the pictures will actual show up or not. I haven't managed to get the hang of this site yet. So if the pictures don't show, I'll be posting them elsewhere and give a link to them.