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Planning Rack cabinet watercooling

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Xlog, 26 May 2020.

  1. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Right, from the get go this is more "because I can" type of project and most WC parts I already have in some form or another.

    So currently I have 3(4) systems in the rack:
    1. x2700x + gtx1070 under water atm, acts as main PC, cpu/mb will be moved to second NAS then zen3 is out and become system 4.
    2. x5650 as VM server, currently stock cooler, but will be going under water no matter what
    3. Phenom II x6 NAS, under air

    Plan is to leave system 1. in its own loop (single 360 rad), but do a shared loop for the rest, single 360 rad at the start, expanding as needed. Potentially watercooling 2700VA UPS and switch at some point.

    Rads go at the back of the cabinet.

    Shared loop will have flow/temp sensors for monitoring and emergency auto shutdown in case of a pump failure.

    For the plumbing:
    * 15mm copper pipes on the side of the cabinet for water distribution, soldered standard brass fittings, hoses with QD to the systems chassis.
    * Single reservoir at the top
    * Single Eheim Universal 230V pump at the bottom

    Now the question is - should I put systems in parallel or in series (with bypass valves)? Parallel might result in lower temperatures for individual systems, but will make managing waterflow through different waterblocks more difficult.

    Any suggestions/insights or just telling me how stupid I am for just thinking about doing this are appreciated.
     
  2. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    Water cooling in a rack is full of potential pitfalls. It makes sense for a data center because it allows them to pump the majority of heat to another location. The equipment still requires air flow across all non water cooled components, but without the processors' thermal contribution the A.C. can be significantly reduced within the data center. In a home set up, unless your are plumbing the radiator into another room, there is probably not much benefit of a common system.

    But then there are few reasons better than "because I can".
    The loop temperature will be effectively the same for parallel and series. With your described set up I'd assemble it in series to ensure flow through all components. As you mentioned, balancing that much in parallel may be problematic. If possible I'd try mocking it up to see which runs better. I believe commercial design are in parallel for easier maintenance. I am not sure if they can do this because they include pressure regulators on each loop off the manifold or because the loops are more standardize.
     
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  3. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    There was a guy (I think he posted it here) who lived up near the arctic circle and plumbed his watercooling into a car sized radiator, through the wall, to the (freezing) outside.

    Was sorta cool (groan) but I think he only did it for laughs.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2020
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  4. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I also have vague recollections of someone doing similar with an old propane tank, but burying it in the ground.
     
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  5. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    If the rack was in an isolated room then I could just throw in some high rpm fans and prob. wouldn't bother with wc. But as it is, the rack sits in my bedroom. (Now that I think about it, in summer I could just roll it out into a balcony and call it a day :D). The plan for common system is because there is no space in rack cases for a full WC loop (at least not in a way that wouldn't make maintenance a nightmare), so if I'm already putting stuff outside of a case - why not consolidate some things.
    Doing mockup is not a bad idea.
     
  6. Sky_wolf

    Sky_wolf New Member

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    I am thinking on a similar system. On a 4 system config.
    1. parallel run.
    2. If a water cooling block need a 1bar of precursor to run optimal then the manifold needs least "systems * 1bar + 1bar",
    the manifold needs pressure regulators on each system lines to prevent owner pressure in blocks and under pressure in
    manifold and blocks. or you probably need a pump i each system and maybe a shut off valves for controlling pressure in manifold.
    3. A single 360 is probably not holding sufficient cooling for the systems. not knowing the rooms ambient temp.
     
  7. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Bleeding that is going to be a nightmare :p
     
  8. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    I like the idea of pressure regulators to control the flow off the manifold but I doubt you'll find cost effective regulators for the desired pressure. Typical loops run at just a few PSI, a Laing D5 produces ~8 PSI max. The Eheim Universal pump family can generate 1-5.2 PSI max depending on the model. Remember max psi occurs with zero flow, so operating max PSI will be lower. The most common low pressure water regulators I am familiar with are for irrigation systems and they typically are 25 PSI, which is 5 time higher than the max PSI of the largest Eheim pump.

    I had the same thought about the rad when I first read this thread, so I did the math. In theory a 360 rad (assuming it not a slim or low FPI model) should be able to dissipate the heat of the the systems listed above (based on manufactures' TDP). They'll run hot but it should work. That is theory, reality is something else. But Xlog has that port cover in his design statement, "...expanding as needed."
     

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