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Liquid Alkane Computer Cooling

[With cool waste gas burning off]
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Instead of using boring old mineral oil to immerse your computer hardware for cooling, instead use liquid Propane or Butane (which is fairly cheap in the per-litre department). Simply vent off the gas as it boils away.

The advantage to this is that you can put a chimney on your computer including a piezo-igniter. So you've basically got a roaring flame coming out of the top of your computer. The volume of gas boiling off will be directly proportional to the waste heat your computer is generating, so when it gets bogged down with heavy processing or graphics loads, the flame will be larger. I'm not sure what the response time might be, but it might be in the order of a second or two, in which case it would be a nice visual cue as to what the processing load is at the time.

In colder parts of the world, this might make a nice heater for the room.

Custardguts, Sep 21 2009

Jet-Powered Beer Cooler http://www.asciimation.co.nz/beer/
Strictly speaking the jet does not actually power the beer cooler. It merely serves as a method of burning off the vaporized LPG. [5th Earth, Mar 14 2010]

[link]






       Costly, hazardous, inefficient, and a gratuitous addition to global warming. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2009
  

       Add a secondary cooling system for the fuel/cooling liquid, and you could even control the boil-off for dramatic effect. Keep the cooler running to keep the boil-off low until you need to kick it into TURBO in front of that big client.
outlawpoet, Sep 21 2009
  

       Propane and butane both boil at atmospheric pressure and temperature. This means that to avoid too much boiling off, your computer hardware will need to be under pressure.   

       Either pentane or isopentane might be more suitable.   

       Personally, I like part of your idea: use a refrigerant as a coolant.   

       But instead of having flames as the showy aspect, I would put the hardware in an clear airtight glass cabinet, so that the boiling is visible.   

       The gaseous refrigerant would be collected at the highest point inside the cabinet, then sent to a compressor, a condenser, an expansion valve, and a gas/liquid separator. The liquid from the separator would go into the computer cabinet, and the gas from the separator would be routed directly to the compressor.
goldbb, Sep 23 2009
  

       what I want to see is a water heater / computer cooler tie-in. That way I could build a 1200W multi-GPU gaming computer without feeling guilty, as waste heat would provide my hot water.
sninctown, Sep 23 2009
  

       //Propane and butane both boil at atmospheric pressure and temperature. This means that to avoid too much boiling off, your computer hardware will need to be under pressure//   

       Nono you misunderstand. Why would you think I'd want to avoid too much boiling off? That's the point...
Custardguts, Sep 24 2009
  

       //Why would you think I'd want to avoid too much boiling off? That's the point...//   

       So basically you're happy with your computer being at the center of a BLEVE, Custardguts?
Loris, Sep 24 2009
  

       Surely you'd want the boiling to only occur when the computer is actually turned on, no?
goldbb, Sep 24 2009
  

       + for big flames I like things with fire.   

       but that being said something with a higher boiling point might work better, how about gasoline still get flames, but not fire balls.
dev45, Sep 24 2009
  

       //So basically you're happy with your computer being at the center of a BLEVE, Custardguts?//   

       Yep. You shoulda seen the massive rolling crash I went through this morning losing a whole bunch of useful and commercially sensetive information in the one hit.   

       I'd be happy to see my computer being in the centre of a BLVE right now. Just let me log off first...
Custardguts, Mar 05 2010
  

       See linked jet-powered beer cooler for another implementation of this technology.
5th Earth, Mar 14 2010
  
      
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