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General Liquid/Water Cooling Discussion For discussion about Full Cooling System kits, or general cooling topics. Keep specific cooling items like pumps, radiators, etc... in their specific forums.

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Unread 09-08-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
Cooling Neophyte
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 17
Default Planning to build a new radiator

(I've posted pics of my rig on another thread here recently if anyone wants to see em.)

Since i have to overhaul the cooling loop of my system, i think its a good opportunity for me to sort out my radiator. I have a love'hate relationship with my PC because its so darn heavy. The current radiator weighs about 20KG.
I first built it when i didn't have much experience with heat exchange type stuff.

So i'm planning on building a little copper one to replace it.
its gonna be 8 0.55mm thick copper plates 160mmx200mm and 8 230mm long 15mm copper pipes.

i've calculated it to weigh about 1.6 KG (for the copper) and i'll use plastic pipes and J clips to join the copper pipes together as with the last radiator.
basically, what i'm going for here is better conduction, and more airflow.
with a 120mm fan on 5V i wont be able to hear it when its on the floor, and it'll probably outperform my current radiator.
(i plan to mount it vertically to take advantage of some convection)

Hopefully I'll find 12.7mm copper pipe (which i have a pipe bender for) or i'll find a reasonably priced 15mm pipe bender, but i'm fine with doing the plastic pipe method too.
the reason why the plates are only gonna be 200mm long is mainly because i dont want the whole thing to be any taller than my PC.
Its also possible that i could go for copper elbows, but i'm not so into the idea of all that soldering.

anyway, so while i contemplate that stuff this weekend, i'm also considering using a heatercore. only problem is i dont think they are well suited to low airflow.

btw the plates and pipes of the rad i'm describing have a total area of 0.59 M^2
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Unread 09-09-2006, 01:27 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,538
Default Re: Planning to build a new radiator

A good low-air-flow optimised radiator will perform better than your proposed solution, such as a Thermochill PA120.1, which even though quite a deal smaller than your proposed solution, will outperform it is my guess.

Having said that, your proposal is still an interesting thing to try out, although could do with some improvements. Rather than attempting to solder the plates to the tangents of the tubes as in your diagram, why not drill through the plates, push the tubing through the holes, and solder the plates to the tubing that way. Then there's far more conductive area between the tube wall and the plating.
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Unread 09-09-2006, 04:59 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 17
Default Re: Planning to build a new radiator

Thats a very cool idea. I've actually got some copper refridgerant tubing which would be well suited to this purpose. bloody hell! i just had the nicest brainwave!

the thin tubing i currently have is only about 4mm ID and 8mm OD (at a guess). But i just remembered when i was younger making one of those putter putter steam boats that are candle powered. its much thinner, probably 3mm od 2mm id.
thats far easier to work with.
it could be pretty fun making a radiator like you described with tubing like that, loads of it with paralell flows.

the problem with doing that is its a lot of drilling, and could potentially be very fiddly with so many parts all needing to be in their correct places when its solder time, and soldering would be rather tricky too with so many solder joints to make.

after your comment the wheels in my head started turning some more on the subject, and i thought of this older idea i had called "8 pipe low resistance rad" (beware, there is no 3D effect intended. its 100% 2D, cross sectional)

i think the first idea will be the easiest to make
the 6plate/pipe one would be quite easy too, and i would guess, the best performer.
I could do it by drilling 2 holes in each of those plates and the pipes they mount on, and put 2 small brass screws to hold each plate in place before it gets soldered. maybe just holes in the plates and some twisted wire would be a better choice for not having to worry about leaks, but i reckon brass screws should solder easy. (never tried)

the elliprical plate rad would probably be easier to make and a similar performer.

maybe i'll make more than one rad for fun, and test em out

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File Type: jpg 8 pipe low resistance rad.JPG (17.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: gif idea 3.GIF (6.5 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Lope; 09-11-2006 at 08:46 AM.
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Unread 09-11-2006, 08:44 AM   #4
Cooling Neophyte
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 17
Default Re: Planning to build a new radiator

today i looked into things a bit more.

i can get 12.7mm with a 0.71mm wall thickness, and 3mm with 1.5mm wall thickness (copper)
so i was doing some thinking on what to make, and basically i decided to try out the heatercore route.

i've found 2 radiator places which have 2nd hand copper heatercores which i'll go check out tomorrow.

i'm still keen on building stuff, but at the moment time is not abundant, and neither is my workshop situation.


well, i chatted to a friend about it. he reckons a fan which is pushing enough air through a car heater core to dump my current heat load would be pretty loud.
now i'm starting to think i've been taking my silent PC for granted.

i think my situation is pretty unusual. i cant think of many cases where i've seen people cool their entire PC in one loop.
PSU, HDDs, CPU, NB, Mosfets, GFX.
thats quite a lot of watts.
although people do cool dual graphics cards and a hot CPU, that might equal the wattage i'm doing.

i reckon i'm gonna go check out that heater core tomorrow, and possibly buy it just to experiment with if i think its viable.

Last edited by Lope; 09-11-2006 at 01:15 PM.
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