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Aardils Aardils Multi PC H2O and A/C Cooling Desk
Date Posted: Jan 15 2006
Author: Aardil
Posting Type: Article
Category: ProCooling Projects
Page: 2 of 3
Article Rank:5 from 1 Readers
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Aardils Multi PC H2O and A/C Cooling Desk By: Aardil
The Design:

The desk's basic principles are using a window air conditioner to cool radiators and PC's in a closed loop configuration, all inside the structure of a custom build desk.

The cold air is pushed through the rads to cool the water, then air is ducted into the bottom of the PC’s and then out the back of each PC. The air is collected and returned to the intake of the A/C unit and the cycle starts over again. While it is still water cooling, I have taken it one step further and introduced Air conditioning, so it might be considered Phase change but only in the broadest sense if the word.

Don't worry if this sounds confusing, it will make sense soon

The Materials Used:

  • Scrap 1x6 (from other projects I have finished)

  • ¼â€? plywood (from other projects I have finished)

  • ½â€? plywood (from other projects I have finished)

  • ¾â€? MDF board (its what I had laying around the shop)

  • 10 cans of 3M rubberized undercoat (don’t use the cheap stuff)

  • Liquid Nails is your friend

  • ¼â€? X 1/8â€? Vinyl foam weather seal

  • ¾â€? X 1/8â€? Vinyl foam weather seal

  • 1â€? X 1/8â€? Vinyl foam weather seal

  • Black Duct tape (don’t use the cheap stuff)

  • Scrap ¼â€? plexi-glass (to build the res.)

  • ¾â€? clear PCV pipe

  • ¾â€? NPT to ½â€? tubing plastic fittings

  • ½â€? NPT to ½â€? tubing plastic fittings

  • ½â€? tygon tubing

  • 3/8â€? tygon tubing

  • Hose clamps

  • 2x Swiftech MCP-655 Pumps

  • 2x Swiftech MCP-650 Pumps

  • 4x Chevette Heater Core's

  • Having a brain would be helpful but not a requirement


Step 1 - Sealing the Computer Cases.
Because we are going to be using the cases as part of the "loop" for the air system, these computers will need to be "sealed" to keep air moving where it should. You want all incoming air to be from the cool air channels, no outside air. So all vents in the front and on the sides must be sealed. I used black duct tape. Don’t use the cheap stuff, spend a few bucks, visit your local electrical supply or building center. (editor: ProCooling loves black duct tape, just check out some of our other projects hehe) The black duct tape has a better adhesive. And the cooler you run the unit the more likely the cheap stuff turn loose causing fresh air to be induced into the system which can and will cause moisture and we all know sweating PC boards is bad news.

Here are the holes that are cut in the base of the PC's for the air to circulate through them from the base of the desk. The holes are also used to get the coolant lines in and out of the PC. The 3" holes have the 3/4 x 1/8 weatherstrip around the holes to make it seal to the plywood floor. Also I used 1/4' split loom around the holes to make sure there was not an exposed sharp edge that might cut my tubing.

Step 2 - Building the internals of the desk.
The desk acts as a big plenum to move air to the radiators, and to the machines from the air conditioner, because of this it needs some fancy duct work inside. Every inch of the inside of the duct work (feed and return) is coated in 3M rubberized undercoat. This serves two purposes,1 makes the chambers water tight, 2 acts as a silencer/insulator.

Do not use the cheap stuff, the cheap stuff is 90% paint and very little rubber. Also on a side note, LET THIS STUFF AIR OUT for about 1 week. While it is dry to the touch in about 30 minutes, it puts off one god awful smell for a long time as it degases. Note the 4 large heater cores.

The holes you see cut with the hoses sticking out are the path air goes into the case from the plenum that holds the heater cores. The air goes from the window A/C unit into the base of the desk, is pushed through the 4 heater cores to cool the coolant, then back up through the PC's and out back to the A/C unit. The heater cores used are Chevette cores, and they are connected to Swiftech MCP-655 and MCP-650 Pumps.

The Reservoir is made of 5"x4"x6" black Plexi(I told you I had some laying around)
I have 4 outlets 2 inches from the bottom (3/4 NPT to ½ Hose) and 4 returns close to the top and also on the sides (1/2 NPT to ½ Hose). Center of the top is the Fill point ¾ NPT to ¾ using clear PCV pipe. I used Weld-on #16 cement and Marine Goop to seal the res.

The squarish looking holes are where the back of two of the PC’s mate up to the return air duct. More 3/4 x 1/8 weatherstrip is used here to make a seal for the return air. Note that on the second set of air returns shown below, you can see the wall, this is because that lines up to dump into the A/C unit directly once in place.

Heres a view of the cold air duct that will take the air coming from the window A/C unit and duct it into the plenum to kick the whole process off.

One last check to make sure that the PC's line up to the holes properly.

Now that everything looks good, time to fill it up and put it into its final place!
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Next Page: Filling it up, and Firing it up >>
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