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Pump and Block Design Advice Needed

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I look to you watercooling gurus for some advice. Before you recommend a commercial PC watercooling pump, I am not buying one.


A friend and I are going to be building a homemade, external watercooling box similar to Koolance's Exos over winter break away from college, possibly starting over Thanksgiving break.


We have 2 radiators, or possibly they are small condensors... they will mount a 120mm fan without problem. One can be seen here and here. The ID of the pipes on them appear to be 3/8", so flow wont be half bad. We were planning on using both of them (I only have those pictures of the one, they are very similar). We cant decide on how to orient them - in series or parallel (using Y splits). Then, we dont know if we should just get 1 powerful pump and put that before the rads, and then from the rads, flow out of the case, to the blocks, then back to the res/pump. I think we should have 2 decent pumps, one to pump the water through the rads and then another to pump the water from the rads to the case though about 3 feet of tubing.


I will try and get some pictures up of my prelim designs of the layout sometime soon.


Now - about the pumps. What is a good flow rate and head for a pump? We were looking into pond pumps because a decent (or so we think) pump can be had for $30.


Onto the block design. We are going to be designing and building our own blocks. My friend is working on a mechanical engineering degree, and in his machine tools and machining class, he has access to all the tools and CNC he would need to make some blocks. We were thinking just a CPU block for now to see how well it would work. I dont know how we should orient the fins or passages inside the block to maximize the cooling potential. How should the blocks be machined?


Back to the pumps. You may have realized that these pumps will be 120v AC, meant to be plugged into a wall. Yes, those are the pumps we are planning to use. Im working on an electrical engineering degree, and I will have access to tools and parts to create a simple relay that we will use to turn our pumps on when the computer turns on. Im talking with my professor about that so I dont think I need any help with that other than one question - should I use the 12v or the 5v line from the PSU to power the relay? Im sure it depends on the relay in question.


The general plan is Im going to use a molex connector to go from the main computer with the components in it, to go to a relay. This relay will be activated, which will turn on a junk 250w power supply in the "water box." This same relay will also power on the pump(s) at the same time. This power supply will then power 4 or 5, 120mm fans to cool the radiators and one to blow on the pumps for good measure. We are also thinking about using it to power some LEDs or ligthing of some sort to keep the load up so the power supply doesnt fry itself.


I think thats all you need to know for now... if you have any questions, be sure to ask because Im sure Ive forgotten something.


Of course, when we build this, there will be pictures of the entire process. ;)


EDIT Here is a picture of my prelim design. I know the case isnt very proportionate, but you get the idea. If one pump isnt enough (is 300GPH & 6ft head enough? Its 3/8" tubing and I dont want to blow it out)... I was thinking mount another pump after the rads join back up and then use that to pump the water to the other case. I know its weird having 2 pumps in the same loop, but with the mixture of 2 rads with 3/8" ID tubing is just, I dont know, restrictive.

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Is this a school project? I hate to ask but what are some of the real goals of this design true effecency, all out cooling ability? First realize that you want a pump that maximizes head for most systems with reasonbable flow a final flow of 3gpm would be good.

Go to systems cooling and check out some of the posts by cathar Billa and the like they have some good info.


Some obvious issues with your plan bigger is not better with pumps two small effecent pumps ore one high head pum is best you really can go overkill with to big of a pump as it also dumps heat into the system. Danner mag3 is one of the better pond pumps though unless you have a sizable radiator to dump the extra heat it is overkill.


Second that is not the most effecent radiator for lower speed fans though it is workable. The heatercore is arguabaly the most effective design with flat tubes lower fin cound and large surface area. You can get these for 20 usd at auto stores and they are bigger than ones twice the price made for PC's.


The placement of the pumps is optinal flow equalts the total of the resistance so put them whereever you wnat within reason.


If you have access to a CNC (and know more than the basics)study Cathars storm G4 or G5 they are the pinnacle of waterblcok design he also made this with CNC these original ones were made by him before the design was sold to swifttec. DD does good too but choose a lower restriction and also works very well- lower flow equates to smaller pump lower heat dump from the pump and higher flow rates int eh rad and such improving heat transfer in the rad---- as usual there are always trade offs. Unless going for jut the CPU or a all out max system DD is likly better due to the flow rates. one lpm real flow should be your goal.



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We are doing it just for fun and to see if we can actually do it. If we can actually do it, as in, design our own blocks, mod a case to look somewhat professional and such, and then actually make it work and lower temps, then we will actually do it.


When my friend and I were modding our old cases, we had a lot of fun doing it, so we figured why not make a water cooling case just for the fun of modding it.

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