Liquid cooling..coolant.

By thunderfish ·
Hey Guys, Gals.

I have a Zalman Resorator 3 setup installed on my Intel, It;s has been in place for a little less then a year, and it works flawlessly without incident. I was wondering weather or not anyone knows of a viable alternative coolant solution for this rig outside of the funk-blue smurf blood?

Its already well surpassed the pifling warranty, and I guess as long as the substance wont eat the powder coating off the inside of the cooler, or melt my lines, eat everything in sight (no hydrochloric acid unfortunately, or fluorine) It could be thrown in and benchmarked.

I maintain about a 25:1 ratio of distilled water and Zalman Coolant. Checking the level monthly. No bacteria to ick smell and it states in the manual to flush and change it annually, and that date is coming up on the 11th.

For those who are not familliar, The cooling tower or torpedo is basically a powdercoated/anodized aluminum heat sink, with a fish tank pump, nylon lines, anodized aluminum water blocks, with an exception to the cpu block which is a combination gold plated brass, bolted to an anodized aluminum manifold with a rubber o-ring to keep it from drooling all over. No fans in the machine, silent as a mouse, with heat sinks on the drives and it is as clean as when I put it together a year ago. :)

I have theorized a few different ideas for coolant, but I wonder what all of you have to say about it.

This is my own rig, so I always love testing wack-ideas on my own stuff (I have heard of break fluid, mineral oil, hydraulic oil, and a few others)

please, please opinions suggestions. I want to know what mad scientists are out there in tech republic land..

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All Answers

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Well as stated above any Coolant will do

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Liquid cooling..coolant.

The Green Automotive Type that you put in Radiators will work OK and not adversely affect the Lines or Seals.

Or you could go for the more expensive Glycerol Type Coolants. These are as used in Race machines for the Water Cooling and some Road Motor Cycles.

Things like Brake Fluid or other Oils are not suitable because Oil cools or heats in Layers unlike water based coolants and require a lot more flow to get the same ratio of cooling. Not to mention any adverse effects on the Seals and Lines that could occur.

With Liquid Colling in Computers you have to make sure that you never suffer from any leaks as most Coolants are Water Based and will kill a M'Board stone dead.

But having said that the chemical that you call Smurf Blood is just there to stop the growth of Algae or other Bacteria which would adversely affect the cooling ability of the Heat Transfer units that tend to be used on the CPU and GPU. The Radiator on the back of the Case is there to shed the heat picked up by the water going over the CPU and GPU so you should make sure that it doesn't become blocked by Air Borne Gunk which will limit the loss of heat. I'm not sure which version of the Zalman Liquid Cooler you have but there should be a fan to push air over the external Radiator. If there isn't one I would suggest fitting one.

If you really want to go crazy you could dump the entire Fluid Cooling system and go to something like the White Oil Cooled system here

If you do something like this you need to remove any Fans but leave the existing Heat sinks. As the Oil used in things like this is much more vicious than water based coolants you need to rely on Thermo Siphoning Effects not oil movement caused by fans.

Oh and just in case you haven't realized this yet Oil Colling is very messy particularly when you need to do any Service Work but at least it's Non-conductive so Electrically it's Safe.

As for what you are currently using it's safe for several years you need to watch for Bacteria and Algae Growth and ideally you should change the coolant before anything else starts to grow inside the system.


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re:Well as stated above any Coolant will do

by thunderfish In reply to Well as stated above any ...

The type I have in use right now is thus:

So no external fan, convection to cool, and it sits on the floor away from any heat registers. The 'torpedo' works as an effective heat sink/reservoir.. with nice paint.

Simple design, to access the pump at the bottom, no long screw driver is necessary. You just un-screw the bottom like the top(carefully not to rip the o-ring) and toss the whole torpedo works into the dishwasher. Replacing the pump is as simple as un doing a feed line, two screws and the pump body pops off the lower manifold via another o-ring and inside theres two connects for the ac.

The water blocks operate under the same principle. Screws, o-ring.. clamshell design.

all the fittings are stainless, with poly tubes clamped with spring fittings for maintaining a seal under any temperature.

The pump uses 110 switched power, no ground (kind of disturbing but hey..if it works don't fix it)

The pump is always on when running as its switched independently from the machine. Always. So growth inside the machine will be interesting to find as the liquid never stops moving.

Question. What about under-counter cleaning detergents (not CLR) but mr-clean? diluted in a water solution? The ethylene glycol, is it in the water to make it absorb the heat better, or for resistance to sub-zero temperatures? This unit never sees the outside, so it doesn't freeze.

What about Alcohol? I know it evaporates faster when heated, so coolant levels would need allot more maintained, but it is more exothermic then water, and corrosion resistant in most cases.
I have some scraps of materials, I suppose I could submerse a spare block (I have 3 extra cpu blocks)in any solution for 48 - 72 hrs at various degrees of temperature and look for signs of corrosion. Plastic materials as well.

My main question or theory is there should be a solution out there that can withstand higher sustained temperatures, absorb and dissipate heat faster then water/glycol but is not a corrosive and resistant to bacterial infestation.

heck, Bacardi 151 could go in here..but it wouldn't be very responsible.

all in the name of science of course.

the comments suggestions are awesome..I will have some pictures up soon. I promise.

thanks guys. This ain't over.. no not by a long shot.. keep it coming..

"once this baby hits 88 miles an hour, your gonna see some serious ...."

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Go forth

by santeewelding In reply to Liquid cooling..coolant.

Let us know of Unintended Consequences.

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one more foot note.

by thunderfish In reply to Go forth

..just noticed that this product:

under the specifications tab notes the Ph level of the coolant.

Does this have anything to do to inhibit the growth of alge? realizing that a computer system gets no where near as hot as a vehicles engine. The ZM bottle lists nothing under this category.

could that be the defining factor?

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pH 7,5-8 is near to water's...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to one more foot note.

which is 7.
So doubtfully you'll see much difference there. Remember that pH is logarithmic (negative log [H+]), so the real difference between 7 and 8 is one power of ten less than that of the difference between 8 and 9.
You can buy an acidity test cheap... measure the smurf blood yourself.

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Lessons learnt from pizza - tomato sauce!

by TobiF In reply to Liquid cooling..coolant.

I read somewhere many years ago that the reason you burn your mouth on pizza is that the tomato sauce captures and carries so much heat.

Maybe you should try to fill your system with tomato sause?

On second thought, maybe better to use the sauce on pizza, after all.

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Pure mercury would suck it up bigtime...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Lessons learnt from pizza ...

but is not recommendable!
You'll be mad as a hatter (specifically) in no time.

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Then there is the small problem

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Pure mercury would suck i ...

Of the Heat Capture Devices falling off the chips that they are placed on to cool.

Mercury besides being more than slightly poisonous is very heavy. I very much doubt that the fixing devices in this system was designed to carry that much weight.

But if you could get the mercury it would be very safe provided that you didn't knock the Radiator over and spill it. Of course throwing a lump of gold on the floor near the Mercury will clean it up quickly.


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by santeewelding In reply to Pure mercury would suck i ...

Let me show you how much I know about all this.


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I will try this..

by thunderfish In reply to Here


Yup.. regular Listerine... alcoholically based.. for testing and theory additives..detergents or modifications

I will 1st break down the system. Clean it thoroughly and re fill it with regular smegular tap water.

Then perform a 48hr test.

After the 48 hrs, I will drain the system, then re-fill with a 50% water and Listerine mix. and re test for 48hrs under the same conditions.

Then I will drain the system, clean, and re fill with automotive eythel glycol 20:80 ratio and test again for 48hrs.

Then study the results. and have a cookie.

meh..something to do.

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