Saturday, February 28, 2009

A failed Hybrid Cooling Project

The hybrid cooling project, I got this idea when I saw Dell using their H2C cooling system in their XPS series. What is a hybrid cooling system ? Well, its basically a cooling system that based on water cooling and peltier cooling.

In conventional Water Cooling System, the liquid is cooled by the radiator before returning to the reservoir. The hybrid cooling system basically are based on the same concept but instead of cooled by only the radiator, the liquid cooled by TEC units before radiator. A high wattage TEC module could easily cool a CPU below ambient, so when things cooled below ambient, we have condensation problem. Theoritically with the hybrid cooling concept, the radiator will make sure the temperature of the coolant will stay around ambient temperature.

Here is a quick peak of the Dell H2C:

And here is my own custom built with the same concept but with some low end feature without any sensors nor controllers. But its based on the same concept of the H2c, the liquid coolant ( instead of H2C's gel alike coolant) flow from pump to CPU Waterblock, cooled by the TEC module, then by the radiator and flow back to the reservoir. The hotside of the TEC module were cooled by CM Hyper 212 Air Cooler. TEC used were 90watt peltier if I not remember wrongly.

The time I built this, I was on C2D e8400, i got 2-3c lower only with the TEC module on, and nowhere its near the ambient, so I guess its a failed project.

Major factor of the failure:
-Not enough cooling surface for the coldside of the peltier module, should have gone for dual peltier in parallel setup with a huge copper plate linked to at least 2 or more waterblocks so that the cold side have sufficient contact with the loop.

-The radiator are pulling hot air from inside of the system, and bringing up the temperature.

-Maybe I need higher wattages peltiers.

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