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Posted · Original PosterOP

So i was watching the "CPU cooling with boiling liquid" video and when linus showed the cooler at 3:30, it got me thinking, would it possible for a liquid cooler system that could generate steam and drive a small fan that would in turn generate power. Let me explain the thought process. The cooler looks like a very small nuclear reactor, and if you are familiar with how a nuclear reactor power station works you would know that the boiling water in the reactor makes the steam that drives the turbine that generates the power. So what if you applied that same process to a cpu cooler, You have a tank of water that sits on top of the cpu, the heat from the cpu boils the water in turn making steam then that steam is pushed through a fan that would act as the turbine and generate power. Now obviously this doesn't take into account that you need power to get the cpu to heat up or the fact you would need an endless supply of water to the tank that sits on the cpu, but its still fun to think about.  Let me know what you guys think.

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not possible in any sustainable way, while the concept itself would produce some energy its only a tiny little bit, these processes scale very well when going up in size but small scale generators like this are not really efficient.

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That would violate the TOS

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4 minutes ago, jmanflooppy said:

no need to be  rude, it was just an idea that crossed my mind

The idea of a machine that creates more energy than it uses has crossed everyones mind

Nasa would be very interested in it the second you get it working

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From Wikipedia:


The electric efficiency of a conventional steam-electric power plant, considered as saleable energy produced at the plant busbars compared with the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33 to 48% efficient, limited as all heat engines are by the laws of thermodynamics (See: Carnot cycle). The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. 



If your PC produces 100W of heat, but only gets 48W back, it obviously won't work. 



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9 minutes ago, emosun said:

The idea of a machine that creates more energy than it uses has crossed everyones mind

Kickstarter is always chock-full of projects that claim to do exactly this and there are always idiots who actually believe the completely utopistic claims there and then back the project. It's quite amazing.

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51 minutes ago, jmanflooppy said:

boiling water in the reactor makes the steam that drives the turbine that generates the power

It's more efficient to use molten salt then to heat water, because it is more stable. And a CPU wouldn't be able to get salt hot enough. 

The concept wouldn't work unless using a really high powered CPU, it could work for a large super computer, but just wouldn't make sense for a desktop. And conservation of energy wold render it useless anyway. 

Nice idea but it would have been done before. 

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11 hours ago, jmanflooppy said:

the heat from the cpu boils the water

You'd need a 9900K to boil water though

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