Jump to content

Water Cooling My House

James
 Share

My rack-mounted gaming computers are putting out major HEAT into my mechanical room and I only have one way to cool this mess: water cooling the whole room using a PT Cruiser radiator in my backyard. It's not as stupid as it sounds!

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Really, an aluminum radiator. you can still get brass radiators from summit racing. They might be expensive but you wont have any corrosion issues. Compared to PC watercooling stuff they are actually not that bad. This one for 300$ would be a great fit  https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-382008

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the answer might just be “so we could make a video about it” but I have to ask, why not just a separate AC unit for the mechanical room?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same issue, working on making my own server room in the basement and currently dual 42U racks. I ended up using negative pressure racks with ducting through the outer wall, ended up right behind the air to water heater we use for the pool. Also if you use proper servers, they should be more then fine in higher temps. I maintained around 30 C (as many DCs do) without a problem when I had it in my living room before. Quantas handle it very well 

Let me know if you want some more info on it! 🙂
 

 

Racks support dual 150mm ducting in 2 channels. So I can select either to send the air outside the house, or recirculate them into the house if its cold) You can see the return ducting on top of the rack here... 

316574130_1472938496533092_5753038516145448795_n (1).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, seanondemand said:

I know the answer might just be “so we could make a video about it” but I have to ask, why not just a separate AC unit for the mechanical room?

Air conditioning draws a lot more power than a pump and some fans.

 

Even a lot of actual datacenters tries to go "passive" cooling when available. And with modern servers aiming at a 40-45 C ambient temperature, it is rather easy to stay warmer than the outdoor environment. Making the need for ACs rather unnecessary on all but the warmest days. Though, this obviously depends on where one is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did linus not have a Fan bracket+grill lasercut on their CNC machine?

Its better than to ziptie every fan

╔═════════════╦═══════════════════════════════════════════╗
║__________________║ hardware_____________________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ cpu ______________║ ryzen 9 5900x_________________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ GPU______________║ ASUS strix LC RX6800xt______________________________________ _║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ motherboard_______ ║ asus crosshair formulla VIII______________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ memory___________║ CMW32GX4M2Z3600C18 ______________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ SSD______________║ Samsung 980 PRO 1TB_________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ PSU______________║ Corsair RM850x 850W _______________________ __________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ CPU cooler _______ ║ Be Quiet be quiet! PURE LOOP 360mm ____________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ Case_____________ ║ Thermaltake Core X71 __________________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ HDD_____________ ║ 2TB and 6TB HDD ____________________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ Front IO__________   ║ LG blu-ray drive & 3.5" card reader, [trough a 5.25 to 3.5 bay]__________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣ 
║ OS_______________ ║ Windows 10 PRO______________________________________________║
╚═════════════╩═══════════════════════════════════════════╝

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, darknessblade said:

Why did linus not have a Fan bracket+grill lasercut on their CNC machine?

Its better than to ziptie every fan

It's a temporary solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.jpeg.81bb67228cf68cad22f2f8a1d3a528de.jpeg

 

The term is "air to water heat exchanger" they're made for HVAC purposes.  Buy a 21" x 21" and a box fan mates up nicely to it.

 

That pump they used is also absurd.  You only need the one on the right of this picture.

 

And stick with 5/8" ID stuff so then you can use garden hose fittings and hose.

Workstation:  12900KF @ 5.2Ghz || MSI Pro-A Z690 DDR4 || MSI Gaming Trio 4090 Shunt || G.Skill 3866 4x8GB || Corsair AX1500i@240V || whole-house loop.

LANRig/GuestGamingBox: 9900nonK || Gigabyte Z390 Master || ASUS TUF 3090 650W shunt || Corsair SF600 || CPU+GPU watercooled 280 rad pull only || whole-house loop.

Server Router (Untangle): 8350K @ 4.7Ghz || ASRock Z370 ITX || 2x8GB 3200 || PicoPSU 250W, running on AX1200i || whole-house loop.

Server Compute/Storage: 10850K @ 5.1Ghz || Gigabyte Z490 Ultra || EVGA FTW3 3090 1000W || LSI 9280i-24 port || 4TB Samsung 860 Evo, 5x10TB Seagate Enterprise Raid 6, 4x8TB Seagate Archive Backup ||  whole-house loop.

Laptop: HP Elitebook 840 G8 (Intel 1185G7) + 3080Ti Thunderbolt Dock, Razer Blade Stealth 13" 2017 (Intel 8550U)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay with air cooling for the hardware and don't make it too complicated.  In the winter, you could run the hot water into the return of the central heating to make use of the heat if your temperatures are low enough for that and when you have a bypass to make sure the coolant flow never stops.  I'd sure hate to see all the energy being wasted.  In the summer, the pool may be the best option because it'll contain the coldest medium.

 

You may need more radiators and perhaps need to catch condensation dripping from the radiators if they're getting cold enough.  With more radiators, you may need to figure out if you need hoses/pipes with a larger diameter.

 

@V8power

There are also plastic radiators.  Those might be more suited for this.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing as the datacenters do is a great idea.  Aircool the actual hardware then watercool the air.  There is one other possibility.  In winter time could they not vent the hot air into the living space of the house?  I don't mean having water and putting that into the heating water system.  I mean just force that hot air right into a room that could use some heating.  No water no moving parts, no bs.

Since this is in the basement having an airduct and perhaps a fan would do it.  Even without having a fan convection alone would do it.  Even in the midwestern USA in summer the basement is at least 10-20 degrees cooler by nature due to hot air just rising. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe they could flush the warm air into the living area through the air ducts of the air condition.  Then the question is how do they move the cold air from the living area into the basement to replace the air that was removed from the basement.  If they were to draw air into the basement from the outside, they'd blow the relatively warm air out of the living area to the outside and a lot of energy would be lost.

 

So it would be more efficient to route the heat into the return of the central heating.  The central heating already does the job that needs to be done anyway by transporting some cold medium (i. e. water) from the living area into the basement where it goes into the boiler to get warmed up.  They could as well pre-warm the water with the heat from the computers and save on gas (or whatever the boiler uses).  Floor heating uses relatively low temperatures and is like ideally suited for this, and I seem to remember that they have that.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ground source heat pump is probably what you want in the end for cooling the room year round. Expensive up front but it'll cool in the summer not just the winter and realistically it's a pretty efficient way to heat and cool your whole house. You might be able to get away with just sinking heat right into the ground with water but I don't know what your average ground temp is below the frost line and how much of a gradient you'd get, I'd guess your ground temp below the frost line is between 50 and 60F pretty much year round. One thing absent from the loop was any kind of anti-freeze which may not be an issue given the water coming in from the loop isn't anywhere near freezing but it would be wise to give it some kind of freeze protection with some fairly safe animal friendly propylene glycol, a 20% solution will drop your freeze point of water to -7 C (19F) which would probably be enough protection given the loop is moving pretty fast and the hot side is fairly warm. It's mostly insurance in case the pump stops or the heat load vanishes or you get an extreme cold snap. Burst stuff isn't very fun.

https://corecheminc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Freeze-Point-Chart-GlycoChill-Propylene-Glycol-Heat-Transfer-Fluid.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pimping my janky build since it was inspired by the original videos 

 

Bypasses/valves are to change between just using the outside rad and not the internals or both or disconnect the external rad, as a way to fight condensation...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, ToboRobot said:

It's a temporary solution.

Even if its temporarily, it would look better, and is more structural. I can see a update video in the future, where they are upgrading the temporarily solution, to contain high cpfm fans

╔═════════════╦═══════════════════════════════════════════╗
║__________________║ hardware_____________________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ cpu ______________║ ryzen 9 5900x_________________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ GPU______________║ ASUS strix LC RX6800xt______________________________________ _║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ motherboard_______ ║ asus crosshair formulla VIII______________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ memory___________║ CMW32GX4M2Z3600C18 ______________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ SSD______________║ Samsung 980 PRO 1TB_________________________________________ ║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ PSU______________║ Corsair RM850x 850W _______________________ __________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ CPU cooler _______ ║ Be Quiet be quiet! PURE LOOP 360mm ____________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ Case_____________ ║ Thermaltake Core X71 __________________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ HDD_____________ ║ 2TB and 6TB HDD ____________________________________________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ Front IO__________   ║ LG blu-ray drive & 3.5" card reader, [trough a 5.25 to 3.5 bay]__________║
╠═════════════╬═══════════════════════════════════════════╣ 
║ OS_______________ ║ Windows 10 PRO______________________________________________║
╚═════════════╩═══════════════════════════════════════════╝

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, darknessblade said:

Even if its temporarily, it would look better, and is more structural. I can see a update video in the future, where they are upgrading the temporarily solution, to contain high cpfm fans

Time and money spent on temporary solutions can be a waste.  Good enough was good enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Nystemy said:

Air conditioning draws a lot more power than a pump and some fans.

 

Even a lot of actual datacenters tries to go "passive" cooling when available. And with modern servers aiming at a 40-45 C ambient temperature, it is rather easy to stay warmer than the outdoor environment. Making the need for ACs rather unnecessary on all but the warmest days. Though, this obviously depends on where one is.

Def.  It's far cheaper to exhaust heat outside of the building than to fight heat with cooling.  You're basically pointing your air conditioner at your oven, turning both on, and watching the electric meter tick away.

Desktop: Ryzen 9 3950X, Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus, 64GB DDR4, MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio, Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

Gaming PC #2: Ryzen 9 3900X, Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus, 32GB DDR4, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 1080

Gaming PC #3: Intel i7 4790, Asus B85M-G, 16B DDR3, XFX Radeon R9 390X DD XXX OC

WFH PC: Intel i7 4790, Asus B85M-F, 16GB DDR3, MSI RX 560 2GB

UnRAID #1: Intel E5-2697v2, Asus P9X79 LE, 48GB DDR3, Radeon HD 5450

UnRAID #2: Intel E5-2603v2, Asus P9X79 LE, 24GB DDR3, Radeon HD 5450

MiniPC: Lenovo M93P Tiny: i7 4950HQ, 16GB DDR3 
Windows XP Retro PC: Intel i3 3250, Asus P8B75-M LX, 8GB DDR3, Sapphire Radeon HD 6850, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy

Windows 9X Retro PC: Intel E5800, ASRock 775i65G r2.0, 1GB DDR1, AGP Sapphire Radeon X800 Pro, Creative Sound Blaster Live!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, CerealExperimentsLain said:

Def.  It's far cheaper to exhaust heat outside of the building than to fight heat with cooling.  You're basically pointing your air conditioner at your oven, turning both on, and watching the electric meter tick away.

Yes. Keeping the room from heating up is a lot easier if it is a comfortable temperature outside one's window. Using a heat pump isn't always the best solution.

At least a lot of larger HVAC systems have the ability to "bypass" the heat pump when applicable. Depending on the exact setup, this can either be trivial or quite involved. But it is often worth while.

Another nice thing for both data centers and larger buildings in general is thermal mass. Even without actual cooling it can still take a good long while for the temperature to change, and with basic thermal buffers hours of cooling free operation can be achieved in most data centers. A simple thermal buffer is to just dump a hose beneath the building's foundation (though hard to do on existing buildings), using the ground beneath as the thermal buffer. But large water tanks is also fairly common. Haven't seen that many new data centers without thermal buffers of some sort. So if the out door temperature gets a bit "too warm" for a couple of hours, still no need to turn on the AC, one can ride through a shorter heat wave. (another bigger reason for thermal buffers is if the AC breaks. So even if the buffer is used in normal operation, some reserve capacity will be kept just in case an AC unit or three fails.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Bitter said:

Ground source heat pump is probably what you want in the end for cooling the room year round.

This is exactly what I was going to post. The temperature 3 to 6 feet below ground is surprisingly consistent year-round. It's possible the existing mystery loop could be enough to support the rack's heat load, depending on how long and deep it is. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

 

1 minute ago, Nystemy said:

At least a lot of larger HVAC systems have the ability to "bypass" the heat pump when applicable. Depending on the exact setup, this can either be trivial or quite involved. But it is often worth while.

If you're just running forced air rooftop units, an economizer can be implemented as simply as opening the return to the outside. If your place relies on a chiller plant producing cold water for ducted air handlers that don't connect outside, you're kind of SOL if your whole plant goes down. (I've dealt with both.)

Dell owns my soul.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Needfuldoer said:

If you're just running forced air rooftop units, an economizer can be implemented as simply as opening the return to the outside. If your place relies on a chiller plant producing cold water for ducted air handlers that don't connect outside, you're kind of SOL if your whole plant goes down. (I've dealt with both.)

Carrying heat via a coolant (like water) is quite common. But at least one can have simple radiators out door in parallel with the chillers. Of course with valves to selectively choose what cooler one uses. Some chillers do have this as an inbuilt feature, since it often is rather simple to implement. (it is often just a valve and a second set of pipes in the radiator. Or just a second radiator. If the ambient is cold enough as is, then running the heat pump is a bit unnecessary.)

 

However, owners of "small" systems usually don't care too much about these generally marginal gains. But when things goes larger the difference in efficiency becomes a more worthwhile investment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

As many videos as they're making about The House™ it might as well be a commercial building at this point and probably needs commercial level HVAC. 😅

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 things I hope Alex and Linus did outside of this video:

 

1. Put antifreeze in the loop

 

2. Put a condensation pan with an outlet to the drain on the indoor radiator. 
 

 

EDIT:// none of these things where really needed at the outside temps when this was filmed but they will be needed when winter hits for real

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/25/2022 at 3:12 PM, Nystemy said:

Yes. Keeping the room from heating up is a lot easier if it is a comfortable temperature outside one's window. Using a heat pump isn't always the best solution.

At least a lot of larger HVAC systems have the ability to "bypass" the heat pump when applicable. Depending on the exact setup, this can either be trivial or quite involved. But it is often worth while.

Another nice thing for both data centers and larger buildings in general is thermal mass. Even without actual cooling it can still take a good long while for the temperature to change, and with basic thermal buffers hours of cooling free operation can be achieved in most data centers. A simple thermal buffer is to just dump a hose beneath the building's foundation (though hard to do on existing buildings), using the ground beneath as the thermal buffer. But large water tanks is also fairly common. Haven't seen that many new data centers without thermal buffers of some sort. So if the out door temperature gets a bit "too warm" for a couple of hours, still no need to turn on the AC, one can ride through a shorter heat wave. (another bigger reason for thermal buffers is if the AC breaks. So even if the buffer is used in normal operation, some reserve capacity will be kept just in case an AC unit or three fails.)

One thing I've been wondering, for when I get a house, is if it's possible to vent a rack's exhaust into the HVAC system for heating.  Say, in summer you vent the heat outdoors, but in winter you vent it into the heating system.  If your rack is basically a space heater anyway, why shouldn't that energy be going into the rest of the home when it's cold outside?

Desktop: Ryzen 9 3950X, Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus, 64GB DDR4, MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio, Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

Gaming PC #2: Ryzen 9 3900X, Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus, 32GB DDR4, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 1080

Gaming PC #3: Intel i7 4790, Asus B85M-G, 16B DDR3, XFX Radeon R9 390X DD XXX OC

WFH PC: Intel i7 4790, Asus B85M-F, 16GB DDR3, MSI RX 560 2GB

UnRAID #1: Intel E5-2697v2, Asus P9X79 LE, 48GB DDR3, Radeon HD 5450

UnRAID #2: Intel E5-2603v2, Asus P9X79 LE, 24GB DDR3, Radeon HD 5450

MiniPC: Lenovo M93P Tiny: i7 4950HQ, 16GB DDR3 
Windows XP Retro PC: Intel i3 3250, Asus P8B75-M LX, 8GB DDR3, Sapphire Radeon HD 6850, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy

Windows 9X Retro PC: Intel E5800, ASRock 775i65G r2.0, 1GB DDR1, AGP Sapphire Radeon X800 Pro, Creative Sound Blaster Live!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, CerealExperimentsLain said:

One thing I've been wondering, for when I get a house, is if it's possible to vent a rack's exhaust into the HVAC system for heating.  Say, in summer you vent the heat outdoors, but in summer you vent it into the heating system.  If your rack is basically a space heater anyway, why shouldn't that energy be going into the rest of the home when it's cold outside?

It isn't impossible.

 

Requires a bit of work. But effectively speaking, HVAC systems are a semi "DIY" thing in the professional space.

As in, no system is like another. Ducting and pipework is adapted to whatever the needs of a particular installation is.

 

Want to use the waste heat of a server rack, go for it. Most contractors wouldn't consider it all that weird.
HVAC is after all just about moving air/heat from A to B. Why isn't all that important.

How to implement it in an efficient manner is more debatable and tends to vary with what one aims to do, and what space/location one has to work with. To a degree, can be as simple as a set of fans. One set circulating air into the rest of the building, and the other set circulating air into the outdoors. Then just select what set is running. (the ones going outdoors should preferably be fairly air tight when closed, so that heat don't leak out during winter.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×