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Thread: Ubuntu Underwater Edition

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  1. #1
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    Talking Ubuntu Underwater Edition

    Hi All,

    I just wanted to share a little experiment myself and a friend had done. We all know about computers running submerged in mineral oil. But I thought that it would way cooler (literally) to run a computer submerged in water.

    The only thing we needed to do was protect the metal contacts from shorting in the water.

    Here is the youtube video we uploaded. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZWdaOV731I As you can see it's running the Ubuntu Live CD and is running GLXGEARS while submerged in water.

    Even thought the video mentioned that it ran 41 minutes at the time, the system ran stable for 4 hours underwater. Then the video card gave out somewhere and we lost video. We could still do things (since we heard the CD spin up) but couldn't see.

    We replaced the video card (it was still working, but I actually think it was bad from the beginning) and ran the test for a few more hours.

    Can you imagine the applications that this could be used for it we can get this to run long time???

  2. #2
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    This one ranks right up there with the other top "Kids, don't try this at home" stupid PC cooling tricks that people have done over the years.

    I suppose someone had to try it at some point, just like the Liquid Nitrogen overclockings, and other similar gems. Now, if only I could afford the $2k or more for the Galinstan I want to do MY contribution to this category...

  3. #3
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    This one ranks right up there with the other top "Kids, don't try this at home" stupid PC cooling tricks that people have done over the years.

    I suppose someone had to try it at some point, just like the Liquid Nitrogen overclockings, and other similar gems. Now, if only I could afford the $2k or more for the Galinstan I want to do MY contribution to this category...
    Aww... "stupid"? Come on. I admit we used old hardware for now, since if it did fry, we didn't want to shell out too much cash. But we are still experimenting. Just wait for the updates.

    The current goal is to have the machine running stable for a week underwater, and have goldfish warm themselves on the chipset!

  4. #4
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    A current machine should easily generate enough warmth to boil the water in no time (at wich point the hardware will probably have failed already), so you will have to add some water circulation and radiators to get rid of the heat. And then I really don't see the advantage this has over a regular watercooled rig.

    So while this certainly is a cool (hoho) experiment I don't think it's of any practical use.

  5. #5
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhick View Post
    A current machine should easily generate enough warmth to boil the water in no time (at wich point the hardware will probably have failed already), so you will have to add some water circulation and radiators to get rid of the heat. And then I really don't see the advantage this has over a regular watercooled rig.

    So while this certainly is a cool (hoho) experiment I don't think it's of any practical use.
    It ran overnight, and to my surprise the water was just lukewarm. I believe it actually is evaporating before it gets warm at all. What it needs currently is something to keep the water level up. In fact, the water level didn't move down much at all.

    Pratical Use? Ummm... not sure about that. But something may transpire. Until then we're having fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhick View Post
    A current machine should easily generate enough warmth to boil the water in no time (at wich point the hardware will probably have failed already), so you will have to add some water circulation and radiators to get rid of the heat. And then I really don't see the advantage this has over a regular watercooled rig.

    So while this certainly is a cool (hoho) experiment I don't think it's of any practical use.
    Uh... Boil the water? Not likely...

    Water requires approximately 965 BTUs to boil one pound of water to steam at 212 deg F. If you apply the typical conversions, this translates into something on the order of 285 watts in an hour's time- with your water being held at 212 deg F and NO thermal losses out of the water.

    One pound of water translates into a little shy of 1/8th of a US gallon of water. In the video, it looks like there's 2, maybe 2.5 gallons of water. This means that you will need to inject 16 or more times the wattage over time to accomplish the same goal as you would with one pound of the liquid. This means you will need to inject something on the order of 4523 (More if there's more water...) watts of thermal dissipation per hour to accomplish a boil-off of the water in one hour's time, again provided you keep the water's temperature at 212 deg F and do NOT allow it to dissipate ANY of that heat so inputted into the system.

    Now, that's not going to happen. There's radiative losses out the sides and bottom of the bowl. There's radiative and evaporative thermal losses from the air-water interface on the top. There's proably at least 300 or so BTUs/hr of loss from those sources- perhaps more. You have to get the water to the magic temp and ditch those losses above and beyond the stated 4523 BTUs/hr to boil that tub of water off like you intimate will happen. If you don't, the system reaches an equilibrium temperature short of the boiling point.

    Moreover, this presumes you hit the magic temperature. This would require you inputing 40 BTUs/per pound/deg F temperature raised. If you don't prevent approximately 89600 BTUs from leaving the system within the previous hour, you won't even GET to boiling temperatures. Now, this translates into 1494 BTUs/minute that you HAVE to keep from leaving the system to get it up to even boiling temps.

    Right now, I don't know of any machine that cranks out 4.6-5kW of thermals right at the moment. You'd need that to boil the water in that tub. And, this doesn't even come close to talking to what the thermal losses take away from you on this one with this situation.

    Now, having said all of this, can it keep up and keep something reasonably cooled? Perhaps. It's all in how many watts of heat that the system makes and how many watts are lost to thermal losses getting to equilibrium. I suspect all but the high-end gamer systems would just warm up the water a bit and run fine, sans shorting out. You get high point heat temps and thermals that can boil because you're using a constrained heat exchanger in most water cooling rigs (to keep the water away from the system, something he's not bothering with...) which means you've got a smaller volume of water that you're directly heating- which CAN cause boiling and you need the radiator, etc. to ditch the heat.

    I agree with the conclusion you arrived at- it's not practical in the slightest. But the grounds and the premise you use I don't at all agree with.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 08-25-2008 at 08:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Update ...

    Just a quick update for those who are interested:

    So the company KROWN got back to us and promised to sponsor some more experiments, since until now we used old junk.

    I went out and purchased a P5N-MX with an E1200. Got wireless keyboard and mouse, and a 8GB flash stick (which got Ubuntu 8.04 on it). Also, got bluetooth and wireless networking.

    The current setup has an integrated video, and only the power and the video cable going to it.

    The first test run was pretty impressive indeed. The processor never went over 30*C (which isn't great since I didn't overclock, but the fan couldn't spin in the water... so it kinda made up for it) at 100% load. I also loaded the video card to the max, which would have heated the chipset up pretty good. But the chipset never went past 14*C, even after 12 Hrs of running.

    I think if I could get the fan to spin on the CPU I could bring the temp down there as well.

    Overall the system ran stable for 12 Hrs @ 100% load. I had a temperature sensors in the water, and the water never went past the temperature of the chipset (always a little lower than the chipset).

    There were two mayor issues though, which happened in the previous tests as well:
    One issue that transpired was electrolysis. Even though the KROWN product protected the contacts from shorting, for some reason there were 4 SMT Capacitors that had one pole of it eaten away (if you looked at the process of electrolysis you'd see that it eats the metal in the process) almost completely (system still ran, but we shut it down).

    The second issue was the CMOS battery. Because the housing of it is made in a stainless metal the protective product would not stick to it (asking KROWN about that they confirmed that KROWN T-40 does not stick to plastics or stainless metals ... what would be the point anyways!)
    So we got some bad corrossion on the battery. We tested one battery with KROWN and one without, and the one without would COMPLETELY rust within an 1 1/2 Hrs... crazy electrolysis!!! With the product it at least lasted longer, but still not satisfactory. That is why we currently run the tests without a battery until we figure out how to fix that (but this means no overclocking).

    It has been very interesting so far to see what happens. Our goal is still to have it run underwater, but we may need to help things on a few parts of the board (some other coating??)

    Oh, BTW, we submerged one board in water without anything on it. It wasn't pretty. First, it shut off almost instantly and the proceeded to *decompose* (strange green slime) within a couple hrs. Funny enough the PSU still worked after. It must have had some protection inside it.

    I need to take more pictures and videos and then edit together another YOUTUBE of this new experiment. We checked the PH level too, BTW, so that if we have some Goldfish in there they won't die on us.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrawoger View Post
    Aww... "stupid"? Come on. I admit we used old hardware for now, since if it did fry, we didn't want to shell out too much cash. But we are still experimenting. Just wait for the updates.

    The current goal is to have the machine running stable for a week underwater, and have goldfish warm themselves on the chipset!
    It's "stupid" as in "Nobody in their right mind would EVER do this...but it's damned cool all the same".

    Immersing something in water right after a protracted immersion in water dispersant compound isn't sane. You can't describe it any other way. And I'm waiting to see the end results- believe it. The truth be known, however, I'm not much better, really- liquid metal and vapor-phase cooling with WATER instead of freon isn't exactly "sane" either.

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