Here's a new idea in PC cooling

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maryh
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Here's a new idea in PC cooling

Post by maryh » Sun May 02, 2004 7:52 pm

Hi,

My brother invented a new kind of air conditioner. He now has a prototype for PC's. It's quiet, it's cold and it uses 12v. I'm doing a little research for him and that's how I found you guys.

Check it out and tell me what you think:

FFACS Photo

Thanks, Mary

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Post by al bundy » Sun May 02, 2004 8:24 pm

Welcome maryh!

Looks interesting - Can you describe how quiet the scroll air compressor is, by comparing its noise level to something else we may be familiar with? Also, is there an issue with condensation that might make trouble for use inside a PC case?

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Post by maryh » Sun May 02, 2004 9:15 pm

Hi,

The unit is very quiet. It's quieter than normal PC fans by half. The primary reasons being that a) the only moving part is inside the compressor which can be insulated and b) the FFACS cools air rapidly so you don't get the noise of as much moving air.

Condensation is not a problem but I don't have a technical explanation handy. In the morning I'll get the decible reading and an explanation about the condensation from the engineer.
:)

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Post by trodas » Mon May 03, 2004 12:54 am

It definitively looks promising :P
Condensation problem come only when the part/s get cooled to lover temperature that the surrounding air temp is - this should not be the case :)

(also I did not see a point from cooling the CPU to so low temps, as CPUs tend to work most effectively and flawlessly and fastest at aroud 40 - 70 degrees anyway - some might remember that with drastical unvervolting the CPU, when cold, have problem to start, but when heated to 40+ degrees, working flawlessly even at voltage, at it cannot boot :wink: )

And my second question is, what the hell they are use to check the dB levels if the thing are about half the noise of typical fan, witch could be then somewhat aroung 10 to 15 dB...
...since I tried looking for dB measurment tools once and most of these starting at 40 or at best 30 dB! :roll:
So, measuring something quietier could be a problem, not to mention that the acustic background of normal building will be at about 25+ dB, IMHO...

Someone with bigger knowledge about dB should backup/correct my toughts anway, please :oops:
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Re: Here's a new idea in PC cooling

Post by dukla2000 » Mon May 03, 2004 1:33 am

maryh wrote:Hi,

My brother invented a new kind of air conditioner. He now has a prototype for PC's. It's quiet, it's cold and it uses 12v. I'm doing a little research for him and that's how I found you guys.

Check it out and tell me what you think:

FFACS Photo

Thanks, Mary
Mary - you are in exactly the right place to pick up a whole bunch of slavering morons willing to try if there is any angle for it being quiet! I am sure your brother is anxious to protect his invention, but any technical specs you can dig out & release would keep us salivating. How much power does it use, ...

Ideally if you could get some arrangement together with the SPCR review team, Editor Mike Chin (mikec at silentpcreview dotcom) or reviewers Ralf (ralhutter at silentpcreview dotcom) or Russ (russ at silentpcreview dotcom) could help your brother get some expert attention & publicity!
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maryh
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Post by maryh » Mon May 03, 2004 5:09 am

Hello,

Thanks for your questions.
CPUs tend to work most effectively and flawlessly and fastest at around 40 - 70 degrees anyway
In this prototype the CPU temp is kept between 75-85 degrees F. Improvements can be made as we gather more insight.

And my second question is, what the hell they are use to check the dB levels if the thing are about half the noise of typical fan,
I don't know, yet, what the measured noise level is. I just offered my opinion that it sounds quieter than a normal PC fan. I have sent an email to the engineer in charge of specs and I hope to hear from him today.

When my brother developed this system his primary interest was to invent an a/c system that didn't use freon (or other gases/liquids). The first prototype was installed in a car and tested by GM and others interested in room size a/c systems. This mini-prototype developed because people he met asked if it could be used to cool a computer. The lower noise level, you might say, was a side effect of the technology. For example, it doesn't vibrate the way a fan does. :)
Last edited by maryh on Mon May 03, 2004 5:28 am, edited 3 times in total.

maryh
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Re: Here's a new idea in PC cooling

Post by maryh » Mon May 03, 2004 5:24 am

Mary - you are in exactly the right place to pick up a whole bunch of slavering morons willing to try if there is any angle for it being quiet!
Great. We're on a search for someone who can help us move to the next level. It might be a match made in heaven.
I am sure your brother is anxious to protect his invention, but any technical specs you can dig out & release would keep us salivating.
I'm just the little sister, ya know, but If you keep asking questions, I'll try to find the answers. ;)

Meanwhile, HERE'S a diagram with general informationand HERE'S a bigger picture of the system.
How much power does it use, ...
I believe it uses 12v
Ideally if you could get some arrangement together with the SPCR review team, Editor Mike Chin (mikec at silentpcreview dotcom) or reviewers Ralf (ralhutter at silentpcreview dotcom) or Russ (russ at silentpcreview dotcom) could help your brother get some expert attention & publicity!
That sounds interesting. Arrangements can be made for a demonstration but it has to be for someone who is serious about the invention and able to help us take a step forward.

Thanks!

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Post by sthayashi » Mon May 03, 2004 5:35 am

One thing to keep in mind is that people here are reviewers, not investors. It sounds like investors are what you need at this point.

BTW, power consumption is measured in Watts. If I were to guess, that compressor consumes somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-100W (it's hard to get more accurate than that for compressors without knowing specifics). If it draws more than 100W, it's on the border for being too powerful for a computer and it ought to use it's own power source, rather than the computer's power source. Additionally, if the compressor is really powerful, it should be placed outside the computer. That's because it becomes a heat generator, and it's best to move all major heat generators outside the computer, lest the cause heat-related failures.
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Post by maryh » Mon May 03, 2004 5:58 am

sthayashi wrote:... It sounds like investors are what you need at this point.
We need both. Users help us to determine market demands and a formal review, if any, might reach a potential investor.
If it draws more than 100W, it's on the border for being too powerful for a computer and it ought to use it's own power source, rather than the computer's power source.
I'll find out the wattage, but I know that it can be powered inside the computer without causing heat-related failures. The unit has been tested extensively for all temperature-related issues. The hot air is channeled outside the computer and the internal case temp is at 40-45 degrees.

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Post by Rory B. » Mon May 03, 2004 1:59 pm

Mary

In your "big picture of the system", the heatsink on the north bridge of the motherboard chipset is yellow and says ASUS. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all ASUS boards these days use that big natural-aluminum-colored passive heatsink, without any printing on it? The reason I ask this is because I am wondering if you are trying to tell us that your mini refrigeration system is keeping a 433MHz Intel Celeron at 75-85 deg. F. or if you are actually referring to a modern, very hot processor like the AMD Opteron or Athlon 64 or the Intel Pentium IV or Xeon.

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Post by Tobias » Mon May 03, 2004 2:25 pm

I got a little intrigued by your comment rory, since I recently used two asus-boards with that passive NB you talk about, so I checked around alittle at asus homepage and found out that the mobo on the picture is probably a P4C800S-E Deluxe or similar:) here is the link to asus infopage about the board, if you compare the pictures, you see the resemblance...

http://uk.asus.com/products/mb/socket47 ... erview.htm

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Post by lenny » Mon May 03, 2004 2:49 pm

Mary,

Much as I'm increasingly disappointed with the quality of reviews at Tom's Hardware, I must admit that they have a higher readership than SPCR, and they'll be able to publicize your brother's invention much better.

Tom's Hardware has always been a fan of below ambient cooling for CPU in extreme overclocking experiments. While it doesn't look like your product may go quite to that extreme, it looks like a comfortable middle ground between that and water cooling.

Why am I recommending another site? I'm not. By all means give SPCR the exclusive :-) But if your brother's product really cools effectively with minimal noise, I (and a whole bunch of fellow, erm, "salivating morons") want him to succeed and see this item for sale at a reasonable price.

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Post by Leto » Mon May 03, 2004 3:02 pm

Don't even mention Tom's Hardware, they're stupid.
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Post by afrost » Mon May 03, 2004 4:25 pm

tom's stinks. Anandtech, TheRegister, TheInquirer, OverclockersAustrailia, SPCR, HardOCP.....the list goes on for sites i would rather read.

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Post by chylld » Mon May 03, 2004 4:35 pm

for reviews, i would recommend systemcooling.com and procooling.com and overclockers.com. these sites are highly respected by the hardcore coolers (water, peltier, etc) and will give good exposure to the public.

don't bother with tom's.

as for the product itself, tell your brother that it's a great idea except for one thing - in it's pictured positioning, it makes it nearly impossible to upgrade the agp/pci/pci-x expansion card slots. it's simply in the way and from the pics i don't see how it can be easily removed.

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Post by loren_brothers » Mon May 03, 2004 10:12 pm

Forgive me if this is a stupid question but does this just cool the CPU or the whole case (eliminating the need for fans)??
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Post by Trip » Mon May 03, 2004 10:48 pm

I wonder how that thing would hold up in transit. If it's light enough to integrate into a system or can be bolted into a case, ARM Systems may be interested. 2 reps are actually members of these forums.

Then there's Voodoo, they make the systems in the fanless Zalman cases. EDIT: and Voodoo may be interested in the device since they do the fanless computer.
Last edited by Trip on Tue May 04, 2004 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by CoolGav » Tue May 04, 2004 1:49 am

loren_brothers wrote:Forgive me if this is a stupid question but does this just cool the CPU or the whole case (eliminating the need for fans)??
From what I can see from the diagram and picture Mary has shared, the new air conditioning system her brother has invented allows the CPU heatsink to have cooler air as an intake. It means that more heat can be removed from the HS with the same fan. It's not a fanless solution, just one that allows for slower moving fans, which means quieter.
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Post by silvervarg » Tue May 04, 2004 5:18 am

Since the system is not compleately silent there is not much of a point in compleately removing the fan from the CPU. As long as the fan noise is less than the noise from the compressor it could be acceptable.
In theory you could remove the CPU fan, since it can be cooled with cool air and low airflow from this system. I guess the use of a fan is to achieve lower total noise level or to get increased cooling performance.

If all parts of the system is installed inside the computer it will generate quite a lot of heat, mainly in the heat exchanger. So the need for case fans will be even higher than a normal air-cooled system.

In the schematic picture the CPU fan pushed 26 cfm. With this amount of fan airflow and a good heatsink I can easilly cool an AMD64 CPU. If this system is a lot better we should be able to lower that fan speed a lot and still get acceptable temperatures.

I do find new techniques interesting, but I believe this idea has too proove it's efficiency in a review. I hope SPCR gets a chance to review this system.
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Post by m_yates » Tue May 04, 2004 5:20 am

Some comments:

1. On the diagram/flowchart "water seperator" should be spelled "water separator". You probably want to correct that.

2. Someone already mentioned that the compressor will generate heat. More importantly, when you compress air, it becomes hotter. Notice on the diagram that air leaves the compressor at 220 degrees F (104 C)!! I assume that is why you have a heat exchanger listed in the diagram. That means the compressor and heat exchanger would need to be cooled to deliver compressed air at or near room temperature. That cooling will need to be done OUTSIDE of the computer case and probably requires cooling fans. Feel free to correct me/argue. The reason being, any air conditioner only moves heat from one place to another (see 1st law of thermodynamics). Not only that, but a real air conditioner is inefficient, so it actually produces more heat than removed (see 2nd law of thermodynamics). Therefore, if the entire thing was placed inside a case it would GENERATE heat. It might provide a locally cool spot, but overall it would generate heat that has to be removed by cooling fans or some other means. The reason a home air conditioner cools the home is because the condenser is OUTSIDE the home where heat is rejected (and it has a very loud cooling fan on it).

3. In terms of complexity/cost it seems like what you are competing with is water cooling. What you have is compressed air cooling instead of water. You should take a look at Swiftech products, Zalman water cooling, or related companies and see if you can beat them in terms of price/performance. My guess is that it will be hard to beat a small, quiet water pump with a compressor in terms of noise.

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Post by maryh » Tue May 04, 2004 5:23 am

Good morning everyone,

Thank you for your interest and great questions. I'm not ignoring you, I'm taking notes and trying to get the best answers possible but I haven't been able to reach the engineer, yet.

I'm checking into the kind of CPU that was used for the test but I doubt that they would have used anything outdated.

About the wattage, my dad told me that it is designed to use very low wattage and he would find out the exact number.

Thanks for your patience.

Mary

BTW, I looked at that other recommended sites (Tom's etc.) Thank you. I like it here for now :)

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Post by maryh » Tue May 04, 2004 5:58 am

m_yates wrote:
Someone already mentioned that the compressor will generate heat.

... It might provide a locally cool spot, but overall it would generate heat that has to be removed by cooling fans or some other means. The reason a home air conditioner cools the home is because the condenser is OUTSIDE the home where heat is rejected (and it has a very loud cooling fan on it).
Hi,

Thanks for your comments:

Did you notice that the hot air is discharged outside of the computer and that the internal case temperature was measured at 45 degrees F?

The FFACS is not your typical a/c unit. It is breakthrough technology that has its own patent. The automotive prototype was tested and proven by the people at Ford and GM. I don't have the data in front of me (I hope to get it soon) but basically this unit passed every test with flying colors. It does more for less. It cools air efficiently, quietly and most importantly (in the world of a/c's) without chemicals. It was the a/c performance and specific qualities that prompted person after person to say that a unit like that was need for computers.

This is the first prototype for a computer, he's already working on a second one and every comment is helpful. Thank you

Mary
Last edited by maryh on Tue May 04, 2004 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by maryh » Tue May 04, 2004 6:00 am

silvervarg wrote: I hope SPCR gets a chance to review this system.
Me too. :)

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Post by m_yates » Tue May 04, 2004 6:46 am

Did you notice that the hot air is discharged outside of the computer and that the internal case temperature was measured at 45 degrees F?

The FFACS is not your typical a/c unit. It is breakthrough technology that has its own patent.
It appears that the computer has an inlet line for compressed air, so it looks like the compressor/heat exchanger is outside the computer. Is that true? All I was saying is that the compressor and heat exchanger would likely generate significant heat and need to be placed OUTSIDE the case, which make the cost and complexity similar to piping water using a water-cooling setup. It seems like water cooling is what you are up against. Water cooling has two advantages that I can see that are difficult to beat: (1) the heat conductivity of water is higher than air and (2) liquid pumps usually run quieter than gas compressors.

I understand the operation of your apparatus is different than a conventional air conditioner. In fact, it looks very similar to a vortex tube as sold here: http://www.newmantools.com/vortex.htm Since you have a patent, there must be some differences. However, you can't beat the laws of Thermodynamics. I know that your votex-tube-like apparatus separates hot and cold air streams to eject hot air outside the case. My point wasn't that part of the process, but generating a compressed air stream to run your vortex-tube-like apparatus. Compressing air will generate heat and noise that will be difficult to contend with.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I hope you are successful. The process interests me and I would like to learn more about it. I teach a Thermodynamics course and I am always trying to relate course material to applications. Your process would make a great classroom discussion I think.

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Post by maryh » Tue May 04, 2004 11:01 am

m_yates wrote:
...It appears that the computer has an inlet line for compressed air, so it looks like the compressor/heat exchanger is outside the computer. Is that true?
No, the compressor is inside the computer.

I understand the operation of your apparatus is different than a conventional air conditioner. In fact, it looks very similar to a vortex tube as sold here: http://www.newmantools.com/vortex.htm

It's absolutely not a vortex tube or vortex technology. Vortex technology has been around for a long time and, as I understand it, has been rejected by the a/c industry because of significant obstacles to efficiency.

"...Compressing air will generate heat and noise that will be difficult to contend with.
Respecfully, air-compression systems, as you know them, contend with these difficulties. However, this is technology that you haven't seen. No one has.

The PC FFACS has demonstrated that it does not cause problems with internal heat by the fact that the internal case temp was measured at 45 degrees during testing. In addition, it has a low noise level. Part of the reason is because of the high efficiency of this unit. Unlike other cooling systems, it has few subsystems, it works with low energy input and it uses low compressed air. Each of these things reduce production of heat and noise.

The FFACS will have some benefits over water-cooling such as compatibility, mobility, low maintenance, and long life.

Thanks for your input. I'm working on getting a technical answer to your observations.

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Post by sthayashi » Tue May 04, 2004 11:37 am

maryh wrote:The FFACS will have some benefits over water-cooling such as compatibility, mobility, low maintenance, and long life.
I don't mean to be rude either, but how do you know it has a long life if this is really new?

Also, assuming that the patent has been granted, could you tell us the patent number so that we can read up on it and read on how it works?
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Post by silvervarg » Tue May 04, 2004 12:39 pm

I don't mean to be rude either, but how do you know it has a long life if this is really new?
For most machine lifetimes you need to calculate the lifetime based on the lifetime of each component. The end result is a MTBF value (mean time between failiure). It is either given as a number only or as a graph to show the likelyhood that the product breaks down after a certain amount of time.

In this case all except the "FFACS Technology-box" seems to be well known technology, with well known MTBF.
Still I would prefere a real value or a graph over vauge statements like "long life" that sounds like they come from a sales person.
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Post by maryh » Tue May 04, 2004 2:10 pm

Hi everyone,

I talked to my brother, Shaun, and I have some more details on the prototype.

First, let me say that I am not a salesman, an engineer or a computer tech. Most of the time, you all are way ahead of me. When I made my first post I didn’t expect the response I got. I thought the links would be pretty much self-explanatory. I guess I was wrong ;) So I apologize if I haven't presented the information well or answered your questions adequately.

CPU:

Several CPU's have been tested. The one in the current prototype is a PIV 2.4 GHz. He also tested a 3.2 and a 3.5. Each of the CPU's have been over-clocked to 150% capacity and in one case to 180% capacity. When the CPU's were over-clocked the system remained stable.


Noise:

The whole system tested at 42 dBa without insulation.

The noise level isn't as low as I thought. It sounds very quiet to me but for those interested in very quiet PC's it's probably not quiet enough. Noise level hasn't been a top priority with him yet. His priority right now is temp and performance. I believe there are things we could do to quiet the unit like add insulation. He did say that a new scroll compressor is being ordered from sweden and he thinks it will be quieter. I apologize if I was misleading.


Installation

The cooling system is currently mounted inside the computer and there have been numerous test for internal temps. So far there’s no problems with condensation or over-heating.

However, his contacts asked for an external unit that can be sold as an after-market product. They are looking into making it as a "pack." (I don't know what he meant be that)

Either way, the unit will be made to install/uninstall easily so that no modifications have to be made to the computer by the consumer.

Watts

The system has 250 watts *consumption.

I didn't ask him the wattage of the compressor or individual parts.

I admit that I didn't understand the question on the board that referred to 100 watts well enough to compare what he said to the question asked. Sorry about that.


Reviews

I asked him if he would be open to a review and he said he would be open to the idea if I found the right person. He has some interest from Intel and they are meeting later this week. We don't know yet how far it will go but I'm praying for success.


Extra


He seemed pretty excited about the equipment they are using to test the system.

I guess he has two computers side by side and one computer has a movie of two airplanes getting into a dogfight. Meanwhile the other computer screen is monitoring various data. As the CPU is put to the test, the planes get faster and faster and the temp slot on the monitor rises. When the CPU reaches a certain speed/heat the planes start to slow down - they almost fall into a dive - and then the a/c kicks on, the temp falls and the planes speed up again until they are going so fast that they almost disappear. It sounded like a neat program.


*edited
Last edited by maryh on Wed May 12, 2004 5:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Leto » Tue May 04, 2004 3:57 pm

Interesting thread
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Post by fmah » Tue May 04, 2004 6:14 pm

It looks to me like this is a type of product overclockers would like, since it can run the system below room temperature. That is something people would like to do and cannot do with normal water cooling.

Asetek (at the site below)
http://www.vapochill.com/

and Kryotech (which no longer makes computer systems, but still makes industrial cooling)

are competing type products, although they use standard refrig cycle/components.

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