Author Topic: Is there a way to vent computer heat outside or otherwise dissipate it?  (Read 8824 times)

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 22250
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
Here's the deal:

The PC that I built over the winter is basically a space heater. It is Intel i7 based and has a decent graphics card and a 750w power supply. I can feel heat output from the rear of the box as though it was a space heater set on the lowest fan speed setting.  :( This PC is going to make this room murder this summer in this room.

Please don't debate my definition of "murder". It's a constant source of heated air and is on 10+ hours a day. Even my old much less powerful PC noticeably elevated the temperature of this room in the summer.

The room is an addition that is not on the main house's air conditioning, and my only practical alternative to air condition the room is a separate mini split system. Which I don't feel like installing because of the noise and the expense and the power consumption.

It seems like there should be a way to vent the PC's heated air flow into, say, the attic, or to a vent outside.

I read some overclocker forums where a guy was asking the same question, and someone recommended water cooling the CPU and the graphics card. Well.. same thing, right? You don't have heated air, but you are creating a reservoir of heated water in the same room. As well as adding yet another motorized device that consumes power and puts out heat to the room.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 05:59:26 pm by G0ddard B0lt »
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.


pxsant

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
I can see an easy way to do this.  Go to Home Depot and buy a length of dryer vent hose which should be 3 to 5 inches in diameter.  Attach it to the back of the computer where the exhaust fan is - should be just about the right fit.  You can use duct tape for a quickie method of attachment but you could also use the aluminum shell's they make for the dryer hose to attach to a wall.

For the other end, cut a piece of plywood the width of your window and maybe 8 inches high.   Cut a round hole the size of the hose and attach the end of the hose with the screw on aluminum shell.  Place that assembly in your window and drop the window on it to hold it in place.  The heat from the computer will be directed out the window.

Dryer hose is not insulated so you could instead use a piece of round duct work which is intended to extend an existing heating or air conditioning system.  That type of duct work is usually insulated to keep heat and cooling loss at a minimum.

The total cost should be maybe 20 to 30 dollars and it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to complete.

Of course this all assumes the room has a window.

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 22250
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
Go to Home Depot and buy a length of dryer vent hose which should be 3 to 5 inches in diameter.  Attach it to the back of the computer where the exhaust fan is - should be just about the right fit.  You can use duct tape for a quickie method of attachment but you could also use the aluminum shell's they make for the dryer hose to attach to a wall.

For the other end, cut a piece of plywood the width of your window and maybe 8 inches high.   Cut a round hole the size of the hose and attach the end of the hose with the screw on aluminum shell.  Place that assembly in your window and drop the window on it to hold it in place.  The heat from the computer will be directed out the window.

Thanks. That was pretty much how I thought it could work.

But, I was reading that even a short run of ducting could challenge the air moving ability of the PC's case fan.

I need to think about this some more.
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.

The Original Henry

  • Guest
Do a Google search for "bilge blower". They are either 3" or 4" inline blowers that boats use to keep explosive vapors out of the engine compartments. They can move a lot of air and don't cost much. Get some matching 3" or 4" blower hose (to match the blower size) and you can direct the hot air anywhere you can reach with the length of hose that you buy.

PhilFromNY

  • Guest
But, I was reading that even a short run of ducting could challenge the air moving ability of the PC's case fan.

If you can get the exhaust hose to rise about one inch per horizontal foot the natural rise of the hot air should assist the exhaust. Of course you also have to think about rain.


pxsant

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
But, I was reading that even a short run of ducting could challenge the air moving ability of the PC's case fan.

One way to deal with this is to mount a larger case fan on the plywood window piece which sucks air from the tube to exhaust air.  It would act to assist the internal case fan.  You could run a power connection from one of the internal molex hard drive power connectors to run the outside fan.  Case fans can be purchased from Newegg or Microcenter for about $5 - $10.

Or you could solve the heat problem by mounting a window AC unit.   5000 BTU units are pretty cheap - less than $100.  That would be simpler than duct work.

jbucks

  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 707
Also, if you do the dryer ducting to the outside - make sure you've got some sort of air filter on it to keep dust / dirt blowback from gunking up your case / components.

Jim

The Original Henry

  • Guest
One more thought on this - PC fans are not designed to move air more than a few inches at a time, so they'll be of little use in this scenario. Another angle to this problem that has to be addressed is the longer that hot air sits in the ducting system the more opportunity it has to transfer its heat energy into the surrounding ducting, which will just get radiated back into the room again. It wont' be concentrated like it is coming out of the computer, but the total amount of heat released into the room over time won't change much.

A window A/C unit will be the best whole-room solution, but short of that you need something that will aggressively move that hot air out of the room before it has a chance to deposit any of its heat energy into the surrounding environment. Any type of tunnel blower will accomplish this, but a marine bilge blower has a couple extra benefits:

1) They run on 12V DC power, so it can be powered off a Molex connector
2) They are designed to work in wet environments, so if the sound of a fan is bothersome you can stick it outside and let it suck the air from the hose rather than pushing it through the hose from inside the room.

The main thing is to get that air out of the room (and the ducting) as quickly as possible while it still holds most of its heat.

Richardk

  • Global Moderator
  • Wise Sage
  • *****
  • Posts: 4174
If you use some kind of vent hose or tubing they have duct fans to help move the air in any hardware store.

Here's a random example: http://www.blowerwheel.com/fans-duct-fan.htm

It seems like your choices are to vent it, cool the room more or relocate the box.

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 22250
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
Thanks for the brainstorming help, guys
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 04:32:56 pm »
Here's another hairbrained scheme I came up with:

Water cool the CPU and the graphics card.

Extend extra long hoses through a wall to the outside or to another area. Where you would have the water pump and thermal radiator assembly.

This would have the merits of more concealable "plumbing", and less noise. The heat would be carried outside the work area.

Tell me I'm nuts... right?  :o
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.

Richardk

  • Global Moderator
  • Wise Sage
  • *****
  • Posts: 4174
That overclocking site
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 05:24:49 pm »
I really like the Fridge PC idea and some of the other plumbing jobs but really? These guys have way too much time on their hands.

You said it previously was a garage right? What's keeping you from knocking a hole in the wall, running a power line (240V would be better) and putting in a 15,000 BTU A/C unit?

Practical, simple and low cost.

Richardk

  • Global Moderator
  • Wise Sage
  • *****
  • Posts: 4174
It's getting warm in here
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 04:46:03 pm »
What did you end up doing?

Aussie

  • Guest
This kinda took on the Tim Taylor More Power arc that our water-wheel thing did, doncha know ?