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photonblaster 24th May 2009 18:35

Better Water
Another out of the box idea to share.

Nanoparticles are microscopic particles of standard materials that can dramatically change the properties of materials when added in small amounts. CuO (Cupric Oxide) particles can dramatically increase the thermal conductivity of water as shown in this scientific article . Figure 5 indicates that at 60C a 0.8% by volume the thermal conductivity is 1.6 times higher than distilled water.

This would help water coolers, I think by the fact that the temperature of the water would go up, increasing the cooling rate at the radiator because the air-rad temp delta would be higher (would appreciate a comment from a "radiator engineer" on this one).

CuO is actually toxic, but it looks like Cu2O (Cuprous Oxide) is not, and with one more copper atom per molecule this might even be better than CuO. Other material like Al2O3 is definitely not toxic and I think it is a more common nano particle, but it only increases thermal conductivity by ~25% to 60C at 0.8%.

Any water cooling company employees reading this: worth a try?

jmke 24th May 2009 18:40

how expensive is this liquid? will it effect pump performance?
what if it leaks? do you want a give up the "safety" of none-conductive water, for a few degrees extra cooling ? :)

photonblaster 24th May 2009 20:55

Great questions, jmke. Here are my best understandings, but I used to live in Missouri so long that the idea is definitely in the "show me" state.

how expensive is this liquid?
The additive is probably going to be very would be priced at market value. My company has a patent for using a particular type of nonoparticle in optoelectronic high volume commodity type light sensors, and the only way to do that is if it costs less than a penny a part.

will it effect pump performance?
I would not expect it too effect it too much. I would expect a rise in viscosity of the liquid but I have no idea if it would be enough to drastically reduce flow rate. The particles are nanometers in size and cannot be seen with a 100X microscope. But this, like its temperature performance, would have to be verified by a company's water cooling development group.

what is it leaks?
The additives are non-conductive, so a leak should not be a problem.

do you want a give up the "safety" of none-conductive water, for a few degrees extra cooling ?
Theoretically if the system is linear (which it is not) then it could give a 15degC drop in temp for a heavily clocked I7 with a small single fan radiator (something like the Coolit Domino ALC) that runs the I7 at 40decC over ambient. This has the chance of blowing away the best tower air coolers at a cost of 10 dollars more or so, besides having the benifit of the CPU heat being dumped outside the case which improves overall cooling performance.

jmke 24th May 2009 21:41

15C temp drop compared to normal distilled water?

photonblaster 24th May 2009 22:11


Originally Posted by jmke (Post 238498)
15C temp drop compared to normal distilled water?

Yep. That's the max I would expect if normal distilled water has 40C temp rise to 70C. The drop in thermal conductivity of the nano-water at 15C lower temp would be enough to "only" be 12-13 deg range temp drop, using "back of the envelope" calcs.
My link did not let me go directly to the article, maybe it is too long or something. try again:
Here it is with some spaces so it does not get recognized as a link:
ht tp:// contributions/t/5/2/4/t52437k1705w5127_html/fulltext.html

PS, upping the nanoparticle concentration could it back up to 15C improvement if nothing else stops you from doing this.

jmke 25th May 2009 07:17

link works fine ;)
vB shortens it visually but the link itself is a-okay !

would love to some benches, 15C is a huge advantage

photonblaster 25th May 2009 13:37

Thought that might get your attention, jmke!

it needs several weeks work from a water-cooling company's R&D engineer. (verify my quick calcs, research availability of proper nanoparticles, buy, try) Hope someone looks into it more!.

jmke 25th May 2009 14:08

I think Swiftech may be an excellent candidate for this, they have an in-house test lab and don't mind sharing results publicly :)

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