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Can water be cooled below room temperature without refrigeration?

  1. Jun 26, 2013 #1
    I got a pretty basic question about the thermodynamics of air cooling water. I have a liquid cooling system for my CPU, and my monitor currently has my CPU temperature at 14C, which translates somewhere in the range of the high 50s F. I keep my house at 78F during the summer. Is it possible that the liquid in the loop is cooler than the room temperature? If so, what is causing this phenomena? Wind chill factor? (I always thought wind chill factor was something we experienced that was not really as is, for instance, putting your hand out in a moving car on the freeway feels like the air is in the 50s as compared to what really is 90.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2013 #2

    CWatters

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    Evaporative cooling might get you below room temperature but I doubt that's the explanation.

    Did you just change the water in the system? Tap water can be quite cold.

    If not then I suspect the CPU temperature sensor might be faulty.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2013 #3
    It is a closed loop system, no way to change the water in it without voiding the warranty and more than likely causing a major headache of trying to put it back together safely and without bubbles

    The water line feels pretty cool when I touch it as well, I wouldn't put it past about 60 degrees, and its a fairly low wattage CPU (it's an fx 6100, 95w and other people report similar temperatures with similar setups)
     
  5. Jun 26, 2013 #4

    russ_watters

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    Perhaps the sensor is purposely calibrated low to reflect an expected temperature gradient and distance from what it really wants to measure? By removing the heat more effectively, you flatten the gradient.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2013 #5
    Are you sure there is no refrigeration system? A thermoelectric cooler would have no moving parts or refrigerant. You might not recognize it as a refrigeration system unless you already knew what you were looking at.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2013 #6
    I think computer cooling units use a coolant which is basically an antifreeze. The heat from the water is transferred to the coolant, thereby reducing its temperature.

    Just my shot in the dark attempt at an explanation.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2013 #7

    CWatters

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    Using antifreeze wouldn't make any difference.

    The last time I looked at water cooling systems for PC's the water flowed from a reservoir through a pump to the CPU heat sink. From there it went to a fan cooled radiator and back to the reservoir.

    In that set up the fan cannot cool the water below room temperature.
     
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