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Thread: Liquid cooled laptop?

  1. #1 Liquid cooled laptop? 
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    I am a self taught computer systems builder but primarily a histologist. I have been trying to come up with a solution to laptops being so hot and then running slow. I have been building laptops for about 6 months now and have come up with an idea to put 1/8 copper tubing underneath and on top of a motherboard. I will link this to a small 5-6 volt internal liquid pump for circulation. What I would like to do is use a passive external radiator as the heat dispersal but do not want a huge piece of metal to haul around. I have thought about wrapping the copper tubing around a 1 inch diameter solid aluminum pipe either on the back of the monitor or underneath the laptop as the heat sink. I can not come up with an alternative solution and do not know if this will even work. What do you think?


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  3. #2  
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    I don't think heat transfer using pipe is most powerful because the heat still need to dissipate thru small heatsink and thus needed strong fan to cool it.

    I have a better idea: made a laptop chasis out of heat-conductive material, and then connect the chasis to a contact point on the heat source. The reason is that: so that the heat-conductive chasis (eg: aluminium, magnesium, or metal) became a very large heatsink which dissipate heat away from the source, hence allowing the chip to cool faster. (As we all know, larger heat-sink is always better)


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    I agree, that would be great. Now how would I make a laptop chasis? I do have the original chasis and I believe it is made out of magnesium alloy but still not sure how I could do that.

    Thanks!
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  5. #4  
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    You won't need a pump if you use heatpipes, like those probably in your laptop already. It's a copper tube with water in it, but the low pressure inside the tube promotes a phase change (like a refrigerator) and circulation. You can gently bend them to suit your needs. Salvage heatpipes out of modern coolers for CPUs, video cards, etc.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  6. #5  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    The problem with using the case as a heatsink is that it will not have a lot of air circulation around it: it will either be sitting on a desk or maybe even a lap. The latter could make it (even more) uncomfortable to use as well as inefficient.

    If you could make the pipe carrying the liquid flexible enough, you could use the back of the lid as a large heatsink. The heat might have an impact on the display, though; LCDs are heat sensitive. It might shorten the life of the display, as well.

    The last laptop I took apart used a heat pipe to take the heat to a heatsink next to a fan which blew the hot air out sideways (and it was pretty hot - there is a lot of heat to get rid of in a high performance laptop).
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    You might get some ideas from one already built:

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  8. #7  
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    This person made a giant heatsink to replace his PC's casing:
    100% passively cooled system enclosure by MetkuMods - Because you love your hardware!

    He wanted to make a PC quiet without fan.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    Good ideas, I have thought about using the lid as a heat sink as there is room underneath the lcd but your right it would make it very hot and maybe reduce the life of it.
    At this point I'm starting to think about finding an ultra thin pre made radiator and fan that I can attach to the lid. Im not sure about this though it may be too much weight.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    That heatsink mod was cool. He really put some time into that, I am impressed.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman IWANTTOKNOWMORE's Avatar
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    wow. This is new.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    I have thought about using the peltier cooler with usb hookup to cool the passive radiator. Then I would have to deal with the heat it produces, what a pain! There has to be an easier way.
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  13. #12  
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    I just realized a potential heat sink for personal electronic devices that is overlooked: the human body. A non-gruesome embodiment could be adhesive patches like heat pads on the arms, thighs, etc. Bodily circulation disperses heat from the small, worn appliance.

    That may sound weird now but the way things are going...
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    This person made a giant heatsink to replace his PC's casing:
    100% passively cooled system enclosure by MetkuMods - Because you love your hardware!

    He wanted to make a PC quiet without fan.
    good project and great look but I think he has the orientation wrong - the CPU pipes run downward and as we all know in a gravity environment heat rises...
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  15. #14  
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    how about - make an additional part to put the laptop on (which will make it higher) - have some fans and a large heatsink and run a water line from the chip to the heatsink outside...? only a suggestion. The surface area of the laptop should be enough to make a reasonably thin heatsink...again, the orientation is not correct for the flow of heat though
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  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman Histologistics's Avatar
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    Actually I am doing just that. I have soldered a copper pipe to the CPU housing and ran that pipe to the outside where it is attached to an aluminum heat sink behind the display. I will upload pictures soon. This will help with the visualization.
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  17. #16  
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    would not mind some pics of your handy work - I am not going to go liquid cooling but this has tempted me to put a better fan on, have you ever tried this?
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  18. #17  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    The best way to keep heat out of your laptop, is not letting your cat sleep on it.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  19. #18  
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    I have never tried this passive cooling thing yet but I have done many radiator cooling on desktops.photo.jpgphoto (1).JPGphoto (2).jpg
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  20. #19  
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    so have you simply taken copper micro-bore and soldered it to the standard heatsink? what is the second pic of?

    I was making a desktop radiator cooling setup but never finished it - it was going to be primarily passive too with no pumps and a single fan on the rad for a little extra cooling, might finish it one day - a laptop mod interests me for reference though...pics of this mod welcome!
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  21. #20  
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    Yeah I used the small diameter copper pipe to weave under and over the "hot" areas of the laptop. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are the aluminum heat sink I fabricated with and without the screen. I took another screen apart and used the back of it to cover the make-shift heat sink. This will give some more structure to it and a better facade. I hope I gave enough room for air to pass through. I still have to make the flexible tubes between the screen and the bottom of the laptop. The liquid inside the tubes is also in question. What will give the best transfer of heat for this system? I have thought about mineral oil verse radiator coolant.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Histologistics View Post
    Yeah I used the small diameter copper pipe to weave under and over the "hot" areas of the laptop. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are the aluminum heat sink I fabricated with and without the screen. I took another screen apart and used the back of it to cover the make-shift heat sink. This will give some more structure to it and a better facade. I hope I gave enough room for air to pass through. I still have to make the flexible tubes between the screen and the bottom of the laptop. The liquid inside the tubes is also in question. What will give the best transfer of heat for this system? I have thought about mineral oil verse radiator coolant.
    mineral oil does not conduct heat very well. I looked into this all myself...I would stick to 50/50 water/antifreeze, easy and cheap. Alcohol if you are not worried about fire...I was going to use Dichloromethane in one but it can cause cancer in high concentrations...

    I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES AS A RESULT OF THESE CHEMICAL SUGGESTIONS...!
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