Author Topic: Electronics in mineral oil ??????  (Read 28132 times)

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Offline ChrisGreece52

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Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« on: May 26, 2013, 12:32:23 pm »
Hello today i watched this video

and my question is ... would the thing just short and get damaged??? all the electronic parts are submerged in liquid...
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 12:49:50 pm »
it's non conductive-ish (not too significant)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:05:42 pm by Fsck »
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Offline plesa

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 12:55:16 pm »
It will probably damage the unsealed components, mainly capacitors.
 

Offline Balaur

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 12:57:58 pm »
and my question is ... would the thing just short and get damaged??? all the electronic parts are submerged in liquid...

Geia sou,

I don't comment on the PC in mineral oil stuff (bad idea for a variety of reasons). I'm just concentrating on this particular comment.

Come on, you are a student, right? Why do you suppose that all liquids are automatically conductive?

Have you heard about such thing as the resistivity? Go search for the resistivity of air - 1.3e16 to 3.3e16 ohm-meters
How much is the resistivity of mineral oil you ask? - around 1e11 - 5e10 ohm-meters which is OK with regard to that application.

Have you not thought about doing a quick search on google before asking this question in the forum AND leaving a comment on Youtube.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

Quote
As reported by the ancient Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus around 600 BC, charge (or electricity) could be accumulated by rubbing fur on various substances, such as amber. The Greeks noted that the charged amber buttons could attract light objects such as hair. They also noted that if they rubbed the amber for long enough, they could even get an electric spark to jump.

In 1600, the English scientist William Gilbert returned to the subject in De Magnete, and coined the New Latin word electricus from ... (elektron), the Greek word for "amber", which soon gave rise to the English words "electric" and "electricity."

The electrogenic properties of electric rays have been known since antiquity. The ancient Greeks used electric rays to numb the pain of childbirth and operations.[2] In his dialogue Meno, Plato has the character Meno accuse Socrates of "stunning" people with his puzzling questions, in a manner similar to the way the torpedo fish stuns with electricity.


Apparently, [some] today's Greeks ask ignorant questions on Internet.

PS: I love your country, I'm spending most of my summer vacations there.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:00:53 pm by Balaur »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 12:58:23 pm »
And the fans will be struggling to move the liquid.

Alexander.
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Offline eKretz

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 01:16:28 pm »
Well, for all the nay-saying, if you go to the website, you can see that the initial computer was run submerged for over 3 years with no failures. They have since made a few more, and have had no problems with them. I'm not sure I would want something so bulky and mess-prone on my desk, but I wouldn't be afraid of reliability.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 01:29:39 pm »
It'd better run for longer than 3 years before the word "reliable" ever goes anywhere near it. Sure, it's reliable enough for the sort of person who would even bother with that (probably, it will be replaced/upgraded much sooner than 3 years anyway), but that doesn't make it truly reliable. I know I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 01:31:43 pm »
The hard drives might not like it......




 

Offline 4to20Milliamps

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 01:35:55 pm »
Although the temperature will probably never get high enough to ignite it, the stuff is flammable:



http://books.google.com/books?id=82ogYcG8kuAC&dq=mineral%20oil%20insulation&pg=SA8-PA6#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point

http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927364


I don't think I would leave anything immersed in mineral oil unsupervised, oil fires spread easily.
 

Offline Dave

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 01:38:10 pm »
Often, liquid insulators are used, because they offer a far higher resistivity than just thin air. A good example would be power distribution transformers. They are fully submerged in oil, which provides both cooling and insulation.

However, transformer oil is not suited for diy projects, like custom PCs, as it is highly toxic.

So remember, if it is a liquid, it doesn't necessarily conduct electricity well. :)
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 01:42:35 pm »
So remember, if it is a liquid, it doesn't necessarily conduct electricity well. :)

For what it's worth, pure water has a conductivity of about 5-6 uS/m.

Edit: Fixed typo.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 02:02:38 pm by c4757p »
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 01:54:55 pm »
Transformer oil is normally a very pure Napthenic oil, with pretty much no additives or impurities, as these actually reduce the resistivity of the bulk oil. Basically it is pretty much inert, and is meant to be that way. It does need a desiccator pack for high voltage use though as it is very slightly hygroscopic and condensed water accumulates at the bottom of the tank until it degrades the insulation. It is less toxic than any other oil, just from the lack of heavy metal additives. If it has been used with arc and other contamination however it can be very toxic, not from the oil but from the byproducts from arc damping and metal compounds in it and reactive breakdown short chains. Filter it, remove the acid and basic chains with a water scrub and ion exchange media and you get it close to new again and can reuse it in the same transformers.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 02:00:50 pm »
For what it's worth, pure water has a conductivity of about 5-6 mS/m.

I believe it's uS/m for pure water. 5~6 mS/m would be drinking water.

Alexander.
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Offline mariush

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 02:08:04 pm »
I believe Tom's Hardware tried to do one submerged system and they found out they had to sort of epoxy (it was a long time ago, maybe they used silicon or something else) the insides of the cpu socket and the underside of the cpu socket and underside of vrm section...due to the closeness of traces and uninsulated solder points and high currents they got electric arcs and dead motherboards. 
Could have been from impurities in the oil or distilled water they used but anyway...

Ah here we go, found the article... it was regular cooking oil : http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/strip-fans,1203.html  ... pictures show acrylic coating and silicone cans.

Pugent Systems does submerged systems and their faq says they don't have this issue: http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php but i guess they use high quality oil, not cooking oil.
 

Offline Dave

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 02:10:00 pm »
SeanB, I just researched transformer oils a bit and you are right, the new oils don't really pose a health threat. Old transformers (before 1979) used polychlorinated biphenyls and that stuff was toxic. I must have picked up this out-dated information from somewhere and it stuck. Oops. ::)
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2013, 02:10:32 pm »
Yeah, I'd say if the oil is causing conductivity you're using the wrong oil...
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Offline madires

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2013, 02:22:59 pm »
SeanB, I just researched transformer oils a bit and you are right, the new oils don't really pose a health threat. Old transformers (before 1979) used polychlorinated biphenyls and that stuff was toxic. I must have picked up this out-dated information from somewhere and it stuck. Oops. ::)

Newer stuff also uses silicone oil and other synthetic oils. Those take more heat and expand less than mineral oil.
 

Offline electronupdate

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2013, 02:42:48 pm »
A timely question, here is a good commerical example of liquid cooling.  It's a LED light bulb that I just finished tearing down.  The vendor claims silicone based oil as the liquid:





The review of the bulb is this video:

 

Offline ResR

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2013, 03:08:57 pm »
I used discarded car oil and submerged a flip-flop flashing led circuit into that as an experiment and I didn't find any difference in operation (only visibility was reduced due to stuff floating in oil). If that didn't cause any significant problems so pure mineral oil can be used theoretically as long it is clear. Of course HDD-s didn't like to operate in oil because it has much bigger friction than air.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 03:15:11 pm »
Discarded motor oil? Submerge something with higher impedance or tighter impedance tolerance than a little LED flasher and see what happens. The stuff's loaded with metallic debris...
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Offline mariush

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2013, 03:23:46 pm »
In theory you can use a hdd in oil ... just add a pipe/hose of some sort over the vent hole so that air can get into that vent hole and balance the pressure inside.
The motor shouldn't have a problem spinning as it's somewhat completely inside the metal.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2013, 05:41:01 pm »
SeanB, I just researched transformer oils a bit and you are right, the new oils don't really pose a health threat. Old transformers (before 1979) used polychlorinated biphenyls and that stuff was toxic. I must have picked up this out-dated information from somewhere and it stuck. Oops. ::)

Newer stuff also uses silicone oil and other synthetic oils. Those take more heat and expand less than mineral oil.

PCB based oils were used for high heat dissipation and low capacitance, as they are non polar molecules and have a higher boiling point than the Napthetic mineral oils. They also are carcinogens, and were very commonly used as a plasticiser in PVC until the 1980's, if you have old PVC which is exuding a sweet smelling liquid which is green where it contacted copper this is PCB oil. They are also very resistant to arcing and do not break down easily chemically, which is why they were used. Unfortunately they are around still in older equipment, as the transformers only had oil changes, with a flush of solvent ( R11, R12, R141b most commonly) to get most of the loose oil out, the remainder being well adsorbed into the insulation. Still in a lot of buildings as well, you take it out with the asbestos if you need to change, as it is very expensive to rip out all wiring and steel conduit from concrete. The funny thing is in transformers the extra insulating properties were unused, as they are conservatively designed and the original coolant they are designed for is the straight mineral oil.

If you can seal the case of the computer then you can use high molecular mass gases for cooling, like refrigerants and other gases that are liquid or boiling at close to STP. The original Cray used R11 as a coolant as it boils at 23C at 1Atm pressure, and is easy to work with. Too bad you can only buy it in the USA and China.
 

Offline marcel.j

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2013, 08:42:25 pm »
Hi all,
I placed my Computer in mineral Oil and it is now already running for Two years. I am using an SSD because an HDD won’t work for long. The only Problem I have is cooling the whole thing! You can use normal Fans but because of the higher density of Oil they will break a lot faster.
All The Best
Marcel   
 

Offline M. András

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2013, 08:43:42 pm »
why put the hdd in the oil too? its fine in the free air too
 

Offline Falcon69

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Re: Electronics in mineral oil ??????
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2013, 08:52:08 pm »
Guys, this is nothing new.  People have been doing stuff like this for years.  You don't even need fans if you submerge the system in mineral oil or distilled water.  Water is better because the viscosity is less and can flow easier.  All you need to do is develop a system that circulates the H20 and send it through external radiators that are cooled by fans.

It must be distilled water.  Distilled water is non-conductive, but the water from your faucet has minerals in it which makes it conductive.
 


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