[Beowulf] 96 cores in silent and small enclosure

Kevin Hunter hunteke at earlham.edu
Thu Apr 8 09:38:38 EDT 2010


At 12:57am -0400 Thu, 08 Apr 2010, Jonathan Aquilina wrote:
> i know there is non conductive water which if it gets on 
> something shouldnt conduct electricity but how safe is a 
> water cooled system?

As regards non-conductive water, you're correct: *pure* water has a very
high resistivity, something like 18 MΩ-cm.  (Effectively, not conductive
for home-uses.)  However, pure water has to be manufactured, and water
is also very good at dissolving and dispersing conductive ions.  (Sugar
with tea, anyone?)  So, it's still not smart to play with a toaster in
the tub.

I have no experience with water cooled systems specifically, but I
believe the point is to suck heat from the high-heat components, and not
to just willy-nilly douse your entire box in water.  For instance, you
might replace the standard fan and heatsink on top of your CPU with a
waterblock.  The water would then be pumped through tubing of some kind
to the waterblock (on top of the CPU), and back to a cooling radiator of
some kind.  The water never leaves it's circuit, but still disperses
heat from the top of the chip in the socket.

How safe is it?  I can't answer empirically (no experience), but in
theory it's just as safe as air.  Water is never in contact with any
electrically charged object, and never leaves it's tubing channels.

Kevin


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