SilverStone demos pumpless watercooler

SilverStone demos pumpless watercooler

By harnessing the evaporation properties of a non-water liquid this experimental cooler uses its own coolant as a pump.

SilverStone has demonstrated at Computex 2013 a new concept liquid-cooler technology that requires no pump to propel the liquid, making it completely passive.

Like with heatpipes, the cooler uses the principle of harnessing the evaporation and condensation properties of a non-water liquid to circulate that same liquid. As the liquid is warmed it evaporates and creates pressure. By making one pipe to the radiator narrower than the other and mounting the CPU block vertically the pressure difference forces the liquid to start circulating through the system. As the temperature increases the liquid circulates even faster.

It's an ingenious idea that, assuming the radiator is cooled passively, allows for a system with no moving parts.

There are, however, a few issues. One is that the liquid simply doesn't start pumping itself until it reaches around 30-40 degrees, which means it doesn't actually cool any more effectively than many an air or water cooler. When under load it is also likely the radiator would require fans to keep it dissipating the heat sufficiently. As such the whole passive argument goes somewhat out the window.

All told, although SilverStone is still testing to see whether this can be a viable product, in all likeliness it will never make it to market and is more of a neat trick than anything else. But who doesn't like a neat trick.


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themassau 6th June 2013, 12:25 Quote
couldn't this be used for small builds, or maybe servers whit lots of small lower power chips that are packed very dense.
rpsgc 6th June 2013, 12:32 Quote
I'm pretty sure a pump is much louder and obnoxious than a few low-RPM fans... Not everyone has deaf ears, some people actually enjoy silence.

So the idea has merit, provided it cools better than air cooling with similar low-RPM fans.
GeorgeStorm 6th June 2013, 12:51 Quote
Neat, even if it doesn't end up coming to market I'm liking the idea, one less part to fail if nothing else.
Xir 6th June 2013, 12:57 Quote
Originally Posted by rpsgc
I'm pretty sure a pump is much louder and obnoxious than a few low-RPM fans...

Try looking for pump comparisons with indications of loudness.
I never found them, but then again I gave up on WC many years ago.
wuyanxu 6th June 2013, 13:16 Quote
I was never entirely happy with the first H50's pump, it still has some noise. Glad to see Silverstone is innovating.

What I'd love is to see with this pumpless design is a flow sensor in the system, then have some fans spin up when water flow goes to certain level. Ta-dah! 100% automatic temperature sensing cooler.

To be honest, CPU idling up to 50c is nothing to worry about. Then under load, you can't really expect the 100w CPU to be cooled silently.
Alecto 6th June 2013, 17:59 Quote
"Watercooler" without water that is in fact phase-change cooler, judging by the description provided.

Why not call it that ?
RichCreedy 6th June 2013, 18:45 Quote
could they not use a thermoelectric heatpump to kickstart the cooling effect
AiA 6th June 2013, 20:55 Quote
i don't think these type of devices are as good at cooling as devices with a pump

but might be good for systems that need some basic level of cooling, and needs quiet, reliable, and a compact solution
(maybe military applications, or TV solutions )
Guinevere 7th June 2013, 09:49 Quote
So first you say it's a watercooler and then you explain it's just scaled up heat-pipe technology and doesn't use water. Big difference.

I seriously doubt this can be made any more efficient than a 'passive' heat-pipe based cooler. After all it's basically the same tech isn't it, maybe with different evaporation / dew points that's all.
Stanley Tweedle 7th June 2013, 12:32 Quote
Heatpipes evaporate at much lower temps don't they?
fluxtatic 8th June 2013, 08:17 Quote
Originally Posted by Stanley Tweedle
Heatpipes evaporate at much lower temps don't they?

Depends on several factors - diameter of the pipe, degree of the partial vacuum in the pipe, and the coolant used.

Given that they're showing clear, presumably plastic pipes of some sort, this isn't quite a heatpipe arrangement (which have a partial vacuum and some method of overcoming surface tension to allow the liquid to run back to the hot side).
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I seriously doubt this can be made any more efficient than a 'passive' heat-pipe based cooler. After all it's basically the same tech isn't it, maybe with different evaporation / dew points that's all.

Maybe, maybe not. It is somewhat like a scaled-up heatpipe arrangement like you find in a lot of laptops. Most of those use a radial fan to blow the hot air out. I think there would be a fairly healthy market for something that perform on par with high-end air cooling at least, and entirely passive and silent, which could turn out to be possible. I've recently had two PCs get a little flaky at work recently due to seized exhaust fans, and an entire office of PCs running 24/7 means there's no such thing as silence even after the HVAC system shuts down for the night.

I don't understand why everyone seems to be pissing on this - you think maybe companies shouldn't try to develop something new and different? Y'all should be grateful some smart nerd realized heatpipes would be good for PC applications or all our computers would sound like hairdryers. God forbid a company try to advance the tech for the good of us all.
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