Update: Mineral Oil Computer



It has been awhile since I updated the progress on the Mineral Oil computer. It is still running good. No problems. Not even a leak in the custom case. It weighs a lot though. Not easy to move around. The pictures below are updated with the case half full of mineral oil. I think I am going to stop at half a case. It will cost me another $50 to fill it all the way up. And I am not willing to spend that much more money on a project like this. Plus everything that needs to be submerged is. The case has been in the garage since I built it. It has been hot here and the garage is between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit on the hot days. The computer stays cooler then the air temp. When running the computer I never seen the temperature gauge get above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is a good thing. I will be bringing it into the house to do more test soon. The reason it was in the garage was to make sure it wouldn’t leak. On with the pictures.

This is a close up of the drain I added. I have had no reason to drain it though. The mineral oil is still clear. I don’t see any particles floating in the oil. The oil hasn’t hardened at all either. I thought that because of the heat it might gel up. But so far so good.
This is the temperature gauge on the front. It is showing 90 degrees. The 90 degrees is the highest I have seen it. Today it is 70 degrees here and the case is about 75 degrees.
This picture is to show the metal spacers I used to hold the motherboard off of the bottom of the case. This way the mineral oil can cool the bottom of the board too.
This picture shows that the mineral oil is just at the top of the fan. That fan does a great job moving the mineral oil around. You can tell be the bubbles it makes as it moves the oil.
This is hard to see but if you look on the right side of the picture you can see how the mineral oil level moves down in the corner. The fan sucks the oil through causing that corner to be lower then the rest.
This is the processor fan moving. Which you can’t see in the picture. You can see the cables going under the oil.
This shows the cables coming off of the motherboard.
This shows a nice line where the mineral oil is.
A close up of the cables coming off of the mother board.
Another nice view of the components under the mineral oil.
The final design of the case. You can see the wireless mouse and keyboard. The base station is sitting on top of the case.
Side view of the case.
Front/side view of the case.
This is a picture of the cables coming out from inside. I am going to seal them up to make the inside mineral oil tight.

Well I haven’t had any problems with the case. No siphoning out like some said. No leaks. And it has always stayed around room temperature. I will keep everyone updated on the status. Once it is moved inside it will be used more then now. I also need to add the light still. The light that I have is a black light and does really do what I want it too. So check back soon.



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Comments

I have a simple question.

The power supply. It has vents on it leading to the inside. The mineral oil doesn’t short it out?

Also, what about unused comonents, like the ISA and PCI slots? Do they essentially become useless since they’ve filled with Mineral Oil?

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It probably would have been a good idea to have the hard drive submerged, they can overheat pretty badly. Mine does all the time, but then again my pc is going on 6 years old.

Idiot, you can’t submerge a hard drive unless it’s a solid state drive or it will slow down the disk and run much slower.

You can submerge that hard drive sold state or moving however if it has moving parts it MUST be sealed with silicone so that none of the oil gets in. Make absolutely sure that it is a tight seal or it will slow down that drive. it takes a hell of a lot of work to get it done right the first time but your hard work will be payed off.

Jeremy, so its five years later … how is the mineral oil pc doing? How long did it live … what died …. did you ever submerge the hard drives …

Did you modify base configuration to leverage the enhanced environmental conditions ….

Did you keep logs …

Any ideas about costs, roi or commercial application …

Super concept but does it have legs?????

Don,

The computer is still running with the original mineral oil. I am extremely busy the next week but after that I will get a new post up with lots of details. Probably a video too. I have been meaning to revisit it.

[…] computer cooled with mineral oil – This project has been huge. Lots of comments and traffic. I am planning on revisiting the […]

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