Water Cooling LEDs in confined space - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Water Cooling LEDs in confined space

Hello everyone, I realised I made a little mistake when building my hood, which is now complete.

Actually is not a mistake, I figured if I had no better option I could just buy 15m of 5630SMD and put them in there, which works anyway but I want to try and do something even better.

The hood measures 55cm in length, 38cm in width split in 2 compartments, the upper compartment keeps all the hardware and the lower keeps all the lighting allowing only one corner gap for any pipes and sensors to access the water.

The problem is I only have 20mm available of space between the ceiling of the bottom compartment and the perspex sheet. Now, the question is, how do you cool LEDs there? Heatsinks would have to be passively cooled since there's definitely no space for a fan in that space.

So I was thinking, I have a custom PC cpu loop I built and I did chill my guppy tank using a TEC plate and a water block. I could use the same principle.

The idea is to have a thing water block, or a number of them, say 10mm thick (which exist, of course) and mount the LED chips straight onto the water blocks themselves, which are either made of copper or aluminium. The water in this loop will be restricted so none of the water will mix with the tank water. In the case of multiple blocks I would simply daisy chain the piping from one into the next and have a pump drive the water to the upper chamber where I can either chill a larger block with a TEC plate or simply use regular fans on a small PC radiator.

What are your thoughts about this? Can I implement this better? Is my thinking correct?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 12:36 PM
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waterblocks could work, with big enough flow and large enough radiator you should be able to keep them cool.

don't know the exact layout of the hood but you could use 40mm fans and set up a duct behind it getting it to 20mm so you can use "normal" heatsinks

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @fietsenrex. From experience I believe getting enough flow to cool a heatsink effectively would be quite noisy using 40mm fans.

I did fail to mention that part of the ceiling in the bottom compartment is cut out to allow a 120mm fan to blow air in. This should drive the air into the bottom compartment as well as the water since the perspex sheet has a few holes where the air would hit directly.

I'm attaching the scheme we prepared before building the hood, it has all the relevant details except for the fact that there are 2 ceiling fans in the scheme which was scrapped to allow more space.
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File Type: pdf Aquarium Hood Scheme.pdf (115.5 KB, 10 views)
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 12:50 PM
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why don't you use the 120mm fans? seems to fit in the drawings..
you even have some space for a feeder

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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The single 120mm fan will be there but would it be enough to cool ~150W+ of LED? Tried to find information but since most people around the net just go for large heatsinks and lots of fans I think the only way would be to test.

I'd still need to see that the tank water gets cooled enough to keep the temp down. Currently My tanks sit at ~26C with fans on and ~30-32 with fans off. Stupid heat.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 01:03 PM
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uhmm that is quite a lot of power xD
anyhow from my experiense I had 30w of leds cooled by a 120mm fan running on just 9v instead of 12v on a 15x15x5cm heatsink and was cold to the touch.
so you might get away with one fan but I wouldn't reccomend it

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 01:11 PM
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Why not go real "GREEN" and use the waste heat for the tank? You may have to figure out if you need to divert some to the chiller but what a neat idea to reuse the heat!

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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I could use 5630SMD strips, since they need no cooling on the back and front of the tank as "auxiliary" lights. and have one or two water blocks running along the center part of the ceiling for the higher power LEDs to keep them in check.

@ichy, I could but the problem is that would cause excess heat during the Summer days in which I already have issues cooling the tank water itself. Otherwise it would work given that the LED chips have high enough power.
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