29 thoughts on “Ion System Cooling

  1. Pretty amazing. I’d worry a bit about O3 buildup – ion generators like that usually have a MnO2 catalyst that back-converts the O3 to O2 with about 80% efficiency. Ozone has a tendency to eat up rubber seals and things.

    Brilliant idea though; this is a hack to be proud of.

  2. thats absolutely incredible…325 CFM @ 0db???? dear lord, that beats everything on the list. wish there was a temp readout (before and after) though, details on how they measured cfm, etc.

    otherwise, thats one truly lovely hack

  3. WOW I’m definitely impressed! I really want to give this a-go myself. I think this sort of thing would be awesome to setup in my Xbox HTPC I’m building…

    I wonder how hard it would be for someone to make a drop in PC solution… maybe something that fits perfectly into dual 80mm fan location.. or even a square version that fit’s into a 120mm setting… thinking shorter fins but maybe 5 of them instead of 3?

    There are a whole lot of possibilities, I’m most curious as to what the long term effects of this might be (if any at all).

  4. “Turning on this computer has to rank as one of the strangest experiences I have ever had.”

    I know what he means, the first time I turned on my pumpless thermosiphon water cooled PC I said to myself “Crap, what did I f’up!?” Then is went “beep” and posted.

  5. From the front page of the project:
    ” total project cost: $9 – $15 “
    From the second page of the project:
    “We picked up our “ionic air cleaner” off of eBay for about 65.00″
    Also there is no way in hell I’m going to believe an ion generator can move more air than three 120mm fans. If he wants to make a claim like that, I want to see what equipment he used to measure 325 CFM airflow.
    The project is an awesome concept, but the guy is lying through his teeth to make it look better than it really is.

  6. #8: the project cost was huge, look at all the stuff he bought: passive heatsink, PSU, ramsinks, ramdrive, etc.

    I’m guessing they didnt measure 0dB, because if they were REALLY moving 325cfm, it would make a decent amount of noise (simply from turbulence).

    I suspect the figures he quoted were from the box, which are likely 100% bs. These ionic breeze air cleaners are horrible at cleaning because they move very very little air.

  7. Those ionic breeze things do work, somewhat. I’ve seen them at Sharper Image stores pushing a good deal of air as they had streamers, ballons, etc. blowing around and I could feel the airflow. I could believe the 325 CFM as a best case scenario. However, when one of my buddies actually bought one it worked like it did in the store for awhile (about two months), then quickly died down to just emitting an ozone smell. He took good care of it, had it on a power conditioner, and cleaned it properly on a weekly basis. I would be very careful if those passive sinks can’t cool the computer themselves.

    Anyway… Please let us know how the unit fairs as it ages. Also, you should do some measurements to confirm the dba and CFM (Slashdot geeks are whining).

    As far as the next phase, I’m thinking using it with a water cooling setup would be even better. This gets rid on the nasty problem of ions, since you can direct them away from all the electronics.

  8. umm, 0dba is not defined as the threshold of hearing… dba is just corrected for frequiency… absolute scilence is still -infinity.

    In any case…
    I am gonna have to yell BS here…
    1. 0.0dBA is not completely silent… As stated before -infinity would be. They just pulled that out of their ass.
    2. moving 325cfm of air through the case is going to LOUD.
    3. There is no way in hell that an ionic air cooler is going to move even close to 325cfm… Heck, I would be
    amazed if it could put out 1/10 of that.

    Also, this is a
    pointlessly expensive way to do things… Why would someone install window on an 8gb ramdrive?!? Heck, if you really need it get some cf->ide adapters and a 1gb ramdrive or something… Heck, you could get a 400gb barricuda that puts out

  9. less than 30db even during seaking… You are not even going to notice that with your 325cfm of air running arround…

    Also, whats with the limit of post length?
    And where is the preview button?

  10. yeah, i think there’s a little bit of bs’ing there. Plus, the vid heat sink got horrible reviews from Maximun PC. Thats at least a grand worth of parts that he lists, not including a proc or motherboard.

    I still think the best cooling for a PC would be to attach all the components to a box fan.

  11. Wow! Just wow.

    Sometimes you see an idea and wonder why you didn’t think of it… this is one of those times. In retrospect I can’t imagine why this hasn’t been tried before.

    Of course it has some drawbacks, the voltages, the ozone (respiratory problems anyone?), the general foreign-ness of it all… plus the slight possibility that it will fry the system… but hey if those kinds of worries had stopped innovation in cooling we would have never put phase changers in either.

    Anyway, you’ve got to lock down those statistics on the CFM… remember we’re all geeks here and there is nothing that a geek loves more than picking a nit. Also, I’d love to see a temp comparison between it and the same setup outfitted with maybe a couple of antec 120s or something… but still this is a big step ahead for truly silent computing.

    Now try putting two in a case for some push/pull action!

  12. i cant get over these type of sites. They try and be witty:

    “If you have difficulty with this step please close your browser and shut your computer off. Once the shutdown is complete slowly walk away from your computer and find a nice comfy place on your couch. Find any episode of Will and Grace or Friends and enjoy.”

    Like if you can’t do this simple thing just stop now, but the bulk of the article is how to disassemble a fairly simple thing. Who here has ever acutely read directions when disassembling something like this? They don’t even say the model or brand of the Ion cooler is, so unless you lucky pick the same one, the details of the disassembly instructions are lost.

    None the less it’s a cool idea(get it? thats a punn, har har), just written bad like most b0x moding articles :-/

  13. @16 : I totally agree about the stats and temps.

    It sounds like advertising for ThermalTake more than a rant about some novel idea to me. How can you quote 325cfm? Did you mean 3.25? Seriously, whats the temperature, in celcius please, of the system at idle or under load?

  14. Gunna agree with the rest. I love Mythbusters level science, but the OP falls beneath that. Replicate and improve. Right now we have a fast-n-dirty proof of concept that looks promising but needs some harder data and some refinement.

    Also, von slatt, nice work.

  15. Heh. It was on firday that I overheard some people talking about he got a ion filter for $15 for his car so he could hotbox without his parents smelling it later. He said that it worked great and removed all the smell. I got the idea that if it can remove smoke, it can remove dust from a server cabinet, thus i wouldn’t have to clean the dust out of the PSUs ever month.

  16. Two points:
    1) I own an Ionic Breeze, and there’s no way it moves 325 cfm. Maybe there’s supposed to be a decimal point in there. I could believe 32.5 (maybe).
    2) Although these units aren’t renowned for their their dust trapping abilities, they still do collect a lot of dirt. And it appeared to me that there was no easy way to clean the device after it had been installed in the case. (I need to clean mine about once a week.)
    Still, it’s a good idea.

  17. Here are some blowers for greenhouse ventilation in the range the article claims:


    There is no 325 CFM blower, but it would probably take about 150W to run. A smaller 265 CFM one is also about the size of the “ionic cooler.” The biggest source of noise in them is probably the moving air, not the motor, and if you put a screen in front of the outlet, you’d probably hear a swish noise like you get from swinging a tennis racket.

    One would think that a mechanical blower is a wee bit more powerful (and efficient) than anything someone is going to kludge together using electrons to push the air directly.

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