[HydroGraphix HeadQuarters] has earned his name with this one. While he is using mineral oil instead of hydro, he’s certainly done a nice job with the graphics of it. The ‘it’ in questions is an overclocked Raspberry Pi 3 in a transparent container filled with mineral oil, and with a circulating fan.
He’s had no problem running the Pi at 1.45 GHz while running a Nintendo 64 emulator, getting between 40 °C and 50 °C. The circulating fan is a five volt computer USB fan. It’s hard to tell if the oil is actually moving, but we’re pretty sure we see some doing so near the end of the video below the break.
Mineral oil is not electrically conductive, and is often used to prevent arcing between components on high voltage multiplier boards, but those components are always soldered together. If you’ve ever worked with mineral oil, you know that it creeps into every nook and cranny, making us wonder if it might work its way between some of the (non-soldered) contacts in the various USB connectors on this Raspberry Pi. Probably not, but those of us with experience with it can attest to it’s insidiousness.
We’ve seen this sort of immersion cooling done before with an Arduino but usually the board is just lowered into an open-topped container. In the video below, [HydroGraphix] shows the care he takes in constructing the case to come up with something worthy of display. The LEDs give a nice modern look. Some plastic aquarium plants, a treasure box and a few fake fish floating around would fit right in. Do you think it’s overkill? We think the slick appearance in addition to the results make it worth the effort.
Water cooling a Raspberry Pi in this way would of course short out the parts but we’ve seen it done with the water circulated in tubes, and with machined parts to physically contact the chips. And then there’s the simplest approach, inexpensive copper shims built up to make a more traditional heat sink.