Sealed Computer Chassis

ddrueding

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Looking to have a sealed, water cooled, rack mount chassis built by Protocase. This will allow installation in really dirty industrial or commercial locations.

No HDD mounts (M.2 and PCIe will be fine). Normal PSU is mounted internally to recirculate internal air. Hot components will have their own water blocks, but a 1x120mm radiator will bring the in-case ambient to water temp.

Of course, this also leaves the possibility of putting in some desiccant packs and running the coolant below ambient for overclocking ;)

Sealed Chassis.JPG
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
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Many companies already offer IP65 and IP67 certified computers. Why do you want to risk that your DIY project fails to do the job and to be liable for it?

You didn't find one powerful enough for your intended use?
 

ddrueding

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Several of the computers that will be housed in these chassis are made and sold by some of our software vendors. They contain specific hardware configurations that need to be maintained (P3 with a specific chipset and a several custom PCI cards). They are happy to sell us these computers in $60 cases for $1500, and some of our sites go through 3-5 of them a year. The cost isn't as significant as the downtime.

What is the big deal with putting the PSU in the chassis? Several rackmount configurations do this already, it's not like I'm opening the PSU up or anything.
 

CougTek

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You wrote that the case is sealed. A PSU completely inside will generate heat that will never go out of the enclosure and therefore, will only accumulate over time. Even if the PSU doesn't generate much heat, it will become dangerously hot in there. Thermally coupling the PSU's heatsinks to the chassis wouldn't be a bad idea.
 

ddrueding

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I also wrote that a radiator inside the case will handle any additional heat buildup from other components. For a lower-end computer (like the P3 I mentioned earlier), the water loop may just be a radiator inside the chassis picking up heat and dumping it to a radiator outside the chassis.
 

sdbardwick

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SD, part of David's problem is that "They contain specific hardware configurations that need to be maintained (P3 with a specific chipset and a several custom PCI cards).", so no NUCs or other OTS sealed setups for some of the systems.

David, I'd do a simple proof-of-concept with respect to the cooling solution before ordering the custom cases. You might need a significantly larger chiller than 1x120 radiator.
I'd set up a system along with your cooling idea in one of those big plastic storage tubs with a snap on sealed top, cut slits/holes for the cables and water lines, seal the cuts with RTV silicone and see what the thermal performance would be.
 

ddrueding

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Thanks for the idea sdbardwick. Going to a larger internal radiator isn't that big an issue; I've designed the case to fit larger if needed, though I'd just go to normal waterblocks on CPU/etc if they were a significant point source.
 

Chewy509

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Many companies already offer IP65 and IP67 certified computers. Why do you want to risk that your DIY project fails to do the job and to be liable for it?

You didn't find one powerful enough for your intended use?
This was my initial thought... Dave, have you contacted these guys: https://store.spartonre.com/

They do all sorts of cases, both IP54, IP56, Mil-Std and Marine-Std, including rack mountables.
 

ddrueding

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This was my initial thought... Dave, have you contacted these guys: https://store.spartonre.com/

They do all sorts of cases, both IP54, IP56, Mil-Std and Marine-Std, including rack mountables.
Chewy, sorry I didn't reply earlier. None of the cases that they offer are completely sealed. Airborne particles (some magnetic and conductive, most thermally inulating) are what I'm trying to avoid.
 
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