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Old 09-24-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


I sorta get how a heat exchanger works, where you have hot air passing through a heat conductive surface, and the other side gets hot, and more air passes by and is heated. Or you have water passing by a pipe that is heated and the water gets hot.

But how is it controlled? Say I have a device that produces heat, so I use water to take that heat, and bring that heat somewhere else, how do I "tell" it to release that heat? Does it have to do with the type of material used, heat sink, gravity (heat rises, cold goes down)?

I just had a wacked idea of using my computer's heat to warm my cat's bed (probably using water, as they do make water cooling kits for computers). Wondering how I'd go about doing that. I want to make sure my cat's body heat will not warm the computer.


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Old 09-24-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


Google: Thermodynamics

Heat flows from hot to cold, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Conduction, convection, radiation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics

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Old 09-24-2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


hmm kinda what I suspected. So they'll basically just equal over time. Figured there may have been a trick to throw it off balance on one side more then the other, or something.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:19 AM   #4
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


Heat energy simply travels from a high energy source to a low energy source.

How hot/warm would the water be from your computers cooler.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


For the cat and computer combo you would need thermostats to turn on the circulating fans for a channel between the computer and the cat's bed when the computer is warm and the cat's bed needs heat and turn off those fans otherwise. There might be other fans and air channels to cool down the cat's bed and/or the computer and send the warm air elsewhere.

The heat exchanger might be used so there is a separate loop from the computer to the heat exchanger versus from the cat's bed to the heat exchanger. This prevents getting cat's fur into the computer.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


I want to make sure my cat's body heat will not warm the computer

How big is Whiskas?

Perhaps there is an online Manual J calculator to find out his BTU rating
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:31 PM   #7
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


Unless you have a very rare breed of cat. It requires no additional heat. And it can also stand far more heat then we can.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:21 PM   #8
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


"prevents getting cat's fur into the computer"

Hopefully the computer won't have to "hack" up a fur ball.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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how does a controlled heat transfer work?


Haha if I was to do this I'd probably use liquid, not direct air. I aired out my PC a month back and wow, just what gets accumulated by the fans is quite nasty.

I figured maybe there was a way to "force" the heat out, but guess it's more a question of balance. So if the cat is generating more BTU, then it will warm up the PC. I would then need some thermostat controlled zone valve to throw the water to a radiator when the bed is warm enough. Probably wont do that any time soon was more or less a fun thought. A geek project for later.

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