Water Cooled Projectors - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe this is more appropriately a thread for the plus 20K forum. But I'm hoping it won't cost that much.

Porsche sports and race cars used to be air-cooled. So did VWs. My IBM mainframe (not really mine personally) was a 4100 series. That was the biggest of the the 370 models that was air cooled. If we had had just a little more business we would have needed a water cooled unit.

Air cooling is cheap and simple, but when you get bigger or want more performance you have to get a radiator. You have to go to water cooling. My turbo charged sports car has an oil radiator. My previous Rabbit diesel didn't need one of those. High performance makes waste heat.

Water cooling is available now on PCs. Many gamers, especially those who overclock their CPUs, have run into cooling problems. They just buy an after market water cooling gizmo. All the previous threads on water cooling have been the cooling of a computer - not a projector.

But as far as I know there are no water cooled projectors for Home Theater. Real movie theaters I'm sure have some water cooled models for IMAX and DLP projectors.

What would be the advantages? First of all - silence. If I could detach the fan from the rest of the projector I would put it in another room and run a hose into my theater room. I have a hole in the wall behind my equipment closet already for cables from the other room.

Being able to mount a projector anywhere allows greater brightness too. Bright projectors are about twice as bright as dim projectors but bright retroflective screens are more than three times as bright as the dimmer screens (the gray ones). One reason people don't like retroflectives is that the projector should be close to your head for maximal brightness. In that visual "sweet spot" the fan noise can be intrusive.

I believe the technology already exists for water cooling from all the gaming PCs. How hard would it be to make a projector with a detachable radiator-fan module? It would be like the power bricks that many micro projectors have. You would set the projector wherever you liked and then run the six feet of hose to the fan-radiator module. You could place it behind a chair, or in another room or even outside the window.

My projector's fan makes it so hot in my theater room that I had to add an air conditioner. So my A/C unit dumps my excess heat out the window. It would be simpler to dump that heat directly from the projector rather than dump it from the projector into the room air and then dump it from the room air to the outside air.

With better cooling projectors could get more powerful light sources and that would help with 3D. It would also help with getting really bright images in living rooms with no light control. The main reason why we need six foot plasma flat screens rather than ten foot projectors for this environment is cooling. A well cooled projector with a thousand watt bulb or LED should be possible. No bat cave needed.
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post #2 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 10:41 AM
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I suppose it is possible for sure. It is probably a supply/demand thing. The R&D for that may be tough to pay back. Understand LOTS of people buy super PC's, and so that is a no brainer. Projectors are a VERY small part of video in general.

I don't doubt it would be a cool idea, especially if they did put large lamps for bright areas (of course then we are dealing with large jumps in lamp cost but that is another situation). Your idea of running a tube/pipe would likely work, but then you also get into preconstruction limitations. I can tell you from my years and years of installations, vast majority are retro fit, making that a difficult task...

Only playing devils advocate but it is an interesting idea...

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post #3 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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I thought the higher end LED pj's used liquid cooling on the LED's.

Noah
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 11:14 AM
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Watercooling a computer chip is easy as there is usually a flat surface that some type of heat exchanger can be mounted to. Mounting a heat exchanger to a conventional projector bulb is much more difficult. Especially without blocking the light coming from the bulb. LEDs may be an easier choice as there is probably some type of electronic component that gets hot where an exchanger could be mounted to.

The reason air is used to cool bulbs is because it is readily available, it's safe, it's cheap to do, and it's transparent. Liquid cooling may be better suited for LED or laser. And if you're trying to move the heat away from the room, you're adding additional layers of complexity regardless of what type of cooling mechanism you're using.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 11:21 AM
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My Sim2 MICO 50 and several other LED-powered DLP projectors use liquid cooling now. The radiator and fan are located inside the projector.
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 11:41 AM
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ALL the CHi-Lin based LED projectors are "liquid" cooled SIm2 Vango etc. The Delta models are not Runco, DP, etc.

All they did was stick or screw a liquid cooled heat sink onto the normal heat sink on the back of the LEDs. I have seen the inside of both and it would extremely easy to put a liquid cooled system in these LED models.

That being said. Bulb projectors are colled by passing air over the bulb. There is no place to attach a real heat sink to the bulb as it is glass and not Solid State like and LED. Therefore to liquid cool would be very hard and expensive.

You could use phase change cooling (i.e air conditioning) to cool the incoming air that is blowing over the bulb, but those units are very very expensive and much louder than air cooling.

The only other real option is A/C from a unit located outside the room and duct the cool air to the intake of the projector... you might even be able to remove the fans or at least use less noising ones.


Back to liquid... you can buy kits on line starting at $50 and up to the thousands. I have all ready looked into a kit / upgrade for my Runco and I believe I could do it for about $250. The only issue I might run into is the fan sensor, which would not be hard to get around or incorporate it just has to be done. The only thing keeping me from doing a liquid cooled system is the projector is all ready very quiet. Only if I need to relocate the PJ to an area very close to my head; then maybe I will actually do this, but again very easy on LED chassis.

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post #7 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I thought the higher end LED pj's used liquid cooling on the LED's.

They do...Vango, Sim2, etc... Though I got the impression it was a light output vs fan discussion, meaning lamp.

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post #8 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citation4444 View Post

My Sim2 MICO 50 and several other LED-powered DLP projectors use liquid cooling now. The radiator and fan are located inside the projector.

How effective is this? Does it make the projector as quiet at the 17db Mits HC 7000? Or does it just make it an average noise projector?
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 09:11 AM
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Liquid cooling by itself is not the answer to a quiet projector. If you put a cheap high speed fan on the rad you will still get a loud projector.

The best answer to getting a low noise PJ is to replace the current fan with a high end fan. The higher end fans have better blade designs, better bearings, and other things that result in a low noise level.

David

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post #10 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovingtravler View Post

Liquid cooling by itself is not the answer to a quiet projector. If you put a cheap high speed fan on the rad you will still get a loud projector.

The best answer to getting a low noise PJ is to replace the current fan with a high end fan. The higher end fans have better blade designs, better bearings, and other things that result in a low noise level.

Are high end fans much more expensive? I don't understand why in most respects new projectors, e.g in the JVC line, showed better specifications than their predecessors. The one exception was noise, which became worse. All the new JVCs are noisier than the previous entry level HD 250, not to mention much worse than the the Mits 7000.
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post #11 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 08:42 PM
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no they are computer fans. You can get good Delta or Sunco fans and others for 8 to 20 dollars each depending on size, speed, temp reporting, variable speed, and bearing type.

anywhere to save money is most companies motto. My runco Q has 4 or 6 fans at $20 that is a lot of money lucky mine actually has higher end Delta fans.

David

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post #12 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 12:36 PM
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I remember seeing a mock up some where of a dual chassis projector. The "light engine" was a rack mountable separate unit, that I believe was liquid cooled, with very bright LED's, white I think. Then, a fiber optic cable was fed from the unit to the projector - just a "cool" very bright light feed - that's all a projector needs anyway

It was just a concept, but it seemed brilliant for those who could house something like that. I'm not even sure fiber optic cable would carry enough of the light to the projector, but it looked ingenious. Or maybe fiber optic cable is really expensive? Anyway, wish it would be manufactured, because it could be done without having to worry about the size of the projector itself. You could have a whole closet full of the light engine stuff, and just have a really neat small projector throwing crazy good images.

LCOS, DLP, etc....that's a whole other discussion of course (of how the projector would create the image).
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post #13 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 12:47 PM
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It's a little more complex than just plugging in a new fan. There are many factors that can affect fan performance and noise. If you plug in a lower noise fan that doesn't cool the bulb enough, then you're going to damage the projector and/or bulb.

Before replacing the fan, I would make sure that the fan's static pressure and airflow are sufficient to match and/or exceed the stock fan. Once you find fans that meet those specifications, then you can look for ones with lower noise levels.
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post #14 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaseuser View Post

I remember seeing a mock up some where of a dual chassis projector. The "light engine" was a rack mountable separate unit, that I believe was liquid cooled, with very bright LED's, white I think. Then, a fiber optic cable was fed from the unit to the projector - just a "cool" very bright light feed - that's all a projector needs anyway

It was just a concept, but it seemed brilliant for those who could house something like that. I'm not even sure fiber optic cable would carry enough of the light to the projector, but it looked ingenious. Or maybe fiber optic cable is really expensive? Anyway, wish it would be manufactured, because it could be done without having to worry about the size of the projector itself. You could have a whole closet full of the light engine stuff, and just have a really neat small projector throwing crazy good images.

LCOS, DLP, etc....that's a whole other discussion of course (of how the projector would create the image).

This was a nordic company. I do not remember the name, but they do sell it. It uses a liquid fiber optic cable up to 50 feet long. The light engine is a bulb though. I will see if I can find the link.

David

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post #15 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondaedg View Post

It's a little more complex than just plugging in a new fan. There are many factors that can affect fan performance and noise. If you plug in a lower noise fan that doesn't cool the bulb enough, then you're going to damage the projector and/or bulb.

Before replacing the fan, I would make sure that the fan's static pressure and airflow are sufficient to match and/or exceed the stock fan. Once you find fans that meet those specifications, then you can look for ones with lower noise levels.

Yes you have to make sure the new fan meets or exceeds the urrent fans CFM, rating as well as other things.

David

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post #16 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovingtravler View Post

Liquid cooling by itself is not the answer to a quiet projector. If you put a cheap high speed fan on the rad you will still get a loud projector.

The best answer to getting a low noise PJ is to replace the current fan with a high end fan. The higher end fans have better blade designs, better bearings, and other things that result in a low noise level.

True true. In fact the LED's of today make more noise from the power supply than anything else... Sure a fan may make it worse, but there is still noise...just different noise.

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post #17 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovingtravler View Post


This was a nordic company. I do not remember the name, but they do sell it. It uses a liquid fiber optic cable up to 50 feet long. The light engine is a bulb though. I will see if I can find the link.

It is ProjectionDesign, FR 12 Series, see it at http://www.projectiondesign.com/products/fr12-series with "remote" lamp.

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post #18 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 02:49 PM
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Cool....that's the design for sure! I don't see why this isn't being done more around here (US). We already make a lot of sacrifices getting our HT room ready (paint, treatments, running power, signal, etc...), so what's one more cable run???

The separate unit could be EASILY outfitted with many LED lamps and a boatload of cooling fans and techniques, but you could put it in another room. All the concerns of noise/heat are gone.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaseuser View Post

Cool....that's the design for sure! I don't see why this isn't being done more around here (US). We already make a lot of sacrifices getting our HT room ready (paint, treatments, running power, signal, etc...), so what's one more cable run???

The separate unit could be EASILY outfitted with many LED lamps and a boatload of cooling fans and techniques, but you could put it in another room. All the concerns of noise/heat are gone.

Not that cool apparently. If you read their brochure, their idea of "virtually completely" silent is 24db at the "projector head" which is separated from the noisy bulb, which is way above all kinds of standard home theater projectors. What is making all that noise if there is no bulb and no fan at the projector head?
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CFR View Post

Not that cool apparently. If you read their brochure, their idea of "virtually completely" silent is 24db at the "projector head" which is separated from the noisy bulb, which is way above all kinds of standard home theater projectors. What is making all that noise if there is no bulb and no fan at the projector head?

True, but the potential is there. Probably the color wheel since it's DLP.
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post #21 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFR View Post

How effective is this? Does it make the projector as quiet at the 17db Mits HC 7000? Or does it just make it an average noise projector?

The fan noise is irrelevant on the water cooled Vango LED projector (And the Sim2, I suppose). Something else related to the contrast on the screen makes a fairly loud, high pitched whining noise that is in the 32+ db range. I notice it the most when the LEDs are being driven hard to produce a bright white in a mostly dark screen. I cannot hear it at all in mostly dark or mostly light scenes, which is to say that 80-90% of the time I cannot hear the projector - and the only time I do hear it is when there is hardly any sound coming whatever I'm watching.

The odd thing is that my wife and visitors hardly hear the sound at all. They hear "something" if I point it out to them and put their head close to the projector. If I don't point it out, they don't seem to be aware of it.

I checked out a Runco LED projector and thought its fans were louder than I wanted, so I think the water cooling has a benefit.

So, my take is that the water cooling system is reasonably quiet, but that doesn't automatically make the projector quiet.
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post #22 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 03:15 PM
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+1

The power supply on the Vango and Mico 40/50/60 does whine with bright scenes. It is funny what one person finds off putting and another does not. I actually grabbed the Runco instead oft he Vango based on the power supply and noise. The fans are louder in the Runco but not much about 3db. I measured at one inch out and one inch over from the air outlet of both.

I planned to change the fans, but similar to you once I had it in the theater I could only hear it when the movie is ultra quiet so I jhave left the original fans in.

Even on the remote light DP projector I bet there is a fan in the display portion as light creates heat and the heat from the light on the DLP chip and or color wheel willl have to be moved away to keep things running correctly... it just means a smaller shofter fan

David

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post #23 of 23 Old 04-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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The power supply in SIM2's 2nd generation LED projector (M.150) is no longer plagued with the humming/buzzing issue of its predecessors.
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