back to article Don't bake your Raspberry Pi - now you can WATER COOL it

The Raspberry Pi is supposed to help teach kids how to code, but one Londoner has used it to learn how to fabricate a water-cooling rig, after building a liquid-filled radiator to cool his Pi. Does a Pi need water cooling? The device can certainly be overclocked, and its designers, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, last year added …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. jake Silver badge

    Interesting hack.

    Useful in RealLife[tm]? Probably not.

    But well done, if it's functional. Made me smile :-)

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    The coolant of choice is raspberry juice

    I'll get me coat

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Obviously

      Or Kool Aid?

      1. Anonymous Coward 15

        Re: Obviously

        Oh yeah!

    2. Chika

      Re: Obviously

      Yeah, as long as it doesn't make to Pi soggy...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pun intended...

  4. Piro Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Neat, but why not just add a heatsink?

    Sorry, a heatsink would be too sensible, of course.

    Water cooled Pi: just because you can.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Neat, but why not just add a heatsink?

      Uh, Piro, I think you're unclear on the concept. It is a heatsink ...

      1. frank ly

        Re: Neat, but why not just add a heatsink?

        I think Piro means a passive heat sink, not an active pumped fluid one. Even better, maybe, get a dead laptop and take that wicking fluid heat pipe thing out of it and adapt it to the Pi CPU.

  5. Crisp

    The real story here is that pump!

    It's so tiny!

    Part of me wonders if it would be possible to put together a water cooling system that would just run off the heat generated by the processor.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real story here is that pump!

      Sadly, in this world we have to obey the laws of thermodynamics.

      The more effective the cooling is, the less temperature difference to drive your Carnot cycle. To drive your Carnot cycle, the heat from the CPU has to flow towards a colder sink. If the CPU cools, the heat flow to the sink reduces and the energy available to drive the cooler does, too.

      It is always going to be more efficient simply to stick on a large passive cooler.

      There are fans driven by thermoelectric generators to spread the heat around from stoves, but obviously the temperature difference here is quite large, and the object is just to improve the airflow a bit. With something as small as the Pi, this is not likely to be a consideration.

    2. Tom 7

      Re: The real story here is that pump!

      Hot liquids tend to rise - its always annoyed me that solar hot water tends to stop working when the electricity goes off - just put the panels below the water tank! In this case stick the cooling element above the Pi.

      I would recommend a lot of those curly drinking straws,

      1. Dave Bell

        Re: The real story here is that pump!

        What I recall, from my distant past, it that a convection cooling system needs more of a height difference. Some early motor cars relied on convective water cooling, and that needed the top of the radiator to be some way above the cylinder head. You also need to use big enough pipes that viscosity is less significant. It doesn't scale down very well.

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: The real story here is that pump!

      You mean like, erm, convection?

      No idea what bore pipe you'd need to make that setup handle 95watts though.

    4. Suburban Inmate

      Re: The real story here is that pump!

      Your wonderings made me think of this: [url][/url]

  6. Archibald Trumpetbeetle

    I like mine with gravy

    no text

    1. 0laf

      Re: I like mine with gravy

      Pi and gravy definitely the way to go.

      Thumbs up for pointless yet talented engineering boffinry

  7. APA

    Not to be picky, but it's not actually the CPU you need to worry about heat-wise. There have been plenty of thermal picture taken of a pi and its the usb/networking chip that gets the hottest. Though I suppose the other chips would benefit from being cooler generally.

    1. Mikey

      If you look at the waterblock, it's covering three individual components. Unless I'm mistaken, the USB/Network control chip is the one covered by the far right end of the block. So he's covered all the things which require some form of active cooling, I think. Plus the fact that a block that would cover the CPU would be far too small for the inlet/outlet barbs.

      Kudos for the effort, looks pretty spiffy. I wonder if he'll end up mass producing them?

      1. APA

        I was really responding to the paragraph

        "Water cooling could therefore come in handy to keep the CPU temperature lower for longer, enabling more use of turbo mode."

        In my experience the pi simply doesn't get hot. I have it set on "turbo" and left it, at worst the temperature gets to the low 60s.I have to admit I've haven't run anything particularly demanding on it, but it does suggest to me that there's plenty of headroom before that magic 85C threshold comes into play. The limiting thermal factor seems to be the networking chip (which is on the far right) but as another commendard suggests, wouldn't the heat differential between the networking chip and CPU cause the heat to flow back through the heat pipe and effectively warming up the CPU?

    2. Piro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      If you take a look at the water cooled image again - he has all 3 heat culprits hooked up to the loop.

  8. M7S

    Appropriate Topping








    1. Shades
      Thumb Up

      Re: Appropriate Topping

      If this cooler was ever manufactured commercially that should definitely be its name!

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Appropriate Topping

      You gave me another idea:






  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But with the PoP aren't you mostly cooling the RAM? Try submerging the thing in Fluorinert.

  11. Paul Renault

    I shudder to think what the coolant used here is.

    Y'know, 'cuz it's a Raspberry pi.

    A Raspberry PI!

    Oh, don't you know anyone who speaks Greek? Ask them how to pronounce that letter.

    1. Chika

      Re: I shudder to think what the coolant used here is.

      Oh come on! Now you really are taking the... nononononono, forget that!

    2. aqk

      Re: I shudder to think what the coolant used here is.

      Well, it goes without saying that the coolant must first be cooled.

      It may just end up in a "modern art" museum, as did <a href=" ">this coolant. </a>

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worthless piece of junk

    It is too complicated for kids to lean programming on.

    All they will learn is the pointless skill of cut and paste.

    Kids will learn more trying to program Microchip PIC and Atmel in the C language.

    Simple "Calculator" type programs on the windows platform would be easier to program and beneficial for learning.

    Worthless junk: Underpowered and running the wrong OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worthless piece of junk

      What OS should it be running? While C is a good language and PIC's are cool from a nerdy perspective (Obviously I include myself in that statement) it is generally worthless to kids. With PIC comes electronics, with a computer comes everything you need to see instant results. It isnt too much further to jump into assembler (my preference) but I wouldnt throw a beginner into that can of worms.

      As an intro to programming there are many fine languages but sticking with C syntax they could learn java or PHP. Both cross platforms easily and I often advise them for anyone thinking of learning C/C++. This is of course aimed at beginners so we cant give them too much of a learning curve.

      There are a lot of cut and paste programmers and its not good, but without having the basic concepts taught to you how can you learn without seeing others code at work? I came from schools where they could barely turn on a PC never mind open a word processor. Self learning programming required a lot of copy/paste/books/internet and asking questions when I got to college/uni.

  13. Annihilator

    "The thread doesn't, sadly, say if the Pi runs with this rig attached"

    Any reason to suspect it wouldn't?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like