I had the chance to present on Wednesday April 21, 2018 at the Open Compute Project - US Summit...
How to: Completely Removing Dielectric Coolants from Electronics
We get this question a lot at Engineered Fluids. As SLIC has become a common method of electronics cooling, so too does the problem of cleaning miners and servers for resale so that they can be used by others that need to use air cooling. The difficulty in cleaning miners that have been immersed in BitCool BC-888 or ElectroCool EC-100/130 is that neither of these coolants evaporates, so it not possible to simply take them out of the coolant and let them "dry".
To remove the BitCool or ElectroCool you must use a solvent that is capable of emulsifying the coolant so as to completely remove it, and that solvent must also evaporate leaving no film on the components. Dr. Sundin has been working on this problem for the past year experimenting with different compounds in search of the perfect solvent that not only will break down the coolant, evaporate with no film, but also be fully dielectric. Why dielectric? Well in his many experiments with cleaning miners and other electronics what he's found is that because many chips and components have tiny gaps and spaces that no matter how long you leave them at air temperature they never fully "dry." There simply is not enough air flow in these tiny spaces for the solvent to fully dry out. When using non-dielectric solvents this often results in shorts when the device is put back into operation.
One solution is to "bake" the electronics in an oven so as to raise the temperature enough to cause the solvent to phase change to a gas and evaporate of the nooks and crannies. The obvious problem here is time, effort, and complexity. It only tanks about 15m to fully evaporate, but you have to very carefully monitor the temperature our you'll destroy your equipment, and frankly 15m is a long time if you are trying to re-purpose even 10 miners.
Dr. Sundin's approach to solving this problem was to use the heat generated by the device in operation to cause any remaining solvent to simply evaporate. So the task was to find the perfect solvent that would not only clean, but would actually not cause any issues if any solvent remained in liquid form on the board after it was "dry".
Engineered Fluids is pleased to announce the availability of Dielectric Solvent DS-100.
Engineered Fluids Dielectric Solvent DS-100
DS-100 Dielectric Solvent is a dielectric solvent and cleaner, specifically formulated for the removal of Engineered Fluids' AmpCool©, BitCool©, ElectroCool©, and VoltCool© dielectric coolants from electrical circuitry and equipment. DS-100 can also be used to clean electronic equipment from manufacturing detritus, dust, and airborne contaminants prior to immersion. In addition, DS-100 can be used to clean and remove residue from electronic equipment, enclosures, tanks, hoses, pumps, and dry coolers that has been used with mineral oil and other hydrocarbons.
DS-100 does not contain halogenated solvents or other hazardous ingredients. DS-100's high dielectric strength enables it to be used safely on all types of electrical apparatus without the danger of electrical shorts or unintended arcing during operation..
DS-100 Dielectric Solvent removes both synthetic and hydrocarbon-based fluid coolants but is safe for use on plastic and rubber components. Unlike other solvents, DS-100 can be used without extensive protective equipment, and its high flash point provides an unprecedented degree of user safety.
DS-100 is simple to use either as a spray, in parts cleaner tanks, or in full immersion dip tanks. After cleaning, place the equipment in a well-ventilated location and allow it to dry. DS-100 will remove all residual coolant so that equipment can be maintained or returned to standard air-cooled service or repaired using soldering or other standard repair practices.
Instructions for Use:
- DS-100 is flammable so avoid fire or ignition sources in work area.
Remove electrical equipment from dielectric coolant and allow at least 5 minutes for residual coolant t0 flow off device.
Residual coolant should be recovered in a clean dry container and can be returned for use if not contaminated.
Apply DS-100 by spray, wipe, brush, or dipping. When spraying or brushing apply a light coat first and allow DS-100 a minimum of 5 minutes to work in fully, then follow with another light coat as a rinse.
When dipping, immerse the device fully in DS-100 for 15-20 seconds while agitating device gently in the fluid. DS-100 also works exceptionally well in filtered or unfiltered parts washers.
Reapply if additional cleaning is required.
Allow device to dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated work area. DS-100 is a purpose specific solvent designed specifically to clean any electronic equipment that has been immersed in BitCool, ElectroCool, AmpCool, and VoltCool as well mineral and white oils. DS-100 is fully dielectric and thus poses no threat to operating electronics.