DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

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Brandon
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DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

Post by Brandon » Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:48 pm

1st off credit goes to Mafiaman on thereeftank.com for the original idea.


Well.. for the very first time, my tank temperature is a rock solid 79.8 and not budging, and the halides have been on for 5 hours so far. All three of them, I had just been running 2 because of the heat. :D

I just started running this recently, and it seems to be working out very well.. It is just a window shaker with the coil in a tub of water/anti-freeze.
Anti-freeze because of the galvanic reaction between copper and aluminum. And ice-maker tubing running from my tank through the tub and back into the tank. There is a wal-mart powerhead in the tub keeping things stirred up.



Sterilite plastic box ~$5
Insulation ~$20
1/4" Polypropylene tubing(100') ~$8
3/8" Polypropylene tubing (50') ~$6
Fittings ~$15
Aqualogic Temp Controller $60
5000btu Window unit FREE - Thank you Snakeman!
Insulation Tape (Had on Hand)
Ehiem 1048 Pump (Had on Hand)
Circulation pump in tub (Cheap Wal-mart powerhead I had on hand)

Total $114

I have the halides on a powerstrip that is on a timer. The Ehiem pump is plugged into the power strip and only circulates water into the cooling tub when the halides come on. I have 3/8 tubing running from the sump through the floor into the crawlspace, which then goes to 100' of 1/4" tubing that is in the tub. Then back out, through the floor & into the sump.
The A/C unit is dismantled and the condensor is sitting in the tub with the lineset going over a slot cut on the side of the tub. Had to be really careful with this so that I didn't crimp the copper line.

I have yet to hear it kick on.. seems to not have to run much at all, but I have the temp controller set at a 60 degrees with a 5 degree variance. I will need to set it a little higher than this I think, but it has zero problems reaching this temperature quickly. I just have the a/c unit sitting on a block and the exhaust up against a ventilation hole. I can't hear it outside.. so no biggie. I know there is some loss between the tubing , etc.. but should be between 1/3 - 1/2 horsepower.... I'm pleased with how it is working so far.

A cooler might have been just as good or maybe better, but I priced the nicer coolers, and they would have taken the project out of the ghetto level.

I need to put insulation over the line returning back - it is getting a litle moisture on it, so up the budget a buck.


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PS: Here is the link to the idea, if anyone is interested: http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showt ... ht=chiller
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Scott
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Post by Scott » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:19 pm

Man, that's about as ghetto as I've seen. It would fit right in with my set up.
Wanted: to set up a tank again.

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tbmoore
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Post by tbmoore » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:25 pm

Nice job....would like to see it in person one day to get a better idea of everything you got there.....It is amazing what reefers come up with to make our hobby (adiction) work....I give you a thumbs up.... :lol: :idea:

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andy4499
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Post by andy4499 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:28 pm

That is cool

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tbmoore
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Post by tbmoore » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:31 pm

you will have to bring it to a meeting next time and show it off.... :roll:

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KrazyPlace
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Post by KrazyPlace » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:21 pm

As an engineer I've got to say I'm VERY impressed!

Just a word of warning... 1 drop of that antifreeze gets in your tank and you'll be starting over from scratch! Be careful!
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Post by Phisher » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:25 pm

the condensor is sitting in the tub
Evaporator.

The only problem I see might occur if the water in the tub gets too cold.

Joe
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KrazyPlace
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Re: DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

Post by KrazyPlace » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:54 pm

Brandon wrote: Sterilite plastic box ~$5
Insulation ~$20
1/4" Polypropylene tubing(100') ~$8
3/8" Polypropylene tubing (50') ~$6
Fittings ~$15
Aqualogic Temp Controller $60
5000btu Window unit FREE - Thank you Snakeman!
Insulation Tape (Had on Hand)
Ehiem 1048 Pump (Had on Hand)
Circulation pump in tub (Cheap Wal-mart powerhead I had on hand)
Total $114
The joy of building something so damn ugly and totally insane that only MBRK friends could appreciate... PRICELESS!

I have a few suggestions for the next person who decides to take this task on:

1) Use a real Colman cooler instead of a Rubbermaid & insulation. It would be more energy efficient.

2) Set the temperature controller for the air conditioner in the vapor space above the antifreeze, but inside the Colman cooler. The vapor above the liquid should be very close to the temperture of the liquid.

3) Use NO fittings on the saltwater line that is inside the glycol.
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Brandon
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Re: DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

Post by Brandon » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:30 pm

KrazyPlace wrote:
Brandon wrote: Sterilite plastic box ~$5
Insulation ~$20
1/4" Polypropylene tubing(100') ~$8
3/8" Polypropylene tubing (50') ~$6
Fittings ~$15
Aqualogic Temp Controller $60
5000btu Window unit FREE - Thank you Snakeman!
Insulation Tape (Had on Hand)
Ehiem 1048 Pump (Had on Hand)
Circulation pump in tub (Cheap Wal-mart powerhead I had on hand)
Total $114
The joy of building something so damn ugly and totally insane that only MBRK friends could appreciate... PRICELESS!

I have a few suggestions for the next person who decides to take this task on:

1) Use a real Colman cooler instead of a Rubbermaid & insulation. It would be more energy efficient.

2) Set the temperature controller for the air conditioner in the vapor space above the antifreeze, but inside the Colman cooler. The vapor above the liquid should be very close to the temperture of the liquid.

3) Use NO fittings on the saltwater line that is inside the glycol.

1. That was the kicker with the cooler, the nice ones are pretty pricey. I think the R value of the foil insulation is pretty darned good.. It holds the 60degree temp without hardly ever kicking on. I'm really not so sure it would be more effecient unless you were using one of those really thick expensive 5-day coolers, the r-value for the foil foam board is > 7, and ice coolers are usually just plain foam without the foil barrier.

2. Why set the temp sensor above the antifreeze?

3. Agreed on the no fittings, also use 3/8 throughout instead of 1/4" it is thicker walled but if you use enough of it, it should not matter. Home Depot has taken to selling the tubing in max 50' lengths. I placed my fittings above the liquid. I will be replacing the tubing with 1 consecutive run from the sump and back up of 3/8".


Additional thoughts.. I think it could stand faster flow, that is why I think 3/8" would be more ideal. The water coming back out is nice and cool but there is not enough of it. The thermal transfer between the water inside the pipe and outside is suprisingly good, Helps that there is 100' of it I am sure. The rubbermaid container is 30 gallons so that is a nice buffer also.
Toward the end of the halide cycle, I went to 80.2 degrees, from 79.8, and the a/c hardly ever kicked on. I would call that a success, but I would like 0 change, so I will try upping the flow to keep up with the halides, and will get rid of connectors at same time. At worst with the connectors, because the chiller is under my house, and I am pumping water down to it and back up, it would drain some water out of my sump until the feed pump ran dry.

I think this would be the way to go, a titanium coil flow-thru unit.. gonna see about ordering one of these
http://i20.ebayimg.com/01/i/02/e0/08/03_1.JPG\

PS: The real reason I used the rubbermaid and insulation, was that it was stuff I had laying around not being used.
Last edited by Brandon on Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Brandon
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Post by Brandon » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:35 pm

Phisher wrote:
the condensor is sitting in the tub
Evaporator.

The only problem I see might occur if the water in the tub gets too cold.

Joe
is 60degrees ok? The temp controller cuts power to the a/c unit when whatever temp I have set is reached. Of course this could all be a moot point if it gets really friggin cold outside since this is under the house.
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Re: DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

Post by KrazyPlace » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:36 pm

Brandon wrote:...Why set the temp sensor above the antifreeze?
Can you put the temperature sensor for the air conditioner in the glycol solution? If so then that's perfect.

No question you did an awesome job!
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Brandon
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Re: DIY - Poor Mans Ghetto Chiller

Post by Brandon » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:43 pm

KrazyPlace wrote:
Brandon wrote:...Why set the temp sensor above the antifreeze?
Can you put the temperature sensor for the air conditioner in the glycol solution? If so then that's perfect.

No question you did an awesome job!
I guess so.. well I did, it's water proof. I "think" it's encapsulated in epoxy and stainless.. will it hurt it?

I'm more nervous about this fittings now :) :roll:
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Post by ShagMan » Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:02 am

kick ASS, nice setup Brandon.
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Post by Melissakins » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:09 am

AHAH!!!

Now I know what happened to the rubbermaid box I was using as a hamper in my bathroom!

I thought maybe that's what you had done with it.
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Brandon
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Post by Brandon » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:14 am

Oooops!... Busted :wink:
- A wookie is nothing more than three ewoks duct taped together.

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