DIY Chiller Project

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
New to this forum, but I see a lot of similar problems in cooling fishtanks.
To avoid the very high cost for equipment, I am using every possible way to build things myself from scrap-parts and pieces.

To have an idea of the tank I'm working on, have a look at below link for pictures. For cooling it, I've started out with a simple dorm-fridge. Description of works done are listed in sequence as well.
Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/linla.m91/

Purchased an old 2nd hand dorm-fridge.
1. Drilled two holes in the side of the fridge
2. Carefully remove the temperature-'sensor-tube' from the freezer compartment
3. Get 10 meter of tube
4. Put inside the fridge and stick the ends of it through the holes
5. Connect one end with tank-water out
6. Connect other end to Filter in...
7. Fill with water, remove air-pockets and turn on the fridge and the filter again.
8. Up and running. 1 Hour of work.

My tank:
80 Gallon Outside the house...
Outside Temp all year between 32'C & 37'C (Thailand)
Fresh water setup
Before cooling: 34-35'C waaaay to hot
After building the cooling-line in: 30'C daytime, 28'C night-time

Still too hot but at least the top is off for now.
After checking with my aircon-guy today he confirmed that filling up new coolant in my fridge is no problem.
So then the next project will be to:
1. cut away the fridge
2. use the compressor and other parts of the cooling system.
3. replace the freezer-compartment where the actual chilling happened before.
4. extend that part with a long copper/aluminium coil
5. put this in an ice-cooler (around 50 liters should do) with water while having the compressor and parts next to it on a frame.
6. put a copper/alu coil around the cooling coil (for the tank water, don't like to risk my tank-water freely around yet, that would involve additional plumbing and a separate water-(return)line.)
7. Maybe try to get 2 flows (tank-water / coolant) run in opposite directions for better efficiency
8. Maybe put a small powerhead for even higher flow of cold water around the coils
9. put a temperature controller in the tank to keep temperature steady. (That would be in the tank, but switching the compressor on/off obviously)

Will post again with pictures once I'm starting on it. Hopefully this Sunday, 31st August....
Anybody with suggestions, please let me know...

Regards,
Luc
 
Last edited:

1oooop

int x; if {x>1} {std::cout
Jun 5, 2008
799
1
0
25
here, there, everywhere
game.uctrl.net
Real Name
Brandon
ns project, please include some pics... I might do this :grinyes:
 

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
Sure...Check the web-page (picasa) for current situation...will post pictures as soon as I've put down the screw-drivers and other tools...(but not before at least a couple of beers to monitor the workings)... :)
 

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
Bummer, my aircon-guy is good, tidy work, low rates, etc.
Informed my colleague on it and gave his number.
Pushed me off the list for Sunday and went to his house...sigh.
Well, at least I might be able to get him help me for free on the chiller.
Work first, will be another couple of days to start on this one.
 

1oooop

int x; if {x>1} {std::cout
Jun 5, 2008
799
1
0
25
here, there, everywhere
game.uctrl.net
Real Name
Brandon
cool, anyway I decided to jack a computer fan from dad, I just hope his hard drive doesn't overheat
 

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
DIY Chiller complete

I'm a happy man, finally got my DIY Chiller finished.
Let me go through step by step with some pictures.

1. Old situation Picture 1 & 2...
Old dorm-fridge + hose around the freezing element...Up and running with 1 Hour of work.

But, cooling water with cold air through the lining of pvc hose is not very effective...

In the following posts, I will put a short description and each of the steps I've mentioned in my first post on this thread with some of them changed into easier/better ideas. And of course the pictures... :)

IMGP5122.jpg IMGP5120.jpg
 

1oooop

int x; if {x>1} {std::cout
Jun 5, 2008
799
1
0
25
here, there, everywhere
game.uctrl.net
Real Name
Brandon
meh, so you finally got the freon refilled?
 

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
Step 1: Cutting away the fridge

The key-person in this project finally arrived, even with a colleague to help.
A lot of experience and ideas..good.

Taking out the fridge, short the loop back to filter only and looking at the fridge for the first step. I had in mind is to cut away the fridge entirely. After getting some sample boxes, (the white and the grey plastic boxes in the back of the picture) the guys advised me to keep the fridge (because of its isolation-materials and shape.)

IMGP5468.jpg IMGP5469.jpg
 
Last edited:

Luc

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
703
0
16
49
Thailand
Step 2: Using the parts

Ok. We dismantled everything. Nice collection of working parts that we'll reassemble later.
We're left with the fridge casing and the cooling-element in it.

IMGP5470.jpg IMGP5471.jpg IMGP5472.jpg IMGP5477.jpg
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store