Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

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Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Rambo on July 26th 2010, 4:09 pm

As we all know chillers are very expensive, and they also draw LOADS of electricity. so I will make this thread so everyone can tell people about there DIY chilling projects.
My project will be about forced evaporation and i will keep you guys updated.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 6th 2010, 2:12 am

My question is how do people convert mini fridges into chillers. Is it a matter of drilling into the fridge and having water pass through in pipes?

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Michael Milligan on September 6th 2010, 5:01 am

Yup.

Two holes in the top (in/out) and run the water though lines inside the fridge. It is most common to coil the tubing up inside a water vessel in the fridge to help the heat exchange.

Need one?
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 6th 2010, 2:32 pm

No I have a fridge. I just got to figure out how to drill and what kind of coils to use.

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Michael Milligan on September 6th 2010, 6:21 pm

Try youtube.

2 holes in the top fitted with bulkheads and plastic tubing. If you have the money and way to get it, I imagine that stainless steel would work best.

I just intend to run my return line though mine (when I get it) but if you are using a separate line for the chiller then perhaps putting the pump inside the unit would be a good idea.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 6th 2010, 7:07 pm

Stainless steel pipes?

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by snapperhead on September 11th 2011, 4:01 am

What you need to make a successful bar fridge chiller.

Bar fridge.

At least 5 ft of titanium tube and pvc elbows to suit .

Bucket or container to suit size of fridge that will hold fresh water.

you may have to get Titanium tube cut to size to fit in container with elbows on ends.

Then connect tubes so they go back and forth in the bottom of container and step up to next layer .Put as many layers of tube in the container as you can, any extra use as plumbing in fridge.

Plumb fridge with pvc tube from sump pump etc.

fill container with cold water close door and turn on fridge.

Titanium tube( 18 inches of 1/2" Titanium tubing will do the same job as 35' of plastic tubing.

Titanium is safe in salt water (its used in all top brand chillers).

This is the chiller Im making atm I will also be placing a small circulation pump in the cooling container to help with heat tranfer .The site below gave me the idea Im just trying to make it more compact.

http://www.guarriello.net/chiller.htm


Last edited by snapperhead on September 11th 2011, 5:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 11th 2011, 5:04 am

When you're done with your chiller you should post pictures so we can see the finished product Smile.

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by snapperhead on September 11th 2011, 5:05 am

I just added a bit more info above ...I will post pic's for sure..
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 11th 2011, 5:51 am

Interesting link. Unfortunately it looked like there was a mess of tubes, which is not only unsightly, but if there's ever a leak or something goes awry in the system it can make it hard to figure out what's wrong.

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by snapperhead on September 11th 2011, 8:53 am

His is a bit messy..The idea on titanium tube and cooling wells got me thinking about similar idea inside the bar fridge and neat and smaller ,its alot differant to other diy's ive seen.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on September 11th 2011, 5:42 pm

I think that in a fridge it would in fact be neater. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see how yours works out. Smile

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by AquaticEngineer on September 11th 2011, 6:12 pm

Gotta watch out with the DIY mini fridge chillers, the compressors aren't meant to run constantly which is what ends up happening unless you have every that the water comes in contact with insulated so you dont have unwanted thermal gain.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by snapperhead on September 12th 2011, 6:52 am

The mini fridge Im think of using is a camper fridge/freezer with gas /electric power supply, and I was thinking of placing the exchange into the Well water with thermostat and then pack free spaces with HD foam, all my tanks pipes, sump and back of DT are insulated already and for hot days and while away I have a thick thermal blanket to place on the front and sides ..
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by AquaticEngineer on October 11th 2011, 1:54 pm

I think the only decent cooling menthod other than refrigerant chillers would be a thermal electric setup.

I was thinking of trying this on a smaller tank, building a 1" thick acrylic all in one tank and using a couple ice-probes drilled into the rear overflow area. They definately have their limitations, and could really only be used in a house that has a stable temperature controlled environment. I'm sure I'll try one eventually.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on October 11th 2011, 11:48 pm

That definitely sounds interesting. What would be the dimensions of said tank?

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by AquaticEngineer on October 12th 2011, 2:12 am

Not sure, depends on the prices I get. Scrap 1" is pretty cheap, so it'll be a small tank for sure.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by Hero on October 15th 2011, 1:56 pm

I see. How many gallons do you estimate it will hold?

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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by AquaticEngineer on October 15th 2011, 2:50 pm

Less than 10 I'm sure.
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

Post by snapperhead on November 23rd 2011, 6:28 am

Well after alot of work ,adding up ,getting quotes ,running costs and control....Ive decides that a Aquarium chiller is cheaper to run and program and the cost out weighs the DIY..

A middle of the range Chiller around $5-700 running costs are a 1/4 of the DIY I was planning and the total cost of a reliable DIY was going to be around the $400 mark without hidden extra's and money spend dialing it in. 6ft of 1inch titanium tube, a half decent thermostat and pumbing ,insulation material and the cooling unit its self (freezer) came to $430AUD and I can buy a resun 450cl for $300 or a teco for 500 and there both bigger than my needs.... So no DIY chiller for me ,and my efforts are now going into a scrubber and A Canoe build with outrigger and a whippella ( weed wacker with a prop.) for getting to thoses out of the way collecting spots...
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Re: Alternatives to refridgerant chillers

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