Idea for cheap chiller!!! critisism appreciated!
ok well im new to the forum and just wanna share an idea and see if its possible.the idea is turning a relativly cheap freezer kitchen unit into a highly effective chiller for the aquarium.my idea works on the principle of using the freezer and a small pump which can push a couple of meters of cord which would be coiled up inside the freezer leaving it exposed to the cold for a while.i would use the appropriate metal drill size for the tubing diameter drill a hole on either side of the freezer, put both ends through and coil up the tubing all 5 meters or so's worth inside the freezer then use some type of thermal sylicon or seal up the leak so the motor doesnt burn up.just thought it would be an awsome idea if anyone agrees or not? some feed back would be great, not to mention the cheap freezer would have a very vast chilling compacity and double as a store unit for frozen food for the fish. replys and critisism would be great, just as an apprentice in australia i cant justify $$$1000+ for some device to reduce the water temperature by 7-10 degrees when it would take me 125 work hours just to buy it from a store.
great idea but when you arent using the chiller, you will have this big tube sticking out of your refridgerator which will take away the cold which will in the end cost you money. But it is a very good idea since you can store fish stuff in there as well
I don't know tha it has to be that complicated. Simply running 2-4 feet or tubing in the freezer with a continuous waterflow should chill the water up to 10 degrees and not effect the operation of the freezer at all. It might even work to use some rigid tubing that will be sealed by the seals already on the door. A little creativeity and some time is all you need to make it work. The only problem could be that little water may likely freeze rather quickly if the flow is too slow.
I like the idea and have had the same sort of thought myself using a small refrigerator. The trick would be to control the amount of cooling i.e. a thermostat or some kind of shutoff for the water. (hope that made sense). Anyhow let me know how it works if you try it!
Another thought if you don't mind making ice, would be to place the tubing inside a beverage cooler and add ice to it.
The easiest way to control the temp of the freezer would to buy an adjustable thermostat for it, then you can regulate the temp.
A bigger problem is pure and simple BTU's --- look at how many BTU's most chillers or even AC units handle - that's how much cooling they can provide. A typical small AC unit is about 5000 BTU - a typical small fridge is about 150 BTU if I recall correctly.
Refrigerators and freezers are not designed for high BTU output, instead they are designed for insulation and gradual cooling. The also are not meant to be running non-stop.
I'll see if I can dig up some links, there have been a ton of articles on this, as well as much debate amongst the reefing community over the past 20 years or so. This is something a zookeeper and I researched back in the early 90's, when we were considering adding a tidepool tank with cold-water animals to the zoo.
Ah, here we go.
not the only link out there by any means, but pretty informative:
Unless the tank is very small, the desired temp change is small, and the heat input is low (not alot of powerheads or other submerged pumps, and very cool lighting), a fridge style unit just won't keep up.
evaporative cooling is a better option - one gallon of water evaporated from the tank can provide something like 5000+ btu of cooling, if I recall correctly, and fans are cheap and easy to use.
I just had this debate with a friend of mine the other day! I agree with red- from what I've read, and from the basic numbers, it just won't work. Fridges/freezers rely primarily on *good* insulation to keep things cool. They aren't designed to handle new heat constantly being added.
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