Ok, I'm Chilled. I'm Chilled. Relax....56K Warning!

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Well, I've had a lot of fun with my other projects, but I realized a while back that a chiller would probably be my best bet all the way around. So, after doing the car rad(s)--indoor/outdoor, geothermal, bongs and HVC....I finally decided to do the chiller-thing.
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Of course, the chiller scraps everything else...except the indoor rad--I can still use that for winter heat.
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I started surfing around checking out this years A/Cs, rechecking on coolers, etc. I wanted one of the Coleman 150qt. 5-day coolers....but I ended up going with an Igloo Polar 120qt., because of price and availability.
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Still a good cooler, but the Coleman 5-day's (Extreme/Marine) reviews are outstanding!
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Anyway, I ran into a snag with the window that I had always intended to mount the A/C in (yeah, I've been thinking about this for a long time)--most/many of the smaller A/Cs require a minimum 14" window opening (height), but there are a few that don't. In the end though it didn't matter, because I said screw the window, I'll pull the rads and reverse the fans and blow some of the heat out the window.
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So, while still trying to talk myself out of this for at least a while longer (
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)--I started surfing craiglist. I found a small Frigidaire 5KBTU locally for $50. Said: "Screw it". Picked up the cooler. Picked up the A/C. So, this was done....just a little assembly required...
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So, this is what I've come up with:

Chiller-6-5-09003.jpg


Chiller-6-5-09027.jpg



Plumbing coming out of the chiller headed toward the PCs:

Chiller-6-5-09038.jpg




Return to the chiller:

Chiller-6-5-09032.jpg



I really wanted electronic thermostat/controls and "Energy Saver", but I would have had to buy a new A/C, so that would have about doubled the cost.

Chiller-6-5-09017.jpg


I cut a small opening in the lid for the wires, etc to pass through:

Chiller-6-5-09020.jpg


Filled it with weather stripping foam just to help prevent the transfer of air:

Chiller-6-5-09076.jpg



Marked my spot for when I close the lid:

Chiller-6-5-09086.jpg



Pix of the guts:

Chiller-6-5-09055.jpg


Chiller-6-5-09065.jpg


Chiller-6-5-09073.jpg


I added a small 11w 200gph pump to help circulation inside the cooler. It definitely helps even out temps:

Chiller-6-5-09069.jpg


2 temp probes side-by-side:

Chiller-6-5-09062.jpg



These are the low end temps that I have it set for--the compressor kicks on:

Chiller-6-5-09050.jpg


Chiller-6-5-09105.jpg


And then kicks off at:

Chiller-6-5-09110.jpg


Chiller-6-5-09115.jpg


I set this up in the morning and it ran fine all day. No problems whatsoever. About 20 hrs later--I had alarms going off. I checked the coolant temp=116F/46C. I'm not 100% sure what the cause of it was, but I think and guessed that it was the temp probe. I'm assuming that the part exposed to the outside of the cooler was effected by the low ambient temps--so the compressor didn't kick on. So, I put some tubing over the probe length to help it read the temp inside the cooler only. Seems to have worked:

Chiller-6-5-09080.jpg

I haven't had any problems since....:up:


When the compressor is off the unit uses 47-48w for the fan motor. When the compressor is running it uses right at:

Chiller-6-5-09094.jpg



I took some on/off cycle times. The off cycle averaged 11min 55sec and the on cycle averaged 12min 12secs. So, for me that's close enough to say that it's going to run ~50% of the time. Problem is: that's ~5 cycles every 2 hours or 60 cycles/day. Seems like a bit much. So, I added 6 more gals of water. Hopefully that will help it cycle just a bit less. I encountered a small leak toward the top of the return bulkhead fitting. So, before I can add anymore (water or anti-freeze) I am going to have to remove a bit of the fluid and tighten that sucker up a bit more. Once it's sealed properly I can add quite a bit more fluid. Physics says that there isn't much I can do about the 50% run time. But it also says that more fluid mass should reduce the number of cycles/day.
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Here's a 38sec video showing the circulation and return flow:




No, I'm not interested in sub-zero, etc. I'm sub-ambient now....just above the dewpoint<--worst case. Hoping I stay just above the dewpoint.
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Cost:

A/C--$50
Cooler--$57
Anti-freeze--$55
I had everything else.



Other then a few very minor issues....I really didn't have any problems setting this up. My estimate is that it should cost ~$20.29/month to run this, so:

Looks like I'm ready for summer!


ApogeeGT water blocks:
41i76-5-09.jpg



Q94506-5-09.jpg



Q6600-6-5-09.jpg




Goes from the chiller/pvc to this manifold and then to the PCs:

IMG_0002_1.jpg



image011i7PC5-3-09.jpg





Index of prior Projects:

Yes, Another Car Radiator Thread....Major 56K Warning!


Bong! Bong! Bong! --56K Warning!

Horizontal Volenti Cooler.....56K Warning!

The Hole&#8230;Geothermal Loop&#8230;56K Warning!
 
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Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Just a quick update:

I fiddled with the 1 small leak some. Seems that I've managed to get it stopped.....or 99.9% stopped. Not sure yet. But I've dealt with aquariums, etc for many years and know that this tiny leak--can be a royal PITA!
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But I'll get it fixed one way or the other.
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Adding the 6 gal of water seems to have altered the on/off cycling to ~20mins or 3x/2hrs or 36x/day. Once the small leak is fixed with certainty--I plan to add 2 more gals of water and 2 more gals of anti-freeze....bringing the total to ~24 gals. Hopefully that will drop the cycling to every 30mins or 24x/day. Still a lot in my book, but without adding another cooler--that's about as good as it's going to get!
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Covering the temp probe with tubing seems to have done the trick--no issues since...
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lilfiend

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,715
so this means that your velonti cooler and bong and hole is all useless now?
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
so this means that your velonti cooler and bong and hole is all useless now?

Correct. The cars rads I used for ~1 yr. Had a lot of fun with it all, learned a lot about the functionality of it all, etc, etc, etc. The Bongs were more of an experiment, in and of themselves, in relation to the car rads, and changing the system from a closed-loop to an open-loop. The HVC was really just an experiment--that's all. To see if the Volenti Cooler could be done in an enclosed horizontal format so the appearance of it would be much less obscene.

I'm still using the plumbing from this building to the out-building, the seasonal manifold, and I will switch back to the indoor rad this winter to help provide for winter heating. All is not lost, but it's time for me to move forward--so, I have.
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A bit of an update:

Putting the tubing over the temp probe seemed to help, but only some. Ambient temps in the out-building directly effect the mechanical thermostat, so when temps outside (/in the out-building) get below the set temp--the mechanical thermostat shuts the compressor off and leaves it off.
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I've thought and thought, tried to insulate the thermostat, etc. I have quite a bit of experience from my +30yrs dealing with reptiles, aquariums, etc. I cannot see any reasonable, simple way to overcome this. So, I went ahead and bought 1 of these:

ranco_etc_wired.jpg


Ranco 111000

I looked at the Johnson Controls. I have a couple of Helix Proportional Controllers, but they are Proportional, so they won't work in this situation. Anyway, the Ranco have been around for a long, long time. They are used by zoos and aquaruims worldwide. Many, many animal keepers (public or private) use them. Convenience stores, restaurants for their coolers/freezers. In all: they are tried and true. Very reliable units.

They offer heating or cooling (not both on single stage), temp range from -30 to 220F, and a Differential range: 1° to 30°F.

They are designed for use with resistive loads (motors) and will resolve this issue 100%. The differential range will allow me to set the temps at which the compressor kicks on and off. With the mechanical thermostat it's 5F. Now I will be able to set it anywhere from 1-30F.

I'm hoping it gets here this coming week. I did not buy the wired shown, so I need to pick up the wiring, get it wired up and installed. Until then: My water temps are 63-68F and humidity stays ~50% in here, so condensation starts forming at about 84-85F/30C in here. I'll have to keep the A/Cs running until I get this setup. I usually turn them up to 82F when I'm not here/working. The ambient right at the PCs goes up to 85-86F which is too high=condensation.

Fingers crossed on no more major issues between now and then....
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BrainEater

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,087
Nice work !

Clean that stuff up now , .......I really love the room-to-room setup.....I'm planning that myself.

:D
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Nice work !

Clean that stuff up now , .......I really love the room-to-room setup.....I'm planning that myself.

:D

Cool. It's inconvenient some times, but I've considered moving my crunchers to the out-building and just using the network from in here to deal with most things. Problem is: There's stuff that comes up that would require me to go back and forth, or drag a monitor out there. I may. I've been thinking about it for a while....who knows?


Well, the controller arrived a couple of days ago. I had picked up the wiring--went with 14 gauge. Call me crazy, but I would rather burn up the controller then burn down the building! I'm just kinda quirky like that!
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I got it wired up, no problem, but had 1 minor issue. While waiting for it to arrive, I learned that the probe (sensor) is not supposed to be submerged. Well, that kinda screws things up!
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So, I had a choice:

1) Purchase a $30 "Bulb Well Assembly", pay another shipping charge and wait a bit longer, Or....

2) Improvise.
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I chose #2.
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First was coming up with at least a temporary fix. I considered siliconing, epoxying, etc the sensor and wiring, but I really didn't want to do that. So, I got out a couple of aquarium heater holders and some pvc:

RancoInstallation012.jpg


I knew this was going to be temporary, so I glued the bottom submersed cap on, but not the top cap. Drilled a hole in the top cap that the sensor would squeeze through and then babysat the system for a little while. Actually worked pretty good really.
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The thermal conductivity of pvc is like 0.19 or something low, so I was curious what my temp range was going to be. I set the differential for 2F--it turned out not to be more then ~4F which is actually pretty darn good. But not good enough.....
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I knew I had a +1Ft piece of 1/2" copper pipe laying around, but also knew that I did not have any caps for it. So, a stop by lowes fixed that and while I was there I went ahead and picked up a rubber grommet. Yesterday I was pretty tired and I knew things could hold another day, so I procrastinated until today. Got my butt out there and got this fix fixed!
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Sweated on the bottom copper cap:

RancoInstallation002.jpg



Got the grommet over the sensor and a hole drilled through the top cap:

RancoInstallation014.jpg



Even though I could have sweat the top cap on and inserted the probe after things cooled--I knew that some time in the future I would want to remove that probe--the hole is tight, so I can't necessarily just get it back out. I chose to silicone the cap on and silicone over the grommet and wiring:

RancoInstallation029.jpg


I have no intention of submersing the top of this thing, so the silicone should do a good job of keeping the moisture out long term--that's all that's really needed.
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So, next I needed to mount it into the cooler. Why not go with a good thing already? I knew that the heater holders would not clip onto the copper pipe because it's just too narrow. So, time to improvise again.
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Took a small scrap piece of 3/4" pvc, cut it into 4 pieces, clipped 1 piece into each heater clip and slid the copper setup right down in there:

RancoInstallation038.jpg


Picked up a couple more gals of anti-freeze at walmart when I hit lowes, so I added that:

RancoInstallation045.jpg


RancoInstallation052.jpg


So, now there is ~7.75 gals of anti-freeze and 17 gals of water.
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I need to do another time study to see how long my on/off cycles times are now. I doubt I'll do it today, but hopefully some time this weekend.
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Just a larger view:

RancoInstallation047.jpg



RancoInstallation053.jpg



Oh, yeah, I fixed the return bulkhead leak by loosening the bulkhead and siliconing under and all around it. Not the preferred way to go, but useful in these types of situations. The preferred route is no leaking bulkhead to start with....
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So far so good:

ScreenShot067.jpg


Max temp over the last 30+ mins is 70C. The mins kinda worry me though. I may move everything up a couple of degrees after everything settles in. I would rather move my max temp up to say 75C than deal with condensation!
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Oh, and I lowered my OC down to ~4.0 for now.....
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More updates at Post #21
 
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Shingoshi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
146

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Honestly, there is really nothing to track.....This is a great "set it and forget it" project. Once everything was setup.... it just runs itself.
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hank123

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
148
ya I did this. I had problems with everything freezing up but then again i was going for max cooling.
 

crazjayz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
2,093
Sorry Naja002 (or anyone else who understands this), it looks awesome 'n' all, but how does this work? How do you have your system linked with the giant bucket :D
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Just wanted to update this:

As many of you know, I try to conserve energy by pumping the heat from my rigs outside during the warmer months, and pumping it inside during the colder months. In the past I did this with indoor/outdoor rads. Early this last summer I did the ghetto chiller that this thread has been about (above). Well, during this last summer I converted a 5K BTU AC to a plateHX chiller. Winter is here, so now I'm wanting to pump the heat inside again, but I really don't want to give up the chilled water. So, I've connected the plateHX chiller to my manifold for indoor/outdoor chillers!
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When it's too warm in here I turn off the indoor chiller and the outdoor chiller automatically takes over. When it's cool in here I just reach over and push the On button for the indoor chiller....and it starts pumping the heat inside here. At first it was like: Holy Cow that's Loud!
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But now I barely even notice it.
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It does not bother me while I'm sleeping, but I sleep like a rock anyway, so......:p:

First a quick rehash of the plateHX chiller:

I took a standard 5K BTU AC:
image003ACConversionAdPix-8-9--095.jpg


image004ACConversionAdPix-8-9--096.jpg




Yanked the Evap and installed a plateHX:
image005ACConversionAdPix-8-9--093.jpg


image007ACConversionAdPix-8-9--097.jpg


image008ACConversionAdPix-8-9--099.jpg



And put it back together again:
image0010ACConversionAdPix-8-9--091.jpg
 
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Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Then I ordered another Ranco controller like above and got it wired up and ready to go:

image105FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg


image106FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg




Covered the probe with 2 layers of super-duper heat shrink and got it installed into a pvc tee and ready to be connected up:

image101FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg


image104FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg


image103FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg


image102FPlateHXChillerProbe.jpg



Added some plumbing to my manifold, since I was short 1 connection:

image104FPlateHXChillerUpdate.jpg




Set the chiller up where I wanted it and ran the tubing:

image102FPlateHXChillerUpdate.jpg


image101FPlateHXChillerUpdate.jpg



Added some filter material:

image103FPlateHXChillerUpdate.jpg



At a 75F ambient in here the unit uses ~ 500w after the compressor warms up. It runs at the current heat load: 41mins on, 19mins off. So, it's on ~16hrs/day which equals ~$20.74/month at my current electric cost. That's a loss during the warmer months, but not during the colder months....helps keep me from paying to run the main heater, and supplements it when I do.
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So, it's a done deal! Works great! With the single push of a button I can direct the heat where I want it to go. Since it's fall right now the days are often warm enough that I don't want to be adding any more heat inside. But the nights are definitely getting cool. I've not turned on my main heating unit for the year yet.

And best of all, I get to maintain constant stable temps all yr round. No messing with overclocks, turning valves, going outside to turn a pump on or off.
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Nothing. Just push a frickin' Button!
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Oh, Happy Days!
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JDookie

n00b
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
9
Naja,

Very cool setup. Thank you for posting this thread, I learned quite a bit by reading and looking at your pictures.

In the future, whenever you have to permanently seal something, try out some 3M 5200 Silicone Sealant. I've used this on boat bulckheads, and nothing compares to this stuff. Once it cures, it never comes apart, and never leaks. You can pick it up at Lowe's.
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
For some reason [H] isn't notifying me of anything....

However: Thanx! for all of the comments folks!

Let me try to answer some question, etc....



Naja,

Very cool setup. Thank you for posting this thread, I learned quite a bit by reading and looking at your pictures.

In the future, whenever you have to permanently seal something, try out some 3M 5200 Silicone Sealant. I've used this on boat bulckheads, and nothing compares to this stuff. Once it cures, it never comes apart, and never leaks. You can pick it up at Lowe's.

I will keep that in mind. 3M are definitely the adhesives people!


how often do you have to flush the system on something like that? lookin' pretty sweet, lol.

Well, I started with this water and anti-freeze ~8months ago and haven't flushed it yet. Have no plans on flushing it either....there's ~$77 worth of anti-freeze there. More then I needed, but I didn't know that at the time.....it's just there as an anti-corrosive because of the aluminum evap.


How long did it take you to get it all set up? Looks great btw

Not sure what you're asking exactly. The PCs, manifold, etc were originally setup with my car rads almost 2 yrs ago. The cooler and chiller only took about 2.5 hrs to setup......plus the ranco controller later w/ probe, fiddling with the 1 leak, etc. A ghetto chiller is a very easy setup for the average joe with no tools or know-how. The plateHX is a different story.....
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Just a few pix of a simple upgrade...

I got tired of the old zip-tied prefilter for the pump, so I decided to put together something a little better. Seems to have actually increased flow a little bit.

The Parts (4" pvc):

Chillerfilter001.jpg



I really like the double grating idea. The inside grating keeps the filter material away from the 3/4" pump intake and allows the pump to draw water through the entire diameter of the filter:
Chillerfilter002.jpg



Cut to fit the micro-fine filter material....3 layers:
Chillerfilter003.jpg



Shot of the micro-fine....this end goes inside toward the pump intake:
Chillerfilter004.jpg



Other end with the blue filter material installed:
Chillerfilter005.jpg



The filter assembled:
Chillerfilter006.jpg



And installed, ( Apologies for the light reflection and the murkiness):
ChillerFilter2004.jpg



Cost without filter material: ~$16


Simple, durable, fast and easy dis/assembly.....
sasmokin.gif
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Ok, I decided to modify my ghetto chiller, so let's see....
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This "conversion" has been wrought with issues.
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I'm not going to bother to detail each and every one though. Had problems with the charging, evac, water tight seals...the list goes on. Seems as though I've struggled through them successfully though. The chiller has not been taken out to it's home yet, but is ready for that....probably tomorrow.
devil-smiley-019.gif


So, on with the show:

Rolled my evap = At least 2 dozen feet of 1/4" copper...2 separate paths/coils....3/8" in and out:

GhettoChillerConversion002.jpg




Pulled the ghetto chiler, brought it inside, got out the piercing valve and got setup for the recovery:

GhettoChillerConversion005.jpg




That went well enough, so it was time to put the evap together and get it mounted. My first attempt looked like this, but I'll tell ya--trying to get 3/8" copper through those 1/2" holes...without creasing it--is a task I could not seem to accomplish
banana015.gif
:

GhettoChillerConversion2004.jpg




So, a 1 hr round trip to Lowes and it came out looking more like this:

GhettoChillerConversion2003.jpg




Of course, I knew I should have left a few more inches of copper on the evap ends, but for some reason I thought I left enough (
SNEMOTICON13.gif
) So, I ended up improvising a solution to get the evap/res mounted to the chiller:

GhettoChillerConversion009.jpg




I used these water tight sealing doodads for the evap lines in and out. Of course they gave me seapage/leakage issues, but I've managed to get them leak-free:

GhettoChillerConversion2002.jpg




While attaching the res/evap I added the low side port as seen in the vacuum pump pic above. And removed the manufacturer crimped off access port and attached a shrader valve there for the high side access port:

GhettoChillerConversion010.jpg


GhettoChillerConversion011.jpg



So, now it's ready for the evac.....
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Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
Same pic as above. Hooked up for evac with the micron meter dead ended:

GhettoChillerConversion2003.jpg




I had issues with the evacing, but let's cut to the chase with the first signs of life:

GhettoChillerConversion2005.jpg




Followed by the next sign of life:

GhettoChillerConversion2006.jpg


GhettoChillerConversion2007.jpg




Went round and round with the charging/evacing...back and forth...round and round. Many Thanx! to shurik who was there to try to help a fella out!
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But in the end the top portion of the res was not filling with water (trapped air). It wasn't until after I realized this (
doh.gif
)that everything started jumping into place. Once I tilted the chiller to get the trapped air out....charging was a breeze!
cool-1.gif


GhettoChillerConversion2002-1.jpg




I decided to go with R290 (the ghetto version :p). Modified a torch valve/tip:

GhettoChillerConversion2009.jpg




I did not modify the teeny, tiny little hole, so filling was super-duper slow....needed to fix that, so I did--unbrazed the mod, took apart the torch valve and cut the tip off. Now it charges vapor and/or liquid...and super-fast:

GhettoChillerConversion2010.jpg


GhettoChillerConversion2011.jpg




Put it back together again:

GhettoChillerConversion2001.jpg


She ain't purdy, but she works right nice....
sasmokin.gif
 

Naja002

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
194
So, it was time to get some other stuff done. As stated earlier, I managed to get the water tight fittings actually, uh, water tight! (
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) Decided to go ahead and remove the original a/c thermostat and just connected the 2 leads together via this little buss bar (red/white, right side):

GhettoChillerConversionRes001.jpg




Got most, maybe all, of the res insulation completed....I may insulate the tee ends...maybe not, we'll see:

GhettoChillerConversionRes002.jpg


GhettoChillerConversionRes003.jpg



And that's it for the moment. Need to haul it out to the building, get the plumbing hooked up (no biggie) check the tune under load ( at the current low ambients) and then check it a bit later after things warm up a bit.
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Next up will be getting the blocks and unisinks mounted on these 58xx series cards....
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