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Old 06-16-2006, 11:41 PM   #1
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DIY Chiller idea??'s

Hi again everyone...
Well I do have a chiller ready for when I set up my tank soon but it is not really for a 250 more like 175 to 200 I believe.. (however we do keep our house at a comfortable temp year round and have never had a chiller for my previous reefs so I think it's fine for a F/O possibly a FOWLR.)

I do like to get creative though! and heres the thing.. I got hold of a window A/C unit that works but the blower fan is shot (No big deal!) and here are my thoughts....
I have seen the ways others have used the cooling coil units in tubs with water and hoses yadda yadda.... My thought is to cut the tubes where they enter/ exit the coil unit and weld(?)Bond) the tubes with either Aluminum tubing (Cheap, extremely easy to work with and readily available... ? though is it corrosive in salt H2O??) or if it is easy to work with stainless (again is it corrosive?).

I want to run the coil tubes through a wet dry filter filled with bio balls. This should chill the water very nicely as small sized water droplets will be splattering off the cold metal tubing.

If you think that is a bad idea the other is to wrap the coil tubing around a 2" PVC pipe plugged at both ends and inserted into a 3" PVC pipe fitted with inlet and outlet barbs and run the water through the tube off a power head from one sump to the other ( I'm thinking maybe 48" pipe) or better yet incorporate a UV sterilizer in there as well!! Low temps and UV should be a definate killer!

As for the fan to blow on the side that normally is outside ( the one thats dead on my unit.) I was thinking a series of computer fans would move good amounts of air, run quiet and be low profile and energy efficient.

I'd like to see if there is any way to convert the thermostat controls to a digi set up??

Any Thoughts? Do you think it's possible? why not? etc.

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Old 06-18-2006, 05:13 PM   #2
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From what I understand there is only one metal that won't corrode in saltwater and that is Titanium. The other one that you can use but will eventually corrode is 316 Stainless Steel .

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Old 06-19-2006, 04:07 AM   #3
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hmmm..well titanium is definitely outta the picture!
What is it they use inside reg. chillers? I mean I'm no HVAC tech. but from what I have seen over the years in the restaurant biz the basic concept of refrigeration is the same...

And how long does it take for stainless (or Aluminum for that matter) to corrode? with no exposure to air does it take 5 years before it starts to corrode to a point where you need to worry (which would probably outlive the rest of the units life (before in need of maintenance.)) or does it start w/i months?

Is 316 SS like super hard and impossible to work with? I am hoping for a solution that would be able to be accomplished by the average home aquarist with basic tools/materials....

Thanks for the input......

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Old 07-06-2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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They make staneless plate heat exchangers (and I suspect thats what you would find if you ripped a pre-fabricated chiller apart) the heat exchanger alone will run about $90 on e-bay.

How big a compressor and condensor you would need would depend on how much wattage your putting over the tank minus how much of the light energy will be absorbed by the photosynthic life in the tank.

to be honest.. Ive been looking into condensing units for a while now and building one that can cycle to a thermostat is a bit more then I can help you with at this point
I have read about it, and the parts needed but I dont know were you could buy them.

well.. you could run the unit full blast and just have a relay that will shut it off to a thermostat but it would need a timer to make sure theres about 5min between cycles.. A little over my head but Im sure there are a few members hear that would be able to pull that off (If they were provided with the chiller :P)
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chi, chiller, diy

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