DIY Chiller for my nano

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by brettb2020, 1 Apr 2013.

  1. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    Iv decided to build my own chiller for my new shallow reef.
    There are several reasons why I have decided to DIY this part my setup which you will see soon but of coarse the main reason being that DIYing is just awsome and I get a kick out of it :tt2:

    Remember my DIY 1000l Chiller? I never had the chance to put that on my 700l tank as I had to shut it down. But it worked really well as drink cooler for braai's :1:

    So the other day I was looking for radial fans for work purposes and I found a company that imports stuff from China that had the fans I wanted. I paid them a visit and when I went into the warehouse I was distracted by a HUGE mountain of faulty home ice makers.
    Turns out they supply Makro, Game, etc with these ice makers and this mountain was all the returns. So after some thinking and deal making I had 3 faulty ice makers loaded onto my bakkie for free:thumbup:

    An ice maker has everything an aquarium chiller has except the heat exchanger and 99% of the faults on the ice makers are due to electronic switches, motors, pumps, limit switches, etc. All the stuff I needed from all 3 ice makers worked perfectly.

    So what does an ice maker have that I need.
    1.Compressor. 2 had 1/15 HP (60l tank) and 1 had a 1/10 HP (200l tank.)
    2.Condenser coil.(the hot side) Which comes complete with fan.
    3.Expansion device tuned for the setup.

    What else to I need.
    1.Evaporator. the evaporator coil on the ice maker will corrode in salt water.
    2.Temperature controller. my reef Angel will do this for me :yeahdude:

    whats nice about all the parts from the ice maker is that they are all tuned and/or specified for each other so all the guess work is done for you :thumbup:

    For the evaporator I will be using a piece of titanium tube left over from my last DIY chiller which I got from a pool heating company. Titanium tube is very hard to come by so I will also be testing out another form of evaporator coil that I came up with that should work quite well and be easy to make. It will basically consist of a soft drawn copper covered in heat shrink. Yes, the heat shrink will act as an insulator but just means a slightly bigger coil for longer contact time in the water.

    Enough talk, here are some pics testing the cooling capacity.

    [​IMG]

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    This temp controller could be used to control the chiller.
    [​IMG]

    This what the ice makers looked like
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    This is so cool! I just have a question. Is the thing that looks like an ice tray the onley part that makes contact with the tank water?
     
  4. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Yes that is correct. Behind that is a copper coil where coolant runs through.
    That will all be replaced with a titanium coil though because as it is it will corrode in salt water.
     
  5. Kevin34PE

    Kevin34PE

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    This is a great diy project. I wonder if my mom will miss her icemaker?;)
     
  6. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    I dear you... Lol
     
  7. Kevin34PE

    Kevin34PE

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    Ok, but if she asks, remember, it wasn't me.
     
  8. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    Go for it she will never find me. Hehebe
     
  9. brettb2020

    brettb2020 Thread Starter

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    Hahaha! I have one spare for anyone who wants. It will chill a nano of about 60l.
    Today I priced the tube needed for the evaporator coil and its quite cheap but comes in 15m rolls so I will have enough spare to make a few coils.
    I can also get more Ice makers if anyone wants one, not sure if il get them for free but it will be close to free. :thumbup:
     
  10. Omnitank

    Omnitank

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    I had the same idea a while back with the ice-maker, but I'm still not sure I know what you want to do with the titanium. My idea is to mount a sealed box (something like a plastic cooler-box) with a in- and outlet to the sump, in which I have mounted the evaporator that I want to cover in a thin rubberising (maybe the type that they put on the back of the bakkies. Do you think it can work?
     
  11. Kevin34PE

    Kevin34PE

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    Could you not put the evaporator in a box and seal it off with water inside, so it becomes one big ice block type thingy and then let your tank water flow around it ? Wouldn't that cool the tank water somehow? It would work almost the same as a heat exchanger. Or have I gotten lost?
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2013
  12. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    Its just a pity your in Amanzimtoti or I would there in a flash.
     
  13. Gerhard DP

    Gerhard DP

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    mmmmm might work great for mampoer too :)

    Would like to see how it works when done.
     
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