User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 21

Thread: Thought on highland cooling

  1. #1
    ilbasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    722
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thought on highland cooling

    This just popped into my head a few minutes ago so I haven't really thought this through but I was wondering if anyone can see a potential problem with this setup.

    I have a dorm fridge that hasn't been used in years. If I built a good sized chamber in my basement and put the fridge in there-with the door removed-and put it on a timer to kick on at night...could this work well enough? Obviously it would depend on the size of the area, but my house is small so it wouldn't be much.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    OMG h8 pings MrFlyTrap2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    DeKalb, IL
    Posts
    682
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Keep the coils out of the setup, otherwise it won't do anything, in fact it would make it hotter. Your enclosure might also need insulation in order to keep the temperature difference.
    My Grow List

    "It is only by studying nature that can we ever hope to defeat it."

  3. #3
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    3,818
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The better idea would be to keep the fridge running. Door in tact. Drill a large hole with a hole saw in each side of the fridge. Connect conduit from the fridge to the chamber. One is an in flow one is an out flow. You have a fan connected to a thermostat to control the temps bu coming on to suck the warm air from the chamber into the fridge and then out the back flow into the chamber. It actually works better with a freezer than fridge, but you could try it anyway. By keeping the fridge running it stays cool where as if it was on a timer it would have to cool down using more energy than the setup I suggested.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

  4. #4
    ilbasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    722
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Holy crap.

    Since this is in the basement which is already fairly cool, would the freezer still be that much better than a fridge?

  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    4,064
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Vent terrarium air out (preferably a window, and certainly from the top of the tank where the warmest air is.) Take in air from the basement floor, as the ground stays nice and cool to begin with, run it through your cooling device, and then humidify it. Running humid air through the fridge will cause condensation to build up, and I think recirculating from the terrarium will invite all sorts of nasty stuff that you'll have to clean later. Don't cut into the fridge - just leave the door slightly ajar build a jig to give an inlet and an outlet and seal the rest off. Then all you need to do is detach the jig and you have a serviceable fridge that you can use or sell off, should you decide to upgrade your cooling capacity or scrap the terrarium. Plus it's easier and has a drastically lower chance of your breaking the fridge or poisoning yourself with refrigerator coolant.
    Once you get all the connections set up, I'd suggest finding the lowest fan speeds possible while still giving the temperature you're looking for. If your plants need more air circulation, use a separate fan within the enclosure for that purpose. If you can find a way to cool the coils on the back of the fridge, it'll decrease your operating costs. If there's a water main in the basement or something, you could back the fridge up against it so that your plumbing acts as a radiator. Come to think of it, you might be able to find a heat exchanger to physically connect the coils to your pipes - I know they have water-cooling kits for PC modders, and it's almost exactly the same idea. JB could be right about leaving the fridge on all the time, but it also likely depends on the fridge itself; a small compressor vs. the air volume of a large terrarium would likely mean running all the time when cooling is needed, so it might not make a difference at the scale in question. I think you'd have to experiment with your setup to be sure.
    (Wishing I had a basement.) Way to set your sights high - I've wanted to do this kind of thing for a long time. I'm sure your plants will thank you.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  6. #6
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Metro Atlanta Area
    Posts
    9,681
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A freezer would be better than a fridge. A fridge is basically an air conditioned box, so the air would be dry. A freezer, however, doesn't add cold dry air, it just removes the heat without doing anything as far as gas exchange. Freezer is also faster

    Someone mentioned removing the tubes. Although that does sound like an accident waiting to happen, I wonder if you could tear apart two or three large freezers and use the tubes to make a REALLY big growing area. Like 75 cubic feet if you used three 25 cubic foot freezers. Can you bend the tubes?


    Another alternative is to find a used chest freezer and grow directly in it, remove the top or modify it, and put a light over it. I plan on doing just that, minus the used part. The largest commercial chest freezer they make is 25 cubic feet. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you think of it as really being a 187 gallon "terrarium" it does sound like a lot. A lot of highlanders won't outgrow that. Once something you really don't want to cut, like N. villosa or N. rajah outgrows that width, I don't know what you can do, though. For N. villosa, I can't see air conditioning getting a large chamber down to 40 degrees (unless you're blessed with a cold basement in Canada... looking at you, Varun), and I really think you'd need a room-sized walk-in freezer (well, a "cold room" like these: http://walkinrefrigeration.com/) but I can see the more lenient N. rajah growing to full size if you use air conditioning.

    Of course, you could go ahead and build a big chamber and buy an air conditioner and fogger to humidify the AC'd air. I guess it depends on how much cash you want to blow and how much space you need.

  7. #7
    ilbasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    722
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think I'm happy with my lowlanders.

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    4,064
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Are you sure all fridges circulate air? A friend of mine left his dorm fridge in my shed over summer break one year... when we opened it up the next fall, there definitely had not been much contact with the outside world.
    You can re-bend the tubes used in fridges, but as they've already been bent and subjected to a lot of temperature stress, they'd probably shatter if you tried to rework them. Better to just get some newly made pipe and bend your own (a soft-metal pipe bender costs like $10, and makes a very menacing home-defense item as well.) The trick is handling the refrigerant and decompressing/recompressing the rig to work on it.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •