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Thread: New Highland cooling system using slightly modified A/C

  1. #17
    Wants a Hamata Soopaman's Avatar
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    I honestly like Rob's set up a lot more than what I am doing, or trying to do. But alas, I too am not able to make use of an air conditioning unit to cool with.

    I have had some trouble with the peltier, and I think I have determined the main problems, though I have some work around solutions until I can get things set straight.

    First off, out of the box, the cooling stuff I bought on e-bay was not good enough. It was cheap, but the heatsink did not do a good enough job sucking heat away from the peltier end, and I could not get it cold enough.
    So basically, I re-built it from the ground up with a really snazzy heatsink that is able to keep the hot side at less than or equal to the ambient temperature, so now the cold side is good. Unfortunately, I do not have a large enough "cold sink" on the cold side, at least not a large enough flat surface area. I believe what I need is a 1/8 thick copper plate, about 10"x10" with a fan blowing on it to circulate air. This is a possible next step for me. The other idea with my set up is to cool the water itself that runs through the tank. This water actually keeps the sides of the tank wet at all times, and if kept cooled, can bring the air temperature down significantly. What I have been doing to keep my plants doing well is cooling this water by basically changing it out with water I have had in the freezer for 2-3 hours before bedtime. Not quite frozen but getting there.

    So my next steps forward are going to be either to install a circulation system so that the water is cooled by one or two peltiers, or by trying to increase the surface area on the cold sink with a large copper plate.

    As far as humidity goes, the tank itself is pretty much sealed, and I can turn on a fogger that is in the water pool at the bottom and it will raise the humidity really quick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soopaman View Post
    I honestly like Rob's set up a lot more than what I am doing, or trying to do. But alas, I too am not able to make use of an air conditioning unit to cool with.

    I have had some trouble with the peltier, and I think I have determined the main problems, though I have some work around solutions until I can get things set straight.

    First off, out of the box, the cooling stuff I bought on e-bay was not good enough. It was cheap, but the heatsink did not do a good enough job sucking heat away from the peltier end, and I could not get it cold enough.
    So basically, I re-built it from the ground up with a really snazzy heatsink that is able to keep the hot side at less than or equal to the ambient temperature, so now the cold side is good. Unfortunately, I do not have a large enough "cold sink" on the cold side, at least not a large enough flat surface area. I believe what I need is a 1/8 thick copper plate, about 10"x10" with a fan blowing on it to circulate air. This is a possible next step for me. The other idea with my set up is to cool the water itself that runs through the tank. This water actually keeps the sides of the tank wet at all times, and if kept cooled, can bring the air temperature down significantly. What I have been doing to keep my plants doing well is cooling this water by basically changing it out with water I have had in the freezer for 2-3 hours before bedtime. Not quite frozen but getting there.

    So my next steps forward are going to be either to install a circulation system so that the water is cooled by one or two peltiers, or by trying to increase the surface area on the cold sink with a large copper plate.

    As far as humidity goes, the tank itself is pretty much sealed, and I can turn on a fogger that is in the water pool at the bottom and it will raise the humidity really quick.
    Maybe try a water cooling system for a computer processor? They come with a pump, rad, tubes and fixtures. You could hook it all up inside the tank and have the peltier cool a small cooler that holds the water or coolant and then circulates the fluid through the rad, cooling the tank. cooling the water that runs down the sides of the tank is also a great idea. MAybe incorporate both mine and your ideas, making some sort of frankenstein contraption .
    cheers,
    Rob
    My CP Page (WIP) See my webpage for my Grow List
    Modified AC for Highland Terrarium

  3. #19
    Wants a Hamata Soopaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robthered View Post
    Maybe try a water cooling system for a computer processor? They come with a pump, rad, tubes and fixtures. You could hook it all up inside the tank and have the peltier cool a small cooler that holds the water or coolant and then circulates the fluid through the rad, cooling the tank. cooling the water that runs down the sides of the tank is also a great idea. MAybe incorporate both mine and your ideas, making some sort of frankenstein contraption .
    Haha, reading your post almost gave me a headache. I re-read it and understand what you mean now, but if I'm going to go that route, I might as well get an aquarium chiller and drop my $250 now and be done with it.

    We'll see. How is your villosa doing? Luckily, I don't have mine to kill yet!

  4. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soopaman View Post
    Haha, reading your post almost gave me a headache. I re-read it and understand what you mean now, but if I'm going to go that route, I might as well get an aquarium chiller and drop my $250 now and be done with it.

    We'll see. How is your villosa doing? Luckily, I don't have mine to kill yet!
    The aquarium chiller will use as around as much power as a 6k btu AC, plus it needs to run constantly to keep the water in the reservoir cool. It would be cheaper to convert the AC, but it would take up more room in your setup. I'd go with the chiller if I had the cash available.

    The villosa is adjusting. I've only had it for about a week or so. It's putting out a new leaf. Looks healthy . I'm keeping it dryer than my other neps, and keeping my fingers crossed.
    cheers,
    Rob
    My CP Page (WIP) See my webpage for my Grow List
    Modified AC for Highland Terrarium

  5. #21
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    It's not the power consumption that is the issue, its that I live with my parents and they would not want an "unpolished" set up with ducts and stuff running from a window AC or anything unrefined. The reason I have gone this route is because it should, in the end, be just about completely enclosed and polished.

  6. #22
    robthered's Avatar
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    Well then the chiller would be the best choice
    cheers,
    Rob
    My CP Page (WIP) See my webpage for my Grow List
    Modified AC for Highland Terrarium

  7. #23
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    I've never heard of this aquarium chiller thing! I looked it up and it seems interesting, but what would be the best way to use it for CP's?
    In a small tank in a closed chamber? Where would the heat go?
    I've been using AC for years and would like something that looks, well "cleaner"
    The AC cools the whole room the chambers are in for 2 months. Drops the humidity, but the plants still do well...

  8. #24
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    Heh, quogue, Wayne was telling me about "The Tipitiwitchet guy", funny to run into you on here

    Basically this is my large planted vivarium and the aquarium chiller cooling system:



    I imagine you could set up different things, but the way mine works is I have a waterfall that runs through the chamber, circulating cold water all over. The media stays wet with this water, as it drips down over the waterfall edges in certain places. This gets the night time temperature down pretty well, but I need to throw in a fan to circulate air, then it'll be perfect.

    If you have the classic terrarium set up with potted plants, you could fill the bottom of the tank with water, and elevate the plants to just about the water level. Use a good chiller to cool the water, and blow a fan across the water surface to cool the air.

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