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Thread: Another cooling system

  1. #57
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    what are your ambient room temps? During the summer my ambient room temps are in the upper 70s so it is hard to get down to 60 with just a fan and humidifier. I came across this and thought it could have some use, could it replace a water cooler or does it not get the liquid cool enough? http://www.amazon.com/CoolWorks-Ice-..._petsupplies_1

    ---------- Post added at 06:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:46 PM ----------

    Also found this cooler... You think I should go for it? http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/app/2974926444.html

  2. #58
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heli View Post
    what are your ambient room temps? During the summer my ambient room temps are in the upper 70s so it is hard to get down to 60 with just a fan and humidifier. I came across this and thought it could have some use, could it replace a water cooler or does it not get the liquid cool enough? http://www.amazon.com/CoolWorks-Ice-..._petsupplies_1

    ---------- Post added at 06:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:46 PM ----------

    Also found this cooler... You think I should go for it? http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/app/2974926444.html
    My room temp was in middle 70s (it is lower now since I have turned off the heater). During the day the setup warmed up to 80-83F and then would cool down to 60F. The problem with it was that the system was feeding off of a main humidifier line, so the entire grow rack was humidified during the night. It was a waste of water and energy. I have since diverted the flow and the selfwatering setup is only cooled via room air and occasional "raining". There is an additional humidifier that I got at a thrift store, that is waiting to be used. I'm going to hook it up and use it instead.

    If you end up buying that water cooler from craigs list, make sure that you see it work, as in cool water, before you pay. Dump the water and make sure you can feel the coils cooling from inside the cylinder. Or put warm water in there and see if it cools it down. It could be operational but have no freon. I got overexcited and did not check. Now I have a dead watercooler sitting in a basement.

    That IceProbe seems to be a peltier device. I'd suggest looking up reviews of Thermoelectric water coolers on amazon and making your judgment based on that (reviews are not good....).

  3. #59
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Huzzah! My room temp was 65 degrees last night (brrr...) but my cooling rig was able to cool my terrarium down to a brisk 51 degrees! Recorded max/min temperatures yesterday were 72.5F day and 51F night. That's a nice temperature drop. Just wanna see what summer temps are like... biting my nails over here

    Anyway, Heli, two things:

    1) That cooler you linked to has push-button dispensers, not screw-on taps. It might be much more difficult to configure the front taps as inputs/outputs. Instead, you might have to run the radiator & return lines directly from the reservoir itself, ghetto-rigged style. Not such a big deal, but doesn't look as clean

    2) That Ice Probe is indeed a Peltier device. I've looked at them myself. Looking at the specs it says it can cool a small aquarium (<10 Gal) by about 6-8 degrees below ambient. That's not a whole lot; you'll want your coolant to be a few dozen degrees below ambient if possible to achieve effective cooling. Drawing heat from air into liquid via a heat exchanger is not 100% efficient by a long shot, so your liquid needs to be MUCH cooler than ambient to get your air a LITTLE cooler than ambient.

    That being said, if this Ice Probe helps get the coolant in the reservoir from, say, 45 degrees down to 39 or 40... that could be a win, no? I'd consider configuring it as diagramed in the attachment. Can someone who understands thermodynamics better than I do tell me whether this idea is or ?

  4. #60
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    heh.. beauty isnt what im going for Do you think it should work ok though? It is a high quality water cooler for a good price.

  5. #61
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Let's put it this way... IF your room is cooler than mine (you strike me as one of those lucky New Yorkers that has A/C in their apartment), AND cost is not a factor (judging by some of the plants in your collection, I'd say it isn't ), then this cooler + rad setup would be fine. If it doesn't work, you can switch the cooler out with an aquarium chiller easily.

    My rig has no problems dropping temps 10-15 degrees below ambient room temps. How warm is your room? Subtract 10 degrees, and that's a good worst-case idea of how cool you can get your terrarium with this setup.

  6. #62
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    hmm.. with a combination of my AC and this cooler setup, I think it should work fine.

  7. #63
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    I just realized that the water cooler also has a mini fridge.. anyway that I could use it for my setup?

    ---------- Post added at 12:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:24 AM ----------

    Also, how would I set it up with this cooler since it doesnt have the front nozzles? I am a little confused about it.

    ---------- Post added at 01:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 AM ----------

    Ok, so I made a list of things that I plan on getting, do you think it will work?
    http://www.amazon.com/Little-Frog-St...&s=lawn-garden
    http://www.amazon.com/Radiator-1x120...5503275&sr=8-1
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-...5503352&sr=1-3
    For the radiator im not sure which size barbs to get.

  8. #64
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Heli - all that stuff looks perfect. I might actually switch to a 120mm rad & fan too; pretty sure my dual-fan 80mm rad doesn't have enough surface area. Turns out a 120mm single-fan rad with one fan has more surface area than an 80mm dual-fan rad (120mm * 120mm > 80mm * 160mm)! Look at that middle school geometry in action.

    Anyway, to your questions:
    1) Without the front nozzles, you'd just run the lines to/from the rad directly into the reservoir. The 'out' line would be hooked up to the pump, which would sit in the reservoir; the 'in' line would come directly from the rad and spill into the reservoir.

    2) Get the rad barbs to match the OD (outer diameter) of the fitting on the pump. I noticed that particular model you linked doesn't list one. It's usually either 3/8" or 1/2" size. Make sure you know the size of the fitting on your pump before you buy the barbed fittings for your rad. Selecting the fitting size was easy for me... my pump comes with a 1/2" or 3/8" adapter, and the standard size of the nozzles on any water cooler is 3/8" NPT, so I just got everything in 3/8" size. Frankly it doesn't matter; just pick one and go with it, as long as all your equipment matches. I prefer 3/8"... it's smaller, and you don't really need a super-thick hose for this application.

    3) The mini-fridge in the base is very cool. Not sure how powerful it is, but I'd try to make use of it. If I were you (and I had the right equipment) I'd try and put a coil of copper tubing in there to help cool the water down on its way back from the rad. You'd likely have to drill holes in the side to feed the tubing through. But the system would look like: cooler --> rad --> coil --> cooler.

    One thing that might cause issues: using the setup described above, you might run up against the limit of the pump. Each pump has a "maximum lift" metric... usually 2 or 3 feet for low-powered pond pumps like this. So make sure that the pump you get is powerful enough to lift water from your cooler, up to your terrarium, then from the coil back up to the reservoir. Here's the pump I use... it's 120GPH (a little more powerful), supports 3/8" or 1/2" fittings, and it's got a good 4' maximum lift. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00

    Chew on that for a while! Looking forward to seeing what you do with this setup.
    Last edited by TheFury; 04-27-2012 at 07:35 AM.

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