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Thread: Wine Chiller Terrarium - I'm Trying It! - Thermoelectric Cooling Fun!

  1. #9
    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    Looking really good!
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


    My Grow List:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123995

  2. #10
    Gigantea's Avatar
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    Looks like a pretty viable idea but it would be nice if you could get them a bit warmer during the day somehow so when the lights go off at night you get a natural drop. Is it possible to wire a thermostat into the cooler to achieve this? I have seen bare thermostats that could do that at hobby stores.

    I work in a kitchen and we have a large air cooler in the retail area for drinks and such. I always thought it would be cool to make one of those into a large chill tank. Problem would be electrical costs.

  3. #11

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    I know I could just set the entire chiller on a timer and turn it off for 6-10 hours in the middle of the day. The last few times I've unplugged the chiller it remembered my temp setting so it might be that simple. I just re-added the temp gauge so I let all the cool air out, once it gets back to the target temp I'll unplug it and run a little test and see how quickly the LEDs will heat it up.

    There are already a good amount of the larger compressor setups running and they can work really well. If I get good enough results from this small scale setup I'll likely upscale it. So far nothing special but it hasn't even been a month yet.

    The taller U. humboltii leaves are turning redder so those 4 LEDs may provide enough light for this species. Along with the H. heterodoxa coloring up some also. All in all I think the LEDs should be enough light for good growth but not the deep dark colors.

  4. #12

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    I ran a test yesterday and here are the results.

    Starting temp of 61 degrees at noon, I unplugged the chiller. At 5:45 PM it was 76 degrees when I turned it back on. The chiller reset to its default thermostat setting of 55 degrees and went to work chilling. During this off time there was a massive increase in the condensation inside the inner terrarium, I did not see any leaking out into the chiller but it was only for about 6 hours and may prove to be a problem if used long term this way.

    I have no plans to provide a nighttime drop in temps at this time, I've reset it to 58 degrees the range I'm after and have resumed ignoring it .

    With a little toying around it would be pretty easy to get a raise in temps during mid day with this setup but I do have concerns about the condensation. I checked on it every so often and it was a steady gradual raise and then a steady gradual drop throughout the test, just what you would want.

  5. #13

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    I had my first real problem yesterday, I mistakenly pushed the glass enclosure too far back and the inner cooling fan frosted over! Actual Ice! By the time I noticed there was a problem the temp was 80. Easy to fix and everything is already back to normal working order. The plants did not seem to mind the few hours of higher temps.

    Condensation is a minor annoyance but so far that's it. Over 3-4 days I end up with about an ounce of water that leaks out the front door. I may just have to live with this.

    I have seen no positive or negative results besides the increased light from the LEDs coloring up the plants a bit.

  6. #14

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    This morning I pulled everything out for cleaning/removing dead pitchers. So here are some photos.

    About a weeks worth of condensation, I may have found the magic spot were I don't get water on the table with until I open the door.

    DSC_0037 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Here is a close-up of the back drain, it was designed knowing water would pool up here.

    DSC_0039 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Side view.

    DSC_0040 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Front view and my makeshift door, a little painters tape + silicone = door apparently.

    DSC_0041 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Here is what the LEDs are doing to the U. humboldtii leaves, they were solid green before adding them.

    DSC_0042 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    And for the first time I can see some green in the U. quelchii pot! So its growing, pretty fast compaired to the other ones considering how small it was. For those wondering it a net pot with some tree fern fibers sitting inside a taller pot sitting in a solo cup!

    DSC_0044 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Overall I think the U. quelchii is doing better in here the others are still about the same.

  7. #15

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    Everything is still growing along fine, nothing special to justify the extra work to lower the temperatures. The chiller is working better than I would have thought.

    Here is a another example of why I'm such a fan of these moonlight LED kits using daylight LEDs. Bout 5-6W of power for the entire setup lighting.

    DSC_0160 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

  8. #16

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    About 3 months later and its still working just fine. None of the CPs in there are doing better at 60 degrees than there "control" plants around 70-72. Due to this lack of growth I'm raising the temps up to 63 for the next few months.

    A few pics from the cleaning this morning.
    U. quelchii - It is really hard to tell from the photos but there is more green in there now. Still the 70-72 plants are growing faster.

    DSC_0601 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    U. campbelliana - Added a bit back

    DSC_0600 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Dendrobium cuthbertsonii - Both of these are doing fine, a big part of setting this up was to grow this plant.

    DSC_0602 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    H. heterodoxa - Doing nothing...nothing...the "control" plant at 70-72 is putting out new pitchers while the old ones die off all along staying the same size overall, this one is just doing nothing. Maybe its on vacation... Only reason the photo is in here is to showcase what the LEDs do to the pitches directly below the LED.

    DSC_0603 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    H. pulchella - This one has put on some bulk

    DSC_0604 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    The rest are doing nothing special for 3 months of time.

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