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Unread 04/16/2003, 09:16 PM   #1
ReefRelated
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Thumbs up My Chiller Setup **Lots of pictures**

I was just going through some pictures tonight and I thought I would share my chiller setup with everyone. A friend and I build and install these. I never see anyone here on RC with this type. I use a 6000 BTU Whirlpool window AC unit. It is out in back of my house and the freon/refrigerant is piped in the house to a titanium chiller coil inside of a large PVC housing then my tank water is pumped through the PVC. All the heat and noise is outdoors and only a thermostat and chiller coil is indoors. I use a Ranco 2 stage ETC so I can control my heaters also (two 250watt Ebo Jager). I supply my chiller coil with water from a Mag12 which feeds my refugium also (not shown in these early pictures). I can cool my 180g tank 1 degree every 15 minutes with 1400 watts of light running. If you ever have the chance to get a chiller built like this, do it. Just thought I would share. The cost is almost the same as a standard chiller and way more efficient.

Picture 1 - Titanium chiller coil complete in PVC housing
Picture 2 - Titanium coil inside housing
Picture 3 - Freon in/out and Water in/out and temperature sensor housing in the center(not using)
Picture 4 - Window unit mounted outside
Picture 5 - Coil mounted on shelf
Picture 6 - Ranco Electronic Temperature Control
Picture 7 - Shows plumbing with temperature sensor in line (in the 90 degree PVC fitting)
Picture 8 - Chiller coil mounted on shelf above pump










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Unread 04/16/2003, 09:23 PM   #2
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Okay, I'm impressed! Dang good job. Aren't those window units pretty inefficient though? I know you can buy a 5000BTU from Wallyworld for about $100.

Whats the cost of the other stuff (ie titanium coil) and where did you get the other BOM from?


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Unread 04/16/2003, 09:41 PM   #3
markmcc
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Where did you get the titanium coil from? I think I could DIY the rest but it would be nice to know where to get the titanium coil. How well do you think a unit like this would cool a 600 gallon tank with 1600watts of metal halide light? Very clean set up you have there I'm very impressed. What a huge skimmer!

Thanks,


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Unread 04/16/2003, 09:43 PM   #4
corey lance
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Dam that looks real nice.


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Unread 04/16/2003, 10:04 PM   #5
kozmo02
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great work! i take it your chiller is protected from the elements out there right?


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Unread 04/16/2003, 10:08 PM   #6
Carribean Reef Man
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Ok that looks very good. the only problem is that in order to operate a 600gallon tank you would need a titanium coil about 2.5 feet long so that you can flow 1500+ gph.

What I want to know is where did you buy the water socks that are in your sump and WHAT THE H#$% do you call them ??


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Unread 04/16/2003, 10:37 PM   #7
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UMI distributes the coils and housings.


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Unread 04/16/2003, 11:05 PM   #8
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I smell a DIY thread brewing...


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Unread 04/17/2003, 12:35 AM   #9
Nicholas Ang
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Unread 04/17/2003, 06:31 AM   #10
markmcc
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Caribbean Reef Man,

MarineDepot.com has the socks and the acrylic holders for them at good prices.

Thanks for the link to to the supplier.

HTH,


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Unread 04/17/2003, 07:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carribean Reef Man
Ok that looks very good. the only problem is that in order to operate a 600gallon tank you would need a titanium coil about 2.5 feet long so that you can flow 1500+ gph.

What I want to know is where did you buy the water socks that are in your sump and WHAT THE H#$% do you call them ??
Are you kidding me...this system I have will cool 1000 gallons. This is what some LFS cool there whole store with. This is basically 1/2hp chiller accept I have a coil that is at least 3 times bigger than a standard coil. This coil I have is way bigger than I need. You can get bigger size coils if need be but this is plenty big for 600g tank. Have you ever seen the size of a coil in a regular chiller? This coils probably has 3 times the titanium. This means more surface area for water to contact which means more efficient.



Last edited by ReefRelated; 04/17/2003 at 07:28 AM.
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Unread 04/17/2003, 07:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cookoopod
Okay, I'm impressed! Dang good job. Aren't those window units pretty inefficient though? I know you can buy a 5000BTU from Wallyworld for about $100.

Whats the cost of the other stuff (ie titanium coil) and where did you get the other BOM from?
Well actually not for this application. This thing only runs for maybe 15 minutes at a time and only comes on a few times a day. This system very cost efficient. Remember you aren't releasing all the heat from the condenser/compressor inside your house so the chiller doesn't have to work as hard to cool the water and your home AC doesn't have to work as hard to cool your house. The cool part is indoors and the hot part is outdoors. It doesn't get any better.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 07:28 AM   #13
BradR
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Would you mind generating a parts list with prices for a setup to cool a 180? That would be cool.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 07:31 AM   #14
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No problem Brad... I am working on it as we speak. BTW, I did put this in DIY. Thanks for the tip.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 07:38 AM   #15
stephane
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McMaster have those titanium coil

1/2 inch od X5 foot long 32$

http://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/109/html/0106.html#.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 08:00 AM   #16
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This list is based on my system. You can go bigger or smaller based on your needs. All these prices are rough retail prices, I got some parts wholesale through an AC friend.

1. 6000 BTU (6000 BTU = 1/2 ton) Whirlpool window unit $140 from Lowes

2. Ranco Dual Stage ETC $100 from friend

3. 10"x10"x28" (1/2 ton) Titanium Heat Exchanger $285.00 from http://www.sw-wilson.com/prod04.htm

4. (Optional) Mag12 for water $100.00 (you can use your main pump if you would like, no need to buy an extra pump. I did because I feed my refugium with this pump also)

5. A good friend who knows AC = $$ Priceless $$

You'll need lots of extras like copper pipe, insulation, fittings, refrigerant and guages, electrical cord, good silver solder, leak detector, and tools. You will also need some time to do this, it is an all day job but it's worth every minute you put into it. BTW If you are not a DIYer and you live locally, we can build and install these systems for anyone and the price is fair. I may have forgot something, if I did, I'll include it later.

Another good point to make is, if your system ever fails, you can just replace the window unit outside or the ETC. No need to buy a whole chiller ever again. This titanium chiller coil and housing should last you a lifetime.



Last edited by ReefRelated; 04/17/2003 at 08:11 AM.
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Unread 04/17/2003, 08:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by stephane
McMaster have those titanium coil

1/2 inch od X5 foot long 32$

http://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/109/html/0106.html#.
Is it a coil or tubing? Titanium tubing is very hard to bend nice. It also near impossible to solder. If you don't solder it, then you need to flair it and this can be difficult also. You better off buying it pre-fabricated. We've been down this road before and chose to buy one instead. The coil/heat exchanger should last a lifetime.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 10:10 AM   #18
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This is a great idea and sounds fun but with the cost of all the materials and a day of time, aren't you well above what a regular chiller would cost? I guess you got to way the fact that this might be a better system than the prefabbed chillers.

Nonetheless, I think it's a cool concept.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 11:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cookoopod
This is a great idea and sounds fun but with the cost of all the materials and a day of time, aren't you well above what a regular chiller would cost? I guess you got to way the fact that this might be a better system than the prefabbed chillers.

Nonetheless, I think it's a cool concept.
Actually you can see the parts aren't too high in cost it's more labor. This is by far a lot better than a regular system. Regular chillers are in some ways the same thing. Some makers even use window units for there chillers. This actually isn't even a new concept. It has been done for years this way comercially. In fact this setup is used with lobster tanks and farms. The coil I have is manufactured for lobster tanks and you know how cold they keep those tanks. It's easy for this to keep my tank 77 degrees.

Basically this is setup exaclty like you home AC is. You have the condenser outside to blow off the heat and you have your coil/heat exchanger inside blowing off cool air.

I have never tried to see how cold I could get my tank but I do know it can get very cold. When I first set it up, we ran the system for a few hours and we had the tank down to 68 degrees no problem. I am sure if I let in run longer I could have got it even colder.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 11:38 AM   #20
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Tony,
How much to you think you saved DIY as compared to buying one off the self.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 12:55 PM   #21
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This setup is really isn't for saving money even though I did. I have friend who does AC work so of course I wasn't charged labor or some parts. I personally saved at least $500.00. This would be comparing mine to the cost of a large chiller.

I also save lots of money every year in electricity. I save because this system runs so efficiently. It cools very fast. It turns on a minimal amount of times per day and runs for no more than 15 minutes each time. The other way you save money is by having the heat from your chiller outside this way your home AC doesn't have to work harder to keep the inside of your house cool. Chillers put out a lot of heat and it just doesn't make sense to release it inside. If your standard chiller is outside say in your garage and you pump your water out to it, then it also works harder to cool the coil becuase the temperature outside is hot. The best possible way is to have the coil inside where it's cool and leave the heat outside.

Even if I had to pay double for this system I have now I would. It's kind of like switching to cable modem or DSL, once you swith you'll never go back. After using this type of chiller for 7-8 months, I would never consider using a standard chiller ever again.

Even if it costs you more, your still gonna save money in the long run as far as electricity goes and your gonna have the best chiller in town.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 12:59 PM   #22
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Now you've got me thinking...damn and I was almost satisfied with my setup...but I love DIY projects...so now I've got to find a new buddy...heheeheehe.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 01:07 PM   #23
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What's the recommended flow through it?


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Unread 04/17/2003, 01:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilgrasshopper
What's the recommended flow through it?
Yeh an AC friend is a good friend to have especially living in Florida. Well the recomended flow really can vary. The best way to determine this is...yes of course, your AC friend. Refrigerant pressures vary depending on the amount of heat exchange. I perosnally am running about 1000gph through my coil. These type of things you need to leave to the experts. Fortunately my friend is an AC/Reefer. With his expertise in cooling we both started designing our chiller setups about 1 year ago. We tried making our own coils to save even more money but what a hassle. After months of searching I finally found this place that makes titanium coils for lobster tanks. This size coil is overkill but nothing wrong with that, it just makes it cool faster. Some other home made titanium coils I have seen are actually just one loop and they still work fine. The coil here is the cream of the crop. I was drooling the first time I saw it. I had to have it so I ordered it the very next day.


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Unread 04/17/2003, 01:49 PM   #25
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Ok, so you listed the parts, how do you put it together?


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