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  #1  
Old 06-21-2011, 03:42 PM
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Default DIY Multi-reservoir Chiller

Hello GK,
I have been having some water temp issues in my systems. Especially in the cloner water has been recorded up to 90 degrees in there. NASTY NASTY.

So I was given a stand up freezer a couple weeks ago. I have been thinking out a way to use the freezer to chill all my res' of which I have 4 including the cloner. I also still want to be able to use the freezer for food.

Here is a general breakdown of what I was thinking. I have not started building yet but I like to get an on paper drawing before I begin. All opinions are welcome if you can think of an easier way I'm always listening.

I will use a 10 gal tote that is 20.75 L x 14.5 W x 13 H. It will easily fit on the very bottom of the freezer leaving 2 shelves for food storage. The average temp range of a freezer is -15 to +15F but I will set it to 0F due to food safety guidelines. For my solution I will use common antifreeze which is stable down to -35F. I will use 1/2" black plastic tubing carrying the solution out to 3/8" Copper Tube wound in coils and directly in the res'.

To control the temp of the water I have partially designed a NTC Thermistor circuit. Basically it will work with a 10K thermistor in parallel with a 10K 1% metal film resistor and will be on the resistive feedback line of an op amp. So when the temp changes so will the voltage due to resistance gain. I'll run the output to a Comparator set up to be a Schmitt trigger. When a specified voltage is achieved in correlation to a temp of ~62F the circuit will trigger. The output of the trigger will control a 120v relay which will have NO be empty and NC be 120v. The relay will control the pump which circulates the solution through the copper coils. I will have a pump for each res. There are going to be a couple more resistors and possibly a transistor to sync some current to the relay. But that's the general control circuit.

So basically the pump will run until it hits ~62F then shut off to prevent freezing or super low water temps. When the temp warms up the trigger is gone and the pump kicks back on.

I can get the supplies from Digikey and HD for around 150-200. I have a few 250gph pumps just sitting around so they will likely be used.
The only concern I have is the thermal transfer rate of the coils to the water in the res'. Will a temp of 0- -5F be suitable to lower the temps of the res' enough to hit mid 60's ?

This is as far as my brain has thought this through. I'm going to start ordering parts next week. I'll prolly have it built within 2-3 weeks. Stay tuned...Steelcity
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:27 PM
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:32 PM
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Um...ok...don't have a fuckin clue what you just said but it sounds cool.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:19 PM
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WOW!!

Ok, my input is:

DO NOT USE ANTIFREEZE!!!!! Food grade propylene glycol will serve the same purpose and will not kill you if it gets into your food or kill your plants if you develop even a tiny leak in your ressy.

The temps in the freezer will be more than sufficient to cool your ressys.

Temps can be controlled by a ball valve far more simply. My chiller continuously pumps water as cold as 8C through a 3/8" copper coil with about 4 "wraps" about 4" in diamater. I keep the temps from becoming too cold by closing the valve and lessening the flow of water through the coil. It is less sophisticated but effective. If (and I believe you can) keep the temp of your cooling solution at a fairly constant temp, then this is easily dialed it with some trial and error.

One pump should be sufficient for all your cooling needs.
reservoir->pump->distribution manifold w/valve for each output->tubing->copper cooling coil->tubing (of a larger diamater than supply)->reservoir.

It is important that your supply lines be of a smaller diamater than that of the return lines. This way the supply side will be pressurized and your cooling fluid will be equally distributed to all of your cooling coils. The return side should have no pressure and route the fluid back to the reservoir.

Those cooling coils will exchange heat faster than you think. One small pump should be plenty to cool your ressys.


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Old 06-21-2011, 07:25 PM
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aaaaand another ninja..
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCity Smoker
Hello GK,
I have been having some water temp issues in my systems. Especially in the cloner water has been recorded up to 90 degrees in there. NASTY NASTY.

So I was given a stand up freezer a couple weeks ago. I have been thinking out a way to use the freezer to chill all my res' of which I have 4 including the cloner. I also still want to be able to use the freezer for food.

Here is a general breakdown of what I was thinking. I have not started building yet but I like to get an on paper drawing before I begin. All opinions are welcome if you can think of an easier way I'm always listening.

I will use a 10 gal tote that is 20.75 L x 14.5 W x 13 H. It will easily fit on the very bottom of the freezer leaving 2 shelves for food storage. The average temp range of a freezer is -15 to +15F but I will set it to 0F due to food safety guidelines. For my solution I will use common antifreeze which is stable down to -35F. I will use 1/2" black plastic tubing carrying the solution out to 3/8" Copper Tube wound in coils and directly in the res'.

To control the temp of the water I have partially designed a NTC Thermistor circuit. Basically it will work with a 10K thermistor in parallel with a 10K 1% metal film resistor and will be on the resistive feedback line of an op amp. So when the temp changes so will the voltage due to resistance gain. I'll run the output to a Comparator set up to be a Schmitt trigger. When a specified voltage is achieved in correlation to a temp of ~62F the circuit will trigger. The output of the trigger will control a 120v relay which will have NO be empty and NC be 120v. The relay will control the pump which circulates the solution through the copper coils. I will have a pump for each res. There are going to be a couple more resistors and possibly a transistor to sync some current to the relay. But that's the general control circuit.

So basically the pump will run until it hits ~62F then shut off to prevent freezing or super low water temps. When the temp warms up the trigger is gone and the pump kicks back on.

I can get the supplies from Digikey and HD for around 150-200. I have a few 250gph pumps just sitting around so they will likely be used.
The only concern I have is the thermal transfer rate of the coils to the water in the res'. Will a temp of 0- -5F be suitable to lower the temps of the res' enough to hit mid 60's ?

This is as far as my brain has thought this through. I'm going to start ordering parts next week. I'll prolly have it built within 2-3 weeks. Stay tuned...Steelcity

Why are you using a schmitt trigger and a comparator? Hysteresis will cause the trigger to hold until the input voltage goes beyond your low and high thresholds. It's been a long, long time since I messed with digital controls so I may be mistaken but I don't think you need a comparator if you use the right chip for you schmitt trigger.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:38 AM
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Wow
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:58 PM
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Retiree I like that idea but my res' are not the same size and as the plants suck down the water and lessen water volume and the coil would be too cold. Also at lights out my temps drop 8-15 degrees. In summer when the 1kwr's shut off the air conditioner finally get's it down to 70F lights on it's 85F due to a few thousand watt heaters.Winter when the floor is cool due to arctic weather outdoors it's not so bad. I want the system to be smart enough to keep the water at about 62F give or take a few degrees regardless of current water volume and ambient temp.

I will look into a local supplier since it's liquid it's $ to ship I'm sure and for a 50/50 mix I'd need atleast 6 gal.

Midnight I would use the comparator set up to be a schmitt trigger. I just have a small stock of standard ic's and already have everything to make one. LM311 with a couple 1k resistors and a 100k pot to make it adjustable. Here is the calculator I use. It does not show a pot but it goes in place of R3.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...c/schmitt.html

I have designed a few phototransistor circuits using a 311 and it works really well espcially for a ttl pulse just use a pull up to 5v. I have the diagram if anyone wants to make a lights on/off sensor.The ones I have made use a usb connection to get power but if you had an old computer you could jack the power supply out of it.


I like the critiques...Steelcity
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Last edited by SteelCity Smoker; 06-22-2011 at 04:17 PM. Reason: amendment
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCity Smoker
Retiree I like that idea but my res' are not the same size and as the plants suck down the water and lessen water volume and the coil would be too cold. Also at lights out my temps drop 8-15 degrees. In summer when the 1kwr's shut off the air conditioner finally get's it down to 70F lights on it's 85F due to a few thousand watt heaters.Winter when the floor is cool due to arctic weather outdoors it's not so bad. I want the system to be smart enough to keep the water at about 62F give or take a few degrees regardless of current water volume and ambient temp.

I will look into a local supplier since it's liquid it's $ to ship I'm sure and for a 50/50 mix I'd need atleast 6 gal.

Midnight I would use the comparator set up to be a schmitt trigger. I just have a small stock of standard ic's and already have everything to make one. LM311 with a couple 1k resistors and a 100k pot to make it adjustable. Here is the calculator I use. It does not show a pot but it goes in place of R3.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...c/schmitt.html

I have designed a few phototransistor circuits using a 311 and it works really well espcially for a ttl pulse just use a pull up to 5v. I have the diagram if anyone wants to make a lights on/off sensor.The ones I have made use a usb connection to get power but if you had an old computer you could jack the power supply out of it.


I like the critiques...Steelcity
yep, that schematic will work for sure. Told you it's been a long time.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:19 PM
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I think it'll be rockin' SC. I'm barely literate in low voltage speak. But you sound like you're more than competent. I do ask that you take a few pics. I can't wait to see it in action. I know you'll be pleased to have better control of your res temps. Big factor for sure in WC methods.



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