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Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

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Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby VARocketry » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:37 am

I found this site following a search for articles on DIY Aquarium cooling projects.

Various articles point out that mini-refrigerators cannot be used such as:
http://www.beananimal.com/articles/d...m-chiller.aspx

A Carnegie Mellon Universitry researcher concluded that directly in actual tests and moved on to use of a window A/C which is more appropriately designed for the higher cooling loads and continuous duty cycle.
Notes on a do-it-yourself (DIY) reef aquarium chillerhttp://www.cs.cmu.edu/~cap/raid/chillers/diy/

He built a small acrylic box around the A/C evaporator coils and plumbed the fishtank water through.

Question: Is it not possible to remove the A/C unit evaporator coils into a LARGE container of water to be cooled (larger heat sink)?. I suppose they could be cut and extended with metal lines, then recharged.

I want to create a recirculating cooling tank that to absorb large heat amounts from a vapor condenser cooled by this water. I don’t want to waste clean water by simply cooling without recovery.

Any thoughts about this idea. This is an Alabama Redneck's attempt to engineer a solution. I imagine you might have much more knowledgeable suggestions.

Image

I'm not sure this image link is working, so here's the URL (http://vaporcondenser.shutterfly.com/pictures/11).
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby Mr. Rat » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:43 am

I think that you would simply overwhelm the window knocker. the shear amount of btu's needed to be captured and released are astounding its not just 4.5kw of energy or simply the sensible heat (temp that can be measured or felt) but also the latent heat (the amount of energy that is needed to change state) for one pound of water it takes 180 btu to go from 32f water to 212f water then an additional 970.4 btu is needed to make 212f steam the same for reverse. in all reality you only need your water under 150 or so to collapse all the vapor. By all means go for it if ya want but I would hate to see somebody waste time and money on something. If I were you I would build a cooling tower like wacabi, PP, or hawk. Good luck
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby VARocketry » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:00 am

Mr. Rat:

Can you explain this statement : " build a cooling tower like wacabi, PP, or hawk."

Are those people who post here? Or are they products?
Thanks.
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby crozdog » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:04 pm

MR rat, I know what you're saying, but don't air conditioners work by removing large amounts of hot (or generating a lot of cold - depending on how you look at it) by the use of the carnot cycle?

I don't see why it would not work. Similar things have been done in the home brew world for some time for making DIY Glycol chillers... eg
http://forums.morebeer.com/viewtopic.ph ... rt+chiller which has the following calculations shown (sorry it's in imperial measurements, but you get the idea :confusion-confused: )

"The chiller is designed to remove 10K BTU/hr of heat energy through it's heat exchangers. Calculate 21 gallons of wort (specific heat of 1?) x 8 (lbs /gallon) x 125F (delta T: 190-65) = 21,000 BTU of energy you need to remove from your wort to get it to your target temp. 21,000 BTU / (10,000 btu/hr A/C * 80% efficiency) = time (hr) to cool your wort.

A bigger bath with a starting temp lower than your target temp will drastically decrease your cooling time because of the energy the bath can absorb before the heat exchanger takes over. Example: if I had a 100 gallon bath at 14F, the bath could absorb all of the energy needed to cool the wort without help from the heat exchanger, and the only limiting factor in cooling time would be the how effective the IC, CFC, etc. was. Same concept with a 5,000-25,000 gallon swimming pool, or an infinity-gallon water supply."


One of the reasons I think it will work is you would be removing heat (via the A?C) at the same time as you are adding it from the still condenser(s). The thing I think you'd have to watch would be not getting the reservoir too cold so that you weren't generating super cooled reflux to the top of your column. That could be overcome by feeding the output from the product condenser to the reflux condenser.

See also
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/glycol- ... er-252080/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/home-ma ... it-103280/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/wort-ch ... nit-76122/
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby DrWho » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:51 pm

A decent size window A/C unit should do the trick. Although it does depend upon how much power is being tossed into the boiler (capt' obvious here :lol: ).

But lets look at some number, say... 2400 watts/hr, which is an OK number to ball park with.

That is 8200 BTUs/hr, which is in the range of a window A/C unit. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

The other side is that a water cooling tower is going to be much cheaper to run...

???
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby crozdog » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:13 pm

don't forget that AC cooling power is not the same as the power draw of the AC. eg an AC with a 3.2kw cooling capacity draws about 1.3kw of electrical power.
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby VARocketry » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:05 pm

I posted the idea and a diagram over at Refrigeration-Engineer.com as I'd seen aquarium cooler discussions there.
My thread:
http://www.refrigeration-engineer.com/forums/showthread.php?38632-DIY-Recirculating-Cooler-to-Cool-a-Vapor-Condenser-in-a-distillation-process&p=275780

My first brainstorm diagram:
[url]]http://vaporcondenser.shutterfly.com/pictures/13[/url]

Brian_UK< the moderator, weighed in with a suggestion:
You basic concept is correct, it can be done and would work. There is the chance of freezing your water tank though as you do not show a circulating pump.

However, are you increasing your energy usage by having the water tank and pump circuit?

If you wrapped the copper tubing around your vapour condenser directly and made that the evaporator then you would save costs and improve performance. There may be a need to improve the control of the fridge circuit but I'm sure that there is a get-around somewhere.


So I modified the design so the Evaporator coil directly cools the Leibig condenser.:

http://vaporcondenser.shutterfly.com/pictures/17

Then I started think a bit about surface area for thermal transfer and cooling and came up with this one:

http://vaporcondenser.shutterfly.com/pictures/18
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Re: Idea: DIY Recirculating Chiller for Condenser

Postby VARocketry » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:02 am

A great site and loads of information I haven;t seen referenced here:
Kiefers World http://www.kiefersworld.com/home-distillation-2/types-of-condenser.html

I think I've found the design I'll use:

The Gloved Cold Finger

...<SNIP>" All the designs we've considered so far carry the vapor on one side of a sheet with coolant on the other side, or inside a tube surrounded by coolant. The Cold Finger condenser reverses that, and is a tube carrying coolant that is inserted into the vapor to be condensed. This is a simple and very useful condenser that can easily be dropped into the top of a column of vapor, and is also easily removed and cleaned.

You can increase the surface area of a Cold Finger by winding it into a coil, just like in the Graham condenser. This is the principle of a reflux coil. Like the Cold Finger, the reflux coil is usually inserted in the top of a column.

The Gloved Cold Finger

Image

The Gloved Cold Finger combines both types of condensers into one, by placing a jacket or coil around the column of vapor and inserting a Cold Finger or Reflux Coil inside it. This is an extremely efficient design, because cooling is applied to the vapor from two directions."
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