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DIY Chiller


Shootergs

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I have access to a free dorm style fridge/freezer. Is it even worth the effort to make the chiller? I have the pump and probably most of the fittings all I would need is the hose. Some say it works a little, some say not worth it, what is your take on it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The real answer is no. They are a great idea but do not work. Several reasons. First of all they run continuous, not intermittently like a real chiller. Second unless you use metal tubing vinyl is actually an insulator. The vinyl prevents any real energy transfer and instead just allows the temp to stay stable right on back into the tank. As for using a metal coil what would you use? The most available tubing is copper, that wouldn't work at all. One reason why chillers are so expensive is the use of inert titanium tubing. A hobbyist buying a roll of 1/4" or 3/8" ti tubing would spend as much as they would on a ready built chiller. I did once read of a person attempting to circumvent the issue of vinyl tubing by using a large open pail in the fridge. The idea was that 2 identical pumps were used, one to push the water into the pail and one to lift it out of the pail. That guy went on and on about how successful it worked. Allow me to shoot holes through his theory. The most obvious is that in the event of a power outage imagine the mess he would be in for. Along the same lines, how often are 2 identical things actually identical? What if one pump began running slower than the other? Next glaring problem, the heat from a submersible pump would negate any beneficial gains. Getting back the fact that the fridge would need to run continuously your electric bill will rise higher than that of a dedicated chiller. Let's be for real for one moment, a $69 fridge from Walmart built in Cheena probably is not the most power efficient appliance you could own. One graph I saw indicated that in the savings in electricity you could pay for the real chiller in less than 2 years.

Is it worth doing? If you feed frozen foods you could store them in the freezer part and it would save you a trip to the kitchen for your frozen blocks of cyclops.

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