Can we talk chillers for DWC? So many questions.

  • Thread starter IamN2pot
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I

IamN2pot

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I know it's winter, but 100* temps will be here in Pueblo CO in no time, so time for me to think about water chillers. Since most of these seem to be sold as 'aquarium' chillers, this might be a question for @steamroller. Will the 'compressor' varieties on Amazon/Ebay work well for DWC? I'm thinking one of the 300 liter/ 79 gallon versions for a 4x5gal RDWC with another 5-15 gal reservoir, so around 20-30 gallons and I should have plenty of cushion to keep it at 68*ish and maybe expand it later. Something like this one on Amazon.

And as I recall, I read in a post that if one used a chiller coil, attached to the water chiller and submerged into the RDWC reservoir, rather than running the reservoir water straight through it would increase the life of the water chiller. True? If so, how would that work for setting the thermostat? wouldn't it be reading the temp of the water in the coil and not the reservoir water temp? Some also specify they are for fresh and saltwater. Are some of them only for fresh water? Does it make any differance in a hydro system?

Thanks in advance.
 
steamroller

steamroller

1,815
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Although I own one I have never used a chiller. 😲 😲
I would read reviews and search best aquarium chillers before investing.
Know they can be loud and produce heat to the area they are in. 🤔
 
Smokey0418

Smokey0418

622
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Yes if you isolate your chilling unit from your nutrient mix with a wort coil it could prevent any build up.

Personally I just used a used air conditioner. They can be had for 25 bucks at times.
Strip it down to just run in high , bend the coil out into the cooler you will be using in your wort coil set up .
Inkbird temp control , pump cooler and your in business.
I cool 40 gallons no problem. And I think I could do more.
I use a glycol and water mix in my wort system.
Enjoy
 
I

IamN2pot

353
93
Yes if you isolate your chilling unit from your nutrient mix with a wort coil it could prevent any build up.

Personally I just used a used air conditioner. They can be had for 25 bucks at times.
Strip it down to just run in high , bend the coil out into the cooler you will be using in your wort coil set up .
Inkbird temp control , pump cooler and your in business.
I cool 40 gallons no problem. And I think I could do more.
I use a glycol and water mix in my wort system.
Enjoy
Thanks for the answer on the wort coil and that used AC unit is brilliant!
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

1,467
263
Chillers are basically a portable AC purposed differently so yea, excellent hack Smokey.

As Steamroller said, they can introduce heat into the room but I have not noticed any adverse effects of this. Mine is also very quiet, but does make noise when it runs. It doesn't run continuous but on a thermostat that you set and only kicks on when needed. I have the 1/4 HP Active Aqua chiller and it's great, have two of them actually. Got great deals on them on ebay, $380 each. Depending on your system, you can get away with the 1/10 HP which can be had on ebay right now for $350 delivered.
 
Cool_Beans

Cool_Beans

293
93
Yes if you isolate your chilling unit from your nutrient mix with a wort coil it could prevent any build up.

Personally I just used a used air conditioner. They can be had for 25 bucks at times.
Strip it down to just run in high , bend the coil out into the cooler you will be using in your wort coil set up .
Inkbird temp control , pump cooler and your in business.
I cool 40 gallons no problem. And I think I could do more.
I use a glycol and water mix in my wort system.
Enjoy
I love this lol.
 
I

IamN2pot

353
93
Chillers are basically a portable AC purposed differently so yea, excellent hack Smokey.

As Steamroller said, they can introduce heat into the room but I have not noticed any adverse effects of this. Mine is also very quiet, but does make noise when it runs. It doesn't run continuous but on a thermostat that you set and only kicks on when needed. I have the 1/4 HP Active Aqua chiller and it's great, have two of them actually. Got great deals on them on ebay, $380 each. Depending on your system, you can get away with the 1/10 HP which can be had on ebay right now for $350 delivered.
I'm in step with that.... how about a 300 liter, 1/3hp for $268. Here! That leaves enough in the piggy bank to get the wort coil and a second pump to run it with. Hmmmmm......

SLG, could your unit(s) be ducted with some 6"(?) ducting to outside, or in my case, up into the attic from the grill where the warm air exaust? Like those portable room AC's? I am aslo a bit worried about the additional heat those mini AC's would add in the summer. Perhaps it would need an small inline boosted fan in the ducting to pull the warm air off from the radiator fan?

I went onto C's List just to see. Not much in the way of used window units for sale this time of year, LOL!!! I did do enough looking to see that a unit like this one, at $170 new uses about the same wattage as the 300 litter, 1/4-1/3hp units, around 450w like this ActiveAqua that cost 3 times as much.
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

1,467
263
I'm in step with that.... how about a 300 liter, 1/3hp for $268. Here! That leaves enough in the piggy bank to get the wort coil and a second pump to run it with. Hmmmmm......

Not bad, see if you can find reviews on that unit, that is what I usually do. Might be worth taking a chance.
SLG, could your unit(s) be ducted with some 6"(?) ducting to outside, or in my case, up into the attic from the grill where the warm air exaust? Like those portable room AC's? I am aslo a bit worried about the additional heat those mini AC's would add in the summer. Perhaps it would need an small inline boosted fan in the ducting to pull the warm air off from the radiator fan?

For me, I don't see an issue with heat from this chiller and I have ran this in a "hot" room during the summer. I am sure you could try to vent your room if it was a problem. Might be easier to get some longer water lines and run the chiller outside of the room if that is feasible and you determined the chiller to be the source of the excess heat. I dunno, not really an expert, just brainstorming. Not sure if the AC hack would throw more heat than a real "chiller" or not but I do know they are usually designed to go in a window with the heat pushed to the outside. Chillers are designed to run indoors and may have something that deals with the heat in a way that a window AC does not.
 
H

Hellbent60

9
3
I know it's winter, but 100* temps will be here in Pueblo CO in no time, so time for me to think about water chillers. Since most of these seem to be sold as 'aquarium' chillers, this might be a question for @steamroller. Will the 'compressor' varieties on Amazon/Ebay work well for DWC? I'm thinking one of the 300 liter/ 79 gallon versions for a 4x5gal RDWC with another 5-15 gal reservoir, so around 20-30 gallons and I should have plenty of cushion to keep it at 68*ish and maybe expand it later. Something like this one on Amazon.

And as I recall, I read in a post that if one used a chiller coil, attached to the water chiller and submerged into the RDWC reservoir, rather than running the reservoir water straight through it would increase the life of the water chiller. True? If so, how would that work for setting the thermostat? wouldn't it be reading the temp of the water in the coil and not the reservoir water temp? Some also specify they are for fresh and saltwater. Are some of them only for fresh water? Does it make any differance in a hydro system?

Thanks in advance.
I believe a lot of these ideas are going to cost you more then you want to spend. How about chilling your grow down to 66 to 68 deg F or any temp you want to set it at for under $100. Buy a used water cooler off kijiji or facebook market place ( $15- $35 ), one that you would normally put a 5 gal jug in the top. Now tear it apart so that you are left with the compressor and the cooling coil. Some of the cooling coils are coated in a protective plastic and some are not. If the one you have doesn't have a protective coating on it just wrap a plastic bag around the coil so you don't get any oxidation in your nutrients. Place the coil directly into your nutrient reservoir. Buy a device that will monitor your water temp. I use the Inkbird ITC-308 ($50). Plug the compressor into the cooling plug on the device and set your water temps, I set my water temp at 67 deg and set the turn on temp at +2 deg (69). Compressor examples....
 
Compressor1
Compressor2
K

Kamisama

329
43
Hi,

Giving 200usd for a water chiller is lil bit too much for me, so am trying to find something else for my RWDC and found this DIY one I could build for like 50usd max but not sure, if it ll be sufficient with TEC1 12715, which has 143W, maybe I should get 2...
Would this be sufficient for water chilling, approx 100L...
outside temp sometimes 28C...
Wonder, how much peltiers or how strong it d need?

Regards,
Kami.
 

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