Chiller reservoir, Nutrients reservoir, Wort coil

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Onelow1

Onelow1

37
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hey everyone, I hope everyone is happy and well! Here's my problem, I hope someone can help.

I’m using a 1/10 hp Active Aqua chiller to cool the water in a 5 gallon Iglo drinking cooler that I’m using as a Chiller Reservoir.



I use a 158 gph inline pump running continuously to circulate the water through the chiller and then the chiller cycles off and on as it needs.



I use another 158 gph inline pump, controlled by an Inkbird temp controller, to circulate the chilled water through a Wort coil located in the Nutrient Reservoir.



Chiller rez temp 51 degrees.

Room temp 75 degrees.

Nutrient rez - System temp 67 degrees.



Chiller runs for 30 min or more just to lower the chiller rez temp 3 degrees, but will raise the chiller rez temp 5 degrees or more in a minute when it is circulating through the Wort.



So my question is WTF,

Is the chiller rez too small? 5 gallons trying to cool 25 gallons in a 3 pod system.

Should I lower the chiller rez temp to may 40 -45 degrees? I’m trying to keep a 12 -15 degee differential between the two rez’s.

The chiller cycles at a 2 degree differential.

The chiller is clean and clear and is circulating bleach water.

All pods, reservoirs and lines are insulated and wrapped.



But still the chiller runs a lot, and produces a lot of heat.

Would I be better off with a couple of frozen gallon jugs in the Iglo cooler instead of the chiller? Would it even work? Easy to find out. Figure out the water displacement and change 2 jugs once a day????

The Inkbird controller doesn’t circulate the nutrients coil half as much as the chiller is cycling just on and off, trying to maintain a 5 gallon cooler.



Any thought’s are appreciated and thanks for reading. peace
 
Anthem

Anthem

2,773
263
I am not a mechanical engineer but think about what you are asking for something to do. You have a chiller with 20 percent the capacity of what you are trying to cool and you are having problems. Does it not seem that basically you have totally screwed up on sizing everything? 1/5 is trying to cool 5/5? Why did you not go at least 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 with the 2 being the chiller? It is kind of like asking a 1 ton AC to cool 2000 square feet of house when 1 ton is good for about 400 square feet. The chiller cannot keep up because the demand is too high. Secondly, what did the chiller come with in regards to instructions, did it say to use a 158 GPH pump with the chiller?
 
Onelow1

Onelow1

37
18
The chiller is cycling in it's own 5 gallon container. Just keeping that container at the set temp and is running all the time just with that situation. It only circulates through the Wort for the main system maybe once every 3-4-5 hours. That's the problem, the chiller is running all the time just in 5 gallon insulated cooler. I understand that a larger rez would help but the chiller would still be running all the time. The chiller is almost a year old. I moved it outside the room and now it's in my face and I'm seeing how much it's running.
 
Anthem

Anthem

2,773
263
The chiller is cycling in it's own 5 gallon container. Just keeping that container at the set temp and is running all the time just with that situation. It only circulates through the Wort for the main system maybe once every 3-4-5 hours. That's the problem, the chiller is running all the time just in 5 gallon insulated cooler. I understand that a larger rez would help but the chiller would still be running all the time. The chiller is almost a year old. I moved it outside the room and now it's in my face and I'm seeing how much it's running.
You have something that is do working correctly. The 1/10 model is specified for a 10 to 40 gallon rez. It should not be running like that. Something is incorrect. Having more mass (water in the cooling rez) would as you said take even longer to cool down and at the same time it would not rise as much thru the action of cooling the nutrient rez. The overall effect might actually be the chiller running for less time.
You mentioned your 5 gallon rez is an ice chest. I would probably start by lowering the chiller temperature about 4 degrees and cooling off the nutrient rez. so it is a few degrees below your ideal. Next I would disconnect the ink bird triggering the cooling rez to come on. Once you have the chiller rez water temperature down and the chiller shuts off. Time and see how long it takes before it wants to come on. Ice chests are well insulated so it should not come on for some time. If it does, the chiller is probably not functioning correctly.
 
Onelow1

Onelow1

37
18
I'll call the manufacture. I removed the chiller, dropped 2 frozen milk jugs in the chiller rez. Temp dropped to 39.1 degrees in the rez. then it cycled through the system and I timed it. It took 4.5 mins to cool the system, and the chiller rez temp raised 10 degrees to 49 degrees when it shut off. Now the chiller rez temp is back to 39 degrees 10 mins later. I'll see how long the ice last.
I did lower the chiller temp last night from 53 to 45. It ran almost all night, and then cycles when there shouldn't be a need for it. I just don't want to buy another chiller.
 
Mytwhyt

Mytwhyt

78
18
Why don't you want to circulate the nutrient water through the chiller.. If you're worried about the effect on the chiller, I don't think it would be much different than running chlorinated water through it.. Is the wort coil SS or copper? A bigger insulated nute reservoir might be a better choice. Also an inline pump outside the reservoir would not add as much heat. I do like the inkebird with its 3 degree temp set differential..
 
Onelow1

Onelow1

37
18
I've circulated nutrients through the chiller before and have clogged it 2-3 times, then flush and rinse. One case of root problems and everything goes through the chiller. Not good. I've put an in-line filter before it and that helps. But the cost of a chiller, I'd rather run through a Stainless Steel Wort coil, and save the chiller. All pumps are in-line, only one submersible and that in the nutz rez as a heater, temp controlled. Everything is insulated, this is my fourth grow with this system. But this is the first time I've noticed the chiller running so much
 
airedog

airedog

Supporter
296
93
I use a 1/3 hp chiller to cool a system with a volume of about 50 gallons. The chiller is isolated from my nutes by a wort chiller/res. My chiller res is about 15 gallons and the 1/2" * 25' wort chiller coil is in my epicenter.

Chiller res has a 1200 gph pump that sends water from res through chiller to wort chiller coil in epicenter and then dumped back in chiller res. RDWC circulation pump in epicenter is 500 gph. I set my chiller temp about 3 degrees below my desired nute temp and it most definitely does not cycle on continuously. Any lower and i'm under my desired range of 66 - 68°.

The specs for your chiller (https://growgeneration.com/active-aqua-chiller-1-10-hp-boost.html) state that your pump should be 132 - 396 gph; maybe bump your pump over the half way mark and see what happens besides reducing the chances of your heat exchanger freezing up.
 
Onelow1

Onelow1

37
18
thanks airedog, have you ever flushed your chiller? If the heat exchanger did freeze I wonder if it would keep cooling. When it got clogged it wouldn't cycle, the internal temp was within the difference. The set ups are the same configuration, only difference is volume. I wonder if I had an air leak at the in/out lines at the chiller, sucking air. One of the lines wasn't tight., but wasn't leaking.
 
Mytwhyt

Mytwhyt

78
18
I've got a real heat problem myself, but can't afford a chiller. I've tried to solve it on the cheap.. I let this thread go unattended for a little over a year, but I'm starting it up again.. I tried frozen 2 liter bottles and igloos, it worked.. But changing them twice a day got old fast.. I'm hoping this hair brained solution will work.. If not you may get a good laugh out of it.. https://www.thcfarmer.com/threads/two-recurlating-igloo-grows-aka-waterloos.108883/#post-2340481
 
airedog

airedog

Supporter
296
93
Sorry to take so long to answer; i've never flushed my current chiller as this is its' first run. I have an older 1/2 hp chiller that i ran Brewery Wash and then an Iodophor solution through at the end of my grows as it was circulating nutes. Read an UnderCurrent related thread that raised the issue of never truly being able to sanitize the internal parts of a chiller if it had circulated solution with root rot or other pathogenic contamination; makes sense and wort chillers are cheap compared to replacing chillers. It's not just the heat exchanger freezing, your tubing will also have an ice plug and you may even have damaged the tubing and/or welds.

Any tubing or hose connections in my system (even the air lines) have hose clamps on them; once more relatively low cost insurance against leaks and related damage. I use marine grade stainless steel clamps. You can see some of them below; even the clean-out caps on my manifolds have hose clamps.

1622804182014
 
Og_punkgenetics

Og_punkgenetics

165
43
hey everyone, I hope everyone is happy and well! Here's my problem, I hope someone can help.

I’m using a 1/10 hp Active Aqua chiller to cool the water in a 5 gallon Iglo drinking cooler that I’m using as a Chiller Reservoir.



I use a 158 gph inline pump running continuously to circulate the water through the chiller and then the chiller cycles off and on as it needs.



I use another 158 gph inline pump, controlled by an Inkbird temp controller, to circulate the chilled water through a Wort coil located in the Nutrient Reservoir.



Chiller rez temp 51 degrees.

Room temp 75 degrees.

Nutrient rez - System temp 67 degrees.



Chiller runs for 30 min or more just to lower the chiller rez temp 3 degrees, but will raise the chiller rez temp 5 degrees or more in a minute when it is circulating through the Wort.



So my question is WTF,

Is the chiller rez too small? 5 gallons trying to cool 25 gallons in a 3 pod system.

Should I lower the chiller rez temp to may 40 -45 degrees? I’m trying to keep a 12 -15 degee differential between the two rez’s.

The chiller cycles at a 2 degree differential.

The chiller is clean and clear and is circulating bleach water.

All pods, reservoirs and lines are insulated and wrapped.



But still the chiller runs a lot, and produces a lot of heat.

Would I be better off with a couple of frozen gallon jugs in the Iglo cooler instead of the chiller? Would it even work? Easy to find out. Figure out the water displacement and change 2 jugs once a day????

The Inkbird controller doesn’t circulate the nutrients coil half as much as the chiller is cycling just on and off, trying to maintain a 5 gallon cooler.



Any thought’s are appreciated and thanks for reading. peace
Hey man, do you know the btu/h of the chiller? At a glance i would say your chiller is undersized for the heat load. Also if you're using it as a closed loop system you want to use a glycol mix as it is better for heat transfer
 
airedog

airedog

Supporter
296
93
You may want to check that an automotive product is safe for hydroponic use given that antifreeze glycol most definitely is not.
 
Mytwhyt

Mytwhyt

78
18
You might try insulating your grow containers with foil bubble wrap and placing them on a 1 inch foam board.. That would would help stop heat absorption there..
 
QuarterbackMo

QuarterbackMo

807
93
I can chill a 100 gallons of actual water rdwc with 1/4hp chiller and a wort coil in the system.

Pumping nutrient water through the chiller itself is about the dumbest idea anybody ever had in hydroponics btw. I guess nobody thinks about when shit goes wrong and now because you caught some phantom root disease you gotta scrap a $1000 chiller so you don’t reinfect yourself lol. A wort coil diy is like $20 if your grow flakes out on you just throw that bitch in the garbage and replace it with a new one.
 
QuarterbackMo

QuarterbackMo

807
93
I also have a 1/10 hp chiller that can chill an 80gal system through a wort coil as well.

Temp is about 3-4° from the chilled water Rez temp always.
 
airedog

airedog

Supporter
296
93
Stainless steel wort chillers let you use the sanitizer of your choice, you can even pop it in boiling water and re-use.
 
Onelow1

Onelow1

37
18
Hey All, sorry for dropping in once ever blue moon. Oops! So here's my DIY custom size chiller rez. 13 gallon trash can, in a wooden box that fits the foot print that I need.
Here's what I did.
Build a box, very strong.
Install trash can.
Fill full of clothes and pack tight.
Secure can so it doesn't get spit out.
Fill with expanding foam, half at a time. let it sit over night before topping off with second squirt.
I pulled my wort coil apart and zip tied it open.
Made a tight fitting lid like a cork. Made from plastic PVC board.
Lid is 3/4" plywood to support the chiller. (not shown)
Now I have 12 gallons of chilled water to cool my 18 gallon system. The coil is in the new chiller rez and the nutrient solution is pumped through it. Last time I put the coil in the nutrients rez, but I didn't have enough depth to open up the coil and my holding chilled water was only 5 gallons then. So in a few more days I'll have every thing in place and I'll get the new and improved system on-line.
Thank for reading, can wait to chat.
 

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