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I just gutted a mini fridge to make a chiller. I know from researching that the freezer tray (which is the evaporator coil, encased in a metal coating ) will go into the chiller res. Does the condenser coil need to be in a res as well to act as a heatsink, or just coil it up and out of the way?
 
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I ran it as a test, and the water temp dropped 10ºf from 66 to 56 in about 30 minutes, but I unplugged it because the compressor, and condenser coil were SUPER hot. 😲 Definitely gonna have to run a fan on it at minimum. Maybe having a fan blowing through the condenser coil to remove some heat would be enough? The fridge didn't have a fan, so I'm guesing that the outer metal shell acted as a heatsink. I'll try to get some pics to show what I'm working with. Any help is appreciated since as of right now, I have no way of cooling my res until I get this finished up, and without any cooling, my temps run in the mid to upper 70's.
 
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I left the temp adjustment control hooked up. As for the delay, is that something that would already be with the compressor and would need to be adjusted, or something I'll need to buy/build?
 
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holy fire hazard!! lol
good thing all cement around it. the temp gauge on it probably wont allow it to be as warm as you want it. remember it was a fridge, and no fridge is designed to run in the 60's or 70's where you want your water temps. how hot does your rez get?
 
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Which part? Nothing electrical is near the open water. The wire that's in there is the thermostat tube, and the wiring behind will be cleaned up before it gets put to use. It was only hooked up to test. Not being a smart ass, just curious. If there's a safety issue I definitely want to address is.

I figure I'll need to get the water somewhere close to 35º, or use glycol to get between 25-30º in order to get my solution in the low to mid 60's. When I was running through a coil in the fridge and the temp inside was around 38º, my solution would be 66-68º. If I was away for a couple days, and couldn't change out the ice bottles, the fridge would get close to 50º, and my rez temp would be 75-77º.
 
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Just a little update. Moved some things around, hooked up a fan to cool the compressor, and ran it over the last 12 hours. Thermostat goes from 1-7. When I was running the coil inside the fridge, I had to run it on 7. I set it to 3 last night, and my solution temp was 65 this morning. Turned it down to 2 in case it's still dropping, and will check it tonight when I get home.
 
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It was still dropping. Got home from work and it was under 60º. Set it on a timer to run on 1 for 30min on, 1 1/2hr off, and it's sitting between 64.5-65º. Anyone know if it would be safe for the plants to just run the chiller directly in my res? The whole thing has a coating on in, no copper exposed anywhere. That would save me from running a 3rd res, and allot of extra plumbing. I've been searching, but haven't been able to find out what kind of coating is used on the evap coils. Whether it's some type of metal or what.
 

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