55 Gallon Evaporative Cooling Community Tank | Page 2

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by McFly, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    That looks very nice!

    Since you're actively blowing air over the water surface, the grating area is sure to be adequate. The main air flow restriction will be the deflector, so I wouldn't worry at all about the grating area.

    That's a very nice-looking setup! And I like the idea to isolate the pieces with the split tubing to eliminate any rattling or buzzing.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Finally finished the project, and I'm pretty pleased with the overall looks and performance.


    image

    The fans are visible, but not ominous. The air flow over the water is actually better than expected.


    image

    The left fan has been fixed from the 'sagging' in the front. The setup is quiet, easy on the eyes, and most of all cools the water nicely.

    I'm calling this one a victory!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  3. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I thought the deflectors would be the big deficiency as well, but surprisingly enough there's enough forced air to make ripples in the water (with the filter off,of course)
     
  4. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    That's great! The whole thing looks really nice, too.

    I need to look up that thread where the guy used the Peltier module to chill the water in his aquarium. That was another neat project.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I've seen those desktop fridge units packed with coiled hose, and had a variable speed pump draw water out of the tank, through the fridge, then back into the tank. Controlling the motor speed controlled how cold the return water was. I would think feeding pvc tube through flexible copper tubing would add even more cooling ability, w/o adding too much copper to the water.

    My original concept was to acquire a 12v electric cooler, a low speed pump, copper and pvc tubing.
    feed the pvc tubing through the copper, then coil the copper tubing to fit in the cooler. Fill the cooler with water, and draw water from the tank through the cooler then back into the tank. Use a temperature switch to shut both the cooler and pump off when desired temperature is reached. Considering it's a cooler, the water in the cooler should stay cold for a long while, The tank water held in there will be cold next time it's needed, so less operation time would be needed.

    That was my theory anyway....
     
  6. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I love that idea! And it'd be cheap. Those dorm-room sized fridges are quite inexpensive.

    I wouldn't bother with the copper over the plastic tubing for the dorm fridge system. The idea of copper is that it's a great thermal conductor. But since the plastic tube would still have its thermal resistance, it wouldn't be any better to have it inside the copper. In fact, it'd be a bit worse than just having the plastic tubing out on its own if you're talking about just having the tubing out in the air in the 'fridge.

    But, what might be a neat thing to do would be to place a large container of water in the fridge. As big as you can fit inside of it.

    Then make a big coil of the plastic tubing that fits down into the "bucket of water". Now, you leave the fridge turned on at all times, with its thermostat set to something "normal".

    The fridge would cycle on and off as necessary to maintain the temperature, just as it would if you were using it for food.

    The bucket-o-water would therefore be kept at this temperature.

    Now, when the aquarium thermostat "calls for cooling", a pump would operate to force the aquarium water through the plastic tube. Since the bucket-o-water would already be cold, and since water has such an enormous "specific heat" or "heat capacity", the amount of "cold" that is stored in the bucket of cold water would be huge.

    So now, the water being circulated through the coil of tubing immersed in the cold water bucket would transfer its heat to the bucket of cold water, and would come back to the aquarium quite cool.

    The bucket-o-water would "integrate" the cooling demand over time and act as a reservoir of coldness, ready to go at any time. And the thermostat of the little fridge would just operate normally, cycling the compressor on and off as needed in a pretty normal way.

    One of the things you always want to avoid is "short cycling" a refrigeration compressor system. Once the compressor starts, you want it to run for a while. And particularly once it shuts off, you want it to remain off for at least five or ten minutes so that the pressures in the system can equalize again. So doing it that way would be just fine.

    And you could even store some beer in the fridge, too. :)

    This would be a very easy to implement project, requiring nothing particularly special. And it'd be cheap. I've seen those little fridges for sale for less than $100. I think the "real" aquarium chillers are a lot more expensive. I suppose you'd have to test it to see how much refrigeration power you could really get with such a system, but you wouldn't even need to destroy the mini-fridge to find out. You could just close the door on the tubing for the testing. (I'm kind of envisioning the 1/4" O.D. polyethylene tubing for this).

    The peltier modules also intrigue me, though. Small, silent, relatively cheap, and easy to control with no restriction on cycle time, etc.

    You'd need to come up with a good way to transfer the heat, though. The guy on here who was trying it simply let the fins of a heat sink on the cold side of the module dangle down into a HOB filter he was already using. I thought that was pretty clever!

    But this is where your idea to feed the plastic tube through some copper tube would come in. You could mount the cold side of the Peltier module to a thick piece of copper or aluminum. Then thermally bond the coil of copper tube to that. Then, when the plate of copper or aluminum got cold, it would pull heat out of the copper tubing which would then totally envelop the plastic tube to try to achieve good heat transfer out of the tubing.

    You could machine a piece of aluminum to have the water channel in it (I'm picturing a spiral channel milled into the aluminum). Then anodize the aluminum piece. Then make a plastic (maybe 1/2" thick Lexan)cover that seals against the aluminum block with an O-ring, and fairly well seals the channel from itself, too, so the water doesn't "short circuit" too badly.

    The Lexan cover could be drilled and tapped for pipe thread fittings for the inlet and outlet. Keeping the fittings in the plastic would make it easier to be sure you didn't compromise the layer of anodizing on the aluminum part.

    That would give you better water-to-metal contact and make for very efficient heat transfer to the Peltier module.

    I have a good friend who runs a CNC machine shop, so he could make the aluminum part, but the place that used to do anodizing in this town moved to Denver or somewhere. So we'd have to send the parts out to be anodized. But still, it'd be another neat project!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Ok... How about this....

    The electric cooler, with a container holding water, then one or two oil cooler radiators submerged,
    with the tank water being pumped through them... Yeah... Nice thing about this, is you can surround the water vessel with poly ice packs to reduce the amount load on the cooling system.

    My main reason for pvc through copper is the water's direct contact with copper, and the potential
    for using the setup for salt or freshwater... Copper is bad in the long term, when it's in the water.
    When copper surrounds the pvc tubing, heat dissipation through the pvc may not be improved, but the copper's ability to retain the cold might increase the efficiency. If I were to do this, I'd be looking for a more of a tubing liner... as thin as possible, just to keep impurities of the copper tube out of the water. I'm just a speculative engineer...;)

    I like the fridge concept, though it's way too bulky for a Living Room set-up. If I were to do a big tank (200 gallons+) I'd consider something like it.

    Chillers can run from $400 into the thousands... then you need the pump... so it gets expensive quick (over $500 for a good 55 gallon set up) This is why evaporative cooling, if plausible is still going to be the cheapest way to go. Two 80MM fans on a rheostat will draw hardly any power. Over time the fans can be adjusted to minimize the use of the heater (100w) without the use of a controller, just through trial and error.

    Yesterday/today's experiment was one fan running on full speed will maintain 77.2 to 77.8 degrees F. (no heater tripped)
    water loss was about a quart.
     
  8. Thai Aquarium owner

    Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    Pattaya, Thailand
    Ratings:
    +47
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Just 2 small ( 6/8 Inch ) electric fans playing air across the waters surface is all that is required, and an outlet for the water vapour ( open tank top )
    Living here in Thailand, this is all I use to maintain water temp all year round.
    I have a 100 gallon tank here that is evaporating 5 gallons of water in 2 days using this method, and when it gets hotter, this amount increases considerably. The tanks temp ranges from 27 to 29 deg C at the moment with ambient air temperatures of 35 Deg C in shade.
     
  9. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    There's no doubt that purely evaporative cooling is the simplest and cheapest way to go.

    Here in central Wyoming, I used a "swamp cooler" to do all of my home's cooling for many years. In the last ten years or so, however, we've had more humid days than ever before. And high humidity keeps an evaporative cooler from working well.

    When things are dry, they work extremely well. I can remember sitting in my living room, with the swamp cooler on, with a blanket over me while I was watching TV because it was just too cold otherwise. Meanwhile, it was 100 degrees F outside!

    However, on days when the humidity is higher, the evaporative cooling is far less effective, and I finally relented and had central air conditioning installed a few years ago as part of an upgrade to our furnace system. So we've now got a combination natural gas heat and electric heat pump system. When it's humid, or for some other reason we don't want to run the evaporative cooler, we can switch on the air conditioning. But when it's dry out, we can run the swamp cooler. And when it's cool outside, we can just use the blower for the swamp cooler with the pad motors turned off so it's just "dry" air being blown into the house.

    Of course, the same is true for an aquarium. Simply blowing the air across the surface as McFly has done and Thai Aquarium owner suggests works well. Evaporation is a powerful cooling arrangement.

    The reasons for going to an active chilling system would be to reduce evaporative water loss from the aquarium or to get more cooling for the aquarium, particularly if the room suffered from high humidity.

    I think McFly and I are just speculating about ways to make an active chiller system as cheaply as possible, partly just as a fun project.
    McFly: I realize that the reason for lining the copper tube is to keep the water from direct contact with the copper. Copper is pretty reactive stuff! It's great for heat conduction, but it really is kind of nasty, and of course, toxic to many invertebrates, etc.

    Like you say, using the thinnest possible plastic liner would be good. You easily lose the benefit of the copper by adding anything that insulates. But as you say, you dare not have the copper in direct contact with the aquarium water.

    My point was just that the copper serves no real purpose unless you're using its heat conduction properties to convey the heat from your aquarium water into some other medium that you can bond to the copper, if you see what I mean.

    Take a coil of the thin plastic tubing and place it directly into the air or water to which you want to transfer the heat.

    Then take an identical coil of thin plastic tubing and slip it into a copper tubing sleeve that fits it tightly, then put that assembly into the same air or water to which you want to transfer the heat.

    The two systems would work almost the same, but with the copper-clad system being slightly less efficient due to the (admittedly small) thermal resistance of the copper.

    So the copper would serve no purpose unless you were trying to couple the plastic tube to something that you could bond the copper to.

    I've often pictured making a very tight spiral of copper tubing, formed so that it sits as flat as possible. That spiral of copper tubing could then be soldered to a copper plate. Let's say about 1/4" thick. Now you've got the copper spiral thermally bonded very well to the copper plate. Now you can mount the other side of the copper plate against the cold side of your thermoelectric module and you've got a way to transfer heat from a fluid passing through the copper tube to the Peltier module.

    Of course, you'd need to line that copper tube with something if you were going to run the aquarium water through it. So a very thin coating or liner of some kind of plastic would be nice. And in this sort of scenario, the copper-over-plastic system would serve a very real purpose.

    But if you're going to immerse the coil of tubing into water, or an airflow, the copper wouldn't help because it wouldn't couple the heat to that air or water any better than the plain plastic tubing would, if you see what I mean.

    I have seen condensers in Total Organic Carbon analyzers that consisted of a coil of thin Teflon tubing with a small fan blowing over it. It might not be the most efficient heat transfer, but it works well enough.


    One other thing to consider: You can buy very inexpensive "dimmers" made for running LED lighting. These are actually chopper circuits that create a pulse width modulated output from a 12 Volt DC source. The ones I got recently will handle up to an 8 Amp load. I think they cost under $5 each. I have tried running 12VDC muffin fans from them, and it works. It may not be ideal, though, because these brushless DC fans are actually small three phase setups with electronic circuits in them to generate the drive to the coils! I suspect that putting a filter capacitor across the fan's power input leads might help, and depending on how the PWM circuit is made, it may not mind that at all.

    The reason for doing the speed control of the fans this way is to make things more efficient (versus a rheostat which will waste quite a bit of power) and to allow for the potential of electronically controlling the fan speed based on a proportional control setup. It'd be pretty easy to build a thermostat that has, as its output, a switching regulator circuit to provide a variable DC voltage for the fans. That's probably all overkill, but it'd be neat to have the fan speed controlled rather than "on-off". It might make things even quieter and give more precise control of the tank temperature.

    Again, we're just going overboard with the speculation mainly because it's fun to do so, not because it's really necessary. :)

    The anodized aluminum plate with its spiral water path would be pretty neat to look at, if nothing else. And seriously, once the program is written, and any fixturing built, they'd be pretty fast and easy to make, I think. And if you have lots of something anodized, the cost per part is quite low. The anodizing is, effectively, aluminum oxide. And aluminum oxide is sapphire. And sapphire is very hard and very chemical resistant. So it'd make a dandy, safe, non-reactive surface to have in contact with either fresh or saltwater. Plus, it'd just look so darn cool! :)

    I'm not sure how practical any of this is, but it's fun to think about.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Not to beat this dead horse too badly, BUT! There is such a thing as tin lined copper pipe... This stuff is predominately used for high corrosion applications, so I'm thinking the tin would be less susceptible to bleeding out toxins. I think I've even read somewhere the salt water aquarists were using it.

    It deserves a looksie... Tin's anti-corrosion properties would probably offset cost vs longevity. Now copper tubing has lost none of it's properties... The longer the coil(s) and tube the more temperature drop with each cycle. A 45* cooler with this tin-lined copper tubing in a liquid bath would probably be fairly effective... At only 8 lbs weight for 100 ft it's not gonna break your back either!

    Interesting discussion... lots of practical knowledge, and perhaps some applicable theory in the mix!
     
  11. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    A thin tin coating would have very low thermal resistance, too! :)

    To really get out there, here's something I observed many years ago in the electronics industry:

    Most IC pins and connectors are tin plated. Tin's a reasonable conductor and is kind of soft, and the oxides it forms are also soft. So it makes decent electrical contacts.

    But "fancy" connectors and some IC legs are gold plated. Gold is very non-reactive and corrosion resistant. It's also a reasonable electrical conductor. Further, it's very soft, so when you mate two gold plated contacts, the gold flows together and actually makes a molecular bond. That's great for eliminating "contact diode" effects at connections.

    But it's also expensive. So people plate it on very thinly. And the usual scenario is to plate gold over nickel over copper.

    Thin plated layers of gold turn out to be somewhat porous. And corrosive gasses such as hydrogen sulfide or hydrochloric acid fumes get through these pores and attack the metal underneath. Nickel doesn't stand up to those corrosive gasses worth a darn, and copper, of course, goes away almost immediately!

    So I was out in the field working on some fairly old telemetry equipment. It used boards loaded with TTL logic. At this oilfield, the current field superintendent was gung ho to get all of the telemetry working. His predecessor hadn't cared about it, and no work had been done on any of it for about three years.

    I go to the first Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU), and it's dead. When I open the enclosure, I can immediately see at least one of the problems: Five or six ICs laying on their backs, belly up, in the bottom of the box! Upon inspection, their legs had been eaten off, presumably by hydrogen sulfide gas. Now for the punchline:

    All of the ICs whose legs had been eaten away were the ones with gold-plating. The plain, cheap, tin-plated ones were just fine!

    The same thing goes for electrical connectors, etc. You NEVER want to use the gold-plated ones if they'll be exposed to a corrosive atmosphere, even though you'd think that gold would be the best possible material. Instead, you always want the tin-plated parts. They last and last!

    Gold has its place. But NOT in a corrosive atmosphere!
     
  12. Thai Aquarium owner

    Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    Pattaya, Thailand
    Ratings:
    +47
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    For you guys mulling over a home made chiller, be aware that Copper is an extremely toxic metal to fish, as are its alloys such as Brass when it is in contact with water.
    The only real safe metal to use would be Stainless Steel in marine grade.
    Sorry for this - cant remember ANSI
    The metal for sure is B.S. 316L , or EU 1440.4
    This Stainless is the grade recommended for hostile environments such as salt water/ corrosive situations.
    How do I know this ? My business machined many, many tons of this stuff on a regular basis for customers.
     
  13. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Titanium is also often used for the heat exchangers in fancy aquarium chillers. It's very resistant to corrosion.

    I installed a system to continuously monitor (among other things) the conductivity of ultrapure water in several laboratories. The conductivity probes we got were made of titanium. Nobody had any objection to this except at one lab where the head of the metals department wondered if we'd end up with titanium contamination in the ultrapure water itself due to the very probe that was meant to monitor it.

    They did analysis with ICP and ICP Mass Spec and ICP mass spec mass spec, and one of the analytes they tested for was titanium. So the concern was valid.

    As it turned out, no titanium was ever detected in their ultrapure water, so presumably the titanium was virtually insoluble even in that highly corrosive ultrapure water. Everyone was relieved that we didn't need to shop for a different probe, like perhaps a graphite one or something.

    Ultrapure water can corrode even very good stainless steel. It's surprisingly aggressive. People using RODI systems should keep that in mind. I've seen it eat right through fairly thick stainless steel fittings and tubing in remarkably short order!

    Also, the burners in some of the old flame Atomic Absorption units were made of titanium. Even with that hot gas flame in direct contact with it, it didn't contaminate the flame. Pretty impressive stuff! :)

    Back in "the day", we used to treat some aquarium issues with copper by placing a few pennies into the filter. I'll bet that makes everyone cringe now days! :)
     
  14. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Copper is in over the counter fish meds as the active ingredient. Look up Coppersafe.
    Used in saltwater aquaria... it IS unsafe for invertabrates.

    So, copper isn't as evil as it's made out to be. Tin was the dominant canning metal for
    decades. Aluminum was cheaper, so the old tin can went the way of the dinosaur.
    Tin lining is used for beverage lines in drink dispensing, which, if you've ever seen what
    Pepsi can do to paint, could be considered a hostile environment. The type of tin is also
    relevant.

    Mind you, without running water through the pipe itself and testing, there's no way to be sure if any contaminates would leach out. One thing to worry about is when the pump shuts off, water may sit in those pipes for prolonged periods of time... which IF there were contaminants, would be beddy bad.

    Research... research... research.

    Even if you used 1/4" rigid poly carbonate tube and made a squared spiral to run the water through, you'd still be in for about $200-$250... about half the price... food for thought.
     
  15. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Yep. We used the penny trick instead of the store-bought copper medication because it was cheaper and, actually, easier to control in some ways. Copper's anti algae and anti parasitic action has been known for a very long time. They still recommend application of copper sulfate to control algae in lakes and reservoirs. But as you mention, it's very bad for most invertebrates.



    I don't think people realize how much phosphoric acid is added to most pop. It really is pretty corrosive to metals (and your teeth). But it tastes good and acts as a preservative, too.

    Still, most pop isn't as acidic as, say, orange juice, which has a lot of citric acid content.

    Amen to the water sitting in the piping stagnant between uses. That's where you really can pick up a lot of contaminants from the piping or whatever else just sits in contact with it.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    So the best part of doing something like this is effin' with it... seeing what you've done, and how well/poorly it works. For the last few days, I've been running on (1) of two fans. Mostly to test effectiveness. Here's the cool part (pun intended) at full speed on the fan, I pretty much bottom out at 77* F.... If I reduce the fan speed by about 1/3, I see 75.8* F. This tells me that running the fans faster isn't going to provide the best cooling. Who knew?

    Keeping the water level at 1/4" below the top frame seems to help too... because the diverter blows air at an angle, the higher water level probably keeps the most water/air contact with this set up.

    I'm going to keep messin' with just the one fan for a bit longer, then see how two fans do at various speeds. Maintaining 74-75* would be right where I want to be...
     
  17. Thai Aquarium owner

    Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    Pattaya, Thailand
    Ratings:
    +47
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I tried using the small fans such as McFly is using on his home made canopy, but with very little success. ( Good job BTW )
    These fans ( if they are the kind from a PC tower ) for me, did not have enough power to cause enough evaporation, only causing a small air disturbance as opposed to the larger fans that really create a ripple on the waters surface. .
    That is why I have to use 2 fans angled at the surface ( 1 x 6" and another 8" ), but I am dealing with temps that can be as high as 35 Deg C at 7 am, and increase all day, with only a minimal fall off at night to maybe 29 Deg C.
    With reference to the point I made about Copper, it was made because of large amounts of metal leaching into the water, such as from connectors, pipeing, Etc.
    Indeed, I concur that Copper in small amounts is beneficial to fish in the forms of Meds Etc.
    If Titanium is used in Aquarium Chillers, that will explain why the things are so expensive.
     
  18. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Wyoming - USA
    Ratings:
    +51
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    You're right that a lot of the fun in all of this is playing with things. It may seem like a lot of "work", but when it's fun, it's really "play", and that's where a lot of the fun of any hobby come in for a lot of us!

    I suppose there are a lot of variables at work here. It might be that when you run the fans slower, some of the heat that's actually generated by the fan motors is reduced, and that actually more than makes up for the decreased air flow.

    Or maybe you get some kind of effect where too high of a velocity actually gives you less evaporation due to some kind of pressure effect that alters the air flow pattern, and actually "shields" the water surface to some degree in your particular setup. So many variables to think about! :)

    I have to imagine that your area also has fairly high humidity. And high humidity lowers the rate of evaporation, too. So you may have to really work hard at it to get the amount of evaporation you need to get the job done.

    I'm glad it doesn't usually get as hot here as what you have to deal with. I always hate it when it doesn't cool off at night. I know the next day is going to be really hot when it doesn't get cool the night before!

    We also have fairly low humidity here by comparison to many areas. So that's kind of nice, too.

    Yeah. It's a shame that copper is so toxic and so easily leached into water. Because it's such a great thermal conductor, a lot of nice things could be done with it otherwise.

    One thing I have noticed that takes advantage of copper's reactivity, though, while also using its heat transfer characteristics, is in building stills for making alcoholic beverages.

    Watching a so-called "reality" show about moonshiners (illegal whiskey distillers), one of them made the point that by using a copper distillation vessel and condensing coil instead of the more modern stainless steel, some of the compounds that give the whiskey a bad flavor are actually removed because those compounds react with the copper and are bound on the surface of the copper.

    I'd think that you'd have to periodically scrub the inner surfaces of these vessels and tubes to maintain a good bare-copper surface to be available for these reactions to take place. It seems like you'd form a layer of the oxide or sulfide or whatever, and then the copper pot and "worm" would lose their effectiveness in this regard! I've always wanted to make a still, but it's illegal here to do that without special licensing because the government taxes alcoholic beverages and does NOT want to be denied their "cut" of the profits! :)

    More and more small distilleries are being built, though. It's sort of like the "craft beer" movement. You're now seeing small distilleries set up.

    I think the titanium heat exchangers really are a large part of the high price that many of these chillers command. But it stands up to salt water very well, so I suspect that's the main motivation to use it.

    I still think that if you anodized aluminum very carefully, though, you could make an aluminum heat exchanger. You'd just have to make sure you built it in such a way that the anodized surfaces would never be compromised mechanically. Once you had a breach in the anodizing, things would go bad in a real hurry! :)
     
  19. OP
    OP
    McFly

    McFlyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Ratings:
    +165
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    Well, the restrictive set-up of the hood (less grating area) may trap some air. I was contemplating a hole
    on the side of the hood with a grate to allow some air to push out through the sides... Seeing as the set-up is meeting my needs so far, I'm kinda like the farmer with the leaky barn roof, "Don't need ta fix it, it ain't rainin'!"

    Part of the effectiveness of this set-up is the fact my house is a steady 40% humidity from central A/C. That allows good evaporation. The room temperature is why I need the set-up. In the winter months when the windows are open, and the house is 70-75* I'll need the heater more.
     
  20. Thai Aquarium owner

    Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    Pattaya, Thailand
    Ratings:
    +47
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    McFly,
    If the set up you are useing is meeting your needs, that is fine.
    Being a Mechanical Engineer, I would also consider having holes on the sides of the set up, to allow for a greater exchange of air.
    K.I.S.S. usually works well - Keep It Simple Straightforward. Jsigmo
    Beware the Anodized Aluminium.
    There will always be small " pinch marks " where the electric connectors for the Anodizing process are attached to the component.
    These are usually very small, but could indeed cause the breach in the Anodizing which would compromise the whole project.
     
Loading...