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Chillers

Contents:

  1. (All) Send all chiller info (repost)
    by larisa-at-tcville.edsg.hac.com (Larisa Stephan) (5 Feb 93)
  2. Chiller Summary/Update
    by jas-at-polar.esd.sgi.com (Jeff Schmidt) (23 Jun 1994)
  3. aquarium cooling
    by stever-at-meaddata.com (Steve Rothenberg) (Thu, 16 Apr 1992)
  4. Aquarium cooling (cheap cooler hardware)
    by ()
  5. Update on cheap cooler
    by Scott Schaefer
  6. Update on update of cheap cooler
  7. aquarium cooling

(All) Send all chiller info (repost)

by larisa-at-tcville.edsg.hac.com (Larisa Stephan)
Date: 5 Feb 93

Hi, netlanders.  This is a second post of my plea after a waiting
period of a month during which I hope some new voices will have joined us.

The FAQ series needs an article on chillers -- won't you chip in
your $0.02?

Please post or send any experience you have had with aquarium
chillers, or even the results of your comparison shopping.  I
solemnly promise and swear that I will compile YOUR responses into
an FAQ article.

Potential buyers will want to know such things as:

* How big a chiller do I need? [I can include the standard chart.]
* How much do they cost? [I have only the price list from That Fish
        Place; feel free to chip in others.]
* I'm a skinflint; can I kluge a water cooler out of something
        cheaper like a $40 dorm fridge?  How do I do it?
* How many brands of chillers are there?
* What brands are better than others?
* How much electricity do they use?  What voltage?  Will I have to
        re-wire my house?  Will it crash my PC when the compressor
        comes on?
* Will there be a giant puddle of condensation around the base of
        my glass tank when the room gets really hot?
* Can I retrofit my glass tank to add some insulating properties
        without obscuring the view of my wet pets?
* Will my chiller come with a pump?  If not, what kind should I buy?
* What service do they need, and how often?
* Can you really use those separate heater/cooler controllers with
        your heater and chiller, and are they worth the extra $$$?
* What do actual people think about the units they use? [This is
        why we read the net, right?]

Followups to rec.aquaria by default, or wherever you set it to.

-- Larisa
larisa-at-tcville.edsg.hac.com


Chiller Summary/Update

by jas-at-polar.esd.sgi.com (Jeff Schmidt)
Date: 23 Jun 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria

Last month I posted to the *.aquaria news groups asking for chiller
recommendations.  This post summarizes (lists them actually) the responses
I received (see below).  I want to thank everyone that responded.  I know
this question gets asked again and again.  Hopefully this summary can help
some other poor soul searching for a chiller.  I have included responses
from the *.aquaria news groups, as well as a few e-mail messages I received.

I bought the 1/4 HP UMI 134A flow through.  The 134A denotes an
environmentally friendly refrigerant.  I mail ordered the chiller from
California Reef Specialists - (408) 394-7271.  CA Reef is located in
Sand City, CA (near Monterey), so it only cost me $6 to have it shipped
via UPS (to the south SF bay area).  This resulted in overnight delivery
actually.  Pretty nice.

The first unit arrived damaged.  So I had to wait a couple of days for UPS
to come and pick it up.  Once they did, CA Reef sent another one that day.
Both CA Reef and UPS were friendly and expedient!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
UMI 1/4-134A - 1/4HP New Ocean Chiller by Universal ...........	$653.00
California Sales Tax ..........................................	$ 47.34
Ground Freignt (UPS) ..........................................	$  6.00
								-------
								$706.34

Shipping Weight: 54 lbs
Unit Dimensions: 16 x 12.25 x 13.5 (inches)

Enclosure provided
Plumbing is 3/4" female pipe thread for inlet and outlet

I'm pretty sure the minimum flow rate is 300 GPH.

California Reef Specialists
740 Tioga Ave.
Sand City, CA  93955
(408) 394-7271
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

For comparison, a local fish shop wanted $749 (not incl tax) for the
same unit.  I called UMI directly (located in the east SF bay) and
they would sell it to me for $749 less a 10% discount.  That would
have been $674 (not incl tax).  If you're interested, UMI's phone
number is (510) 352-9856.

I installed the chiller this last weekend, and it was pretty painless.
It now cranks away, and I've begun to slowly cool down the water (don't
want to shock the fish).

Besides spending the money, the other downsides are that the aquarium
now sounds like a big refrigerator when the chiller kicks in, and the
unit produces a great deal of heat.  (more than I expected actually)

I have an enclosed aquarium stand, in which the chiller resides.  Before
installing the chiller, I cut holes in the cabinet and installed two 3.5"
12 VDC "computer" fans to provide for air circulation.  They seem to do a
decent job, though I may need to do more.

*** Here's a question for others who have installed such fans:

The fans were very quiet when I was testing them on the kitchen counter
top or holding them in my hand.  Now that they are attached to the wood
cabinet they *whine* and are *very* annoying.  I first attached them, using
four screws, directly to the wood.  I then tried putting rubber washers
between the fan and the cabinet.  They still whined just as bad.

I tried using two screws instead of four, and that helped a bit.  Anyway,
it seems the vibration is traveling via the screws into the cabinet.
Is there a better dampening mechanism you can think of?  Somebody suggested
trying to find some sort of rubber bushings to embed into the wood, and
then screw the screws into it.

I don't want to go through this too many more times since I must totally
disassemble and move everything (chiller, wet/dry, cannister etc.) to get
to the fans!

Thanks again for all of your valuable input!

Jeff

Jeff Schmidt          Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(415) 390-1217        2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., PO Box 7311
jas-at-sgi.com           Mountain View, CA  94039-7311


============================ Original Post ============================

~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria
~Subject: Chiller Recommendations Needed
Summary: 
Expires: 
~Sender: 
Followup-To: 
Distribution: 
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc., Mountain View, CA
Keywords: chiller
Cc: 

Hello there:

It looks like I may need a chiller for my 100 gal marine tank.  It
has been at 86+ degrees for several weeks now, and summer heat has
not yet hit (90s).  While I'll be keeping mainly with fish for at
least the next year, I'd like to buy a chiller that will support a
reef environment later on.

I think I can figure out the pull-down charts all right to determine
what horsepower I need, but I'm curious about any experience out
there with the different brands of chillers.

I've got the "That Fish Place" catalog and they sell Aquanetics
chillers.  The "Mail Order Petshop" catalog is on the way.  It does
not look like "Pet Warehouse" deals in chillers.  I also have a couple
of small fliers from Baytech and Universal Marine Industries (UMI).

I'm looking for something dependable, quiet, small form factor and
easy to install (well, that would be ideal anyway :-).  Baytech
has a "remote evaporator" and Aquinetics has a "drop in" version.
This would appear to make plumbing a snap, but are they less
efficient then those in which the water passes through the chiller.
Are there other gotchas for the drop in types?  BTW, I have a
CPR Cyclone wet/dry/skimmer that has a good size sump.

I understand that Baytech was recently bought out and currently
is figuring out just what it is going to sell.  I've been told that
Aquanetics is relatively new in the chiller scene, and thus does not
have a history.  I'm also told that UMI is very good.  Are there
other brands to consider out there?  I'm looking in the max $800
price range.  Any other brands to consider?

One last consideration for me is finding something that uses an
environmentally friendly refrigerant.  I don't want to find out
four years from now that it needs to be recharged and that there
are no CFC laden refills around. :-(  ...or an expensive conversion
to be performed.

Is this covered in a FAQ somewhere?  I looked in

	ftp://ftp.cco.caltech.edu/pub/aquaria
	[outdated URL deleted - EO]

and did not see much on chillers beyond a standard pull-down chart.

Thanks a lot for your insight on this matter.  E-mail or follow up
posts work for me...

Jeff


=========================== News responses ============================


~From: mar-at-actwin.com (Mark Rosenstein)
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria
~Subject: Re: Chiller Recommendations Needed
~Date: 24 May 1994 00:48:39 -0400
Organization: Active Window Productions, Cambridge, MA USA

I'd recommend the UMI chillers over Aquanetics.  I bought one abount a
year ago.  The Aquanetics are the most easily available and cheapest,
but I've heard of reliability problems with them.  I got my UMI from
California Reef Specialists, and have been very happy with it.  They
have several different models, including drop-in probes.  The ones
with the probes aren't as efficient as the flow-through models, and
are slightly more expensive.

Also, if you're looking for fish stuff on the web, try the FINS
archive at:
	http://www.actwin.com/fish/

					-Mark


~From: dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy)
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria
~Subject: Re: Chiller Recommendations Needed
~Date: 24 May 1994 17:37:26 GMT
Organization: Hewlett Packard Roseville Site

Jeff Schmidt (jas-at-polar.esd.sgi.com) wrote:
: I'm looking for something dependable, quiet, small form factor and
: easy to install (well, that would be ideal anyway :-).  Baytech
: has a "remote evaporator" and Aquinetics has a "drop in" version.
: This would appear to make plumbing a snap, but are they less
: efficient then those in which the water passes through the chiller.
: Are there other gotchas for the drop in types?  BTW, I have a
: CPR Cyclone wet/dry/skimmer that has a good size sump.

The drop in types use less refrigerant (I'm told). That means that if they 
develop a leak (which is a much more probable event in the remote probe type 
chillers) they will lose their cooling capacity much more quickly than the 
flow thru types. You are also right in thinking that they are less efficient 
than the flow thru types. The convenience factor of the remote probe type
chillers extracts a high price (at least in my mind).

: I understand that Baytech was recently bought out and currently
: is figuring out just what it is going to sell.  I've been told that
: Aquanetics is relatively new in the chiller scene, and thus does not
: have a history.  I'm also told that UMI is very good.  Are there
: other brands to consider out there?  I'm looking in the max $800
: price range.  Any other brands to consider?

According to California Reef Specialists the good brands to consider are UMI
and West Coast Aquatics. Baytech had horrible reliability problems when they
first came out. They claim to have fixed them tho' (see Goemans recent review
of Baytech in MFM for details).

: One last consideration for me is finding something that uses an
: environmentally friendly refrigerant.  I don't want to find out
: four years from now that it needs to be recharged and that there
: are no CFC laden refills around. :-(  ...or an expensive conversion
: to be performed.

When I talked to California Reef Specialists last October the only readily
convertable chiller is the West Coast Aquatics brand. He claimed there is some
incompatibility between the oil used in the compressors of other brands which
precludes an easy conversion. West Coast Aquatics compressors are compatible
with both the old and new refrigerants. You'll still have to pay for the 
conversion but supposedly it's alot easier with the WCA brand. I recently
mentioned this to a friend who used to do refrigeration work and it didn't
make immediate sense to him why this should be so take this with a grain of
salt, do some more research, and please report back to us what you find out.

Dave Sheehy



~From: dmk-at-cbnewsi.cb.att.com (daniel.m.kuster..jr)
~Subject: Re: Chiller Recommendations Needed
Organization: AT&T
~Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 16:01:16 GMT

In article <2rte0m$ibr-at-hpchase.rose.hp.com> dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) writes:
>Jeff Schmidt (jas-at-polar.esd.sgi.com) wrote:

[snip, snip]

>
>: One last consideration for me is finding something that uses an
>: environmentally friendly refrigerant.  I don't want to find out
>: four years from now that it needs to be recharged and that there
>: are no CFC laden refills around. :-(  ...or an expensive conversion
>: to be performed.
>
>When I talked to California Reef Specialists last October the only readily
>convertable chiller is the West Coast Aquatics brand. He claimed there is some
>incompatibility between the oil used in the compressors of other brands which
>precludes an easy conversion. West Coast Aquatics compressors are compatible
>with both the old and new refrigerants. You'll still have to pay for the 
>conversion but supposedly it's alot easier with the WCA brand. I recently
>mentioned this to a friend who used to do refrigeration work and it didn't
>make immediate sense to him why this should be so take this with a grain of
>salt, do some more research, and please report back to us what you find out.
>
>Dave Sheehy
>

I just went through this chiller exercise and ended up buying a 1/4 hp
flow through UMI from California Reef Specialists.  When I talked to them
(about 3 weeks ago) they said that the UMI and new Aquanetics models are
now using the environmentally friendly refrigerant.  The West Coast Aquatics
models are convertable, but they are currently still using freon.

I'd go with UMI (IMHO).

Dan Kuster


========================== E-mail responses ===========================


~Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 00:47:36 -0700
~From: monterey-at-netcom.com (David Wong)
To: jas
~Subject: Re: Chiller Recommendations Needed
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)

I have used West Coast Aquatics chiller and had a lot of success.  When
purchasing a chiller, I have noticed that everyone claims to have the
greatest btu pull-down ability.  Most manufactors use titanium as the
heat exchange. The problem with this is that titanium is very expensive
so they tend to use very little of it.  Therefore the heat exchange tend
to be quite small in size.  West coast however uses a coated copper heat
exchange so they can be generous with it. So far I have had 3 West coast
chillers 2 of them having thermostat problems (I think it was just a
fluke though, because everyone tend to use the same thermostat) and a
aquanetics.  I wasn't impressed with theirs however.  I also had one of
those probe types from UMI but that one broke too.  So in short, take a
look at West Coast Aquatics. I think they are one of the cheaper ones as
well.

-- 
===========================================================================
David Wong                 |  Murphy's Law:  "Whatever can go Wong
monterey-at-netcom.com        |                    will go Wrong!"
-at-#$%*%$#-at-#$%&*%$#-at-!!-at-#$%&&%$#-at-!-at-##$%&**&-at-!##$-at-!&*%$#-at--at-!!-at-*&%$#-at-!-at-!!!&*$#!!



~Date: Tue, 24 May 94 09:02:01 EST
~From: nicosia-at-mail.notis.com
Message-Id: <9404247697.AA769795321-at-MAIL.NOTIS.COM>
To: jas
~Subject: Chiller
Status: OR

     
     I just bought one from California Reef Specialists. They had a good 
     price and were one of the only places I called that took the time to 
     answer my questions.
     
     One of the things I learned was to make sure that the chiller can be 
     converted to use the new type of refrigerant since freon will soon be 
     illegal.
     
     If you need more information let me know. I know I can find their 
     number if you have trouble, I just don't have it with me.
     
     Good luck. Oh yeah, my reef tank has never been better since I've 
     stabilized the temperature.


~Date: Tue, 24 May 94 10:54:04 MST
~From: ronf-at-phx.sectel.mot.com (Ron Feigen)
Message-Id: <9405241754.AA17406-at- phx.sectel.mot.com>
To: jas
~Subject: Re: Chiller Recommendations Needed
Status: ORr


I have seen the specs on the Otto chiller (yes the power head folks).  They make
a nice product.  I would assume their chiller is great as well.  Not much to a
chiller anyway.  Pretty much off the shelf H/W with Ti coils.  The thing I liked
about the Otto was that it also controller your heater.  A good thing to have.
Call the distributor Pacific Coast Aquarium in Oregon (503-625-7936) ask Angela
for a store in your area that can get you the unit.  BTW PCA has there own line of
products SeaEra (sold at Pet Wharehouse, LifeReef, ect..) they are pretty good
and very nicely priced.  I know they have a chiller too.

I do custom tanks and service work in Phx.  So I don't have access to M/C or Visa
However if you can't get a good price on the Otto I can drop ship you one but you would
have to pre-pay.  I would get you a "smok'in" deal though.

Good luck,


Ron


BTW we have been using Aquanetics for a while and have had no problems except
the temp. control on some of the older units.  The new temp control is better
and you can get a digital controller on some of the units.

================================ END ==================================
-- 
Jeff Schmidt          Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(415) 390-1217        2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., PO Box 7311
jas-at-sgi.com           Mountain View, CA  94039-7311


aquarium cooling

by stever-at-meaddata.com (Steve Rothenberg)
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1992
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <1992Apr16.140218.20928-at-athena.mit.edu>, glee-at-athena.mit.edu (Gilbert Huppert) writes:
|> anbo-at-wuee1.wustl.edu (Albrecht Jander) writes:
|> >
|> >2) Buy an old beat up dorm fridge, and take the guts out.
|> >
|> 
|> Sorry, but this won't work very well.  If you think about it, there
|> are two good reasons (especially if you are running a marine tank): 1)
|> heat transfer will be quite poor, 2) capacity is very low.  A dorm fridge
|> is not meant to constantly remove heat from a large aquarium (I am assuming
|> that you are not worried about a 10 gallon tank).  This type of device is
|> designed to remove small amounts of heat once in a while, and maintain
|> a constant temperature, not at all like your air conditioner.  If you do a
|> back of the envelope calculation, you will find that you *might* be able
|> to get a 3-4 degree temperature drop, under the best conditions (for a 
|> tank of 50-70 gallons).
|> 
|> 
I have seen this idea working without problems. your design may vary, but:

1. the fridge has holes on two sides, and a plastic tube for input
on one side, and the exit tube on the other.

2. fridge was set and tested for the desired temp.

3. the tube inside was coiled so that the water stayed in the the fridge
for a period of time. I think about 30-40 feet was used.

This was used on a marine setup with 4 tanks getting the water after the
chill process with a total of 400 gallons of water.

-- 
Steve Rothenberg           \   GO BROWNS     
Mead Data Central           \   GO CAVS            _____     __o  
stever-at-meaddata.com          \   GO INDIANS      -----      -\<, 
stever%meaddata-at-uunet.uu.net  \   GO CRUNCH       -----   ( )/ ( ) 


Aquarium cooling (cheap cooler hardware)

by scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com (Scott Schaeffer)
Date: 20 Apr 92 13:14:31 GMT

In article <cdvRYgO00WBNI68jlf-at-andrew.cmu.edu> lb36+-at-andrew.cmu.edu (Linda J. Bouck) writes:
>I usually put ice cubes into a plastic bag, seal it, and drop it into
>the tank.  But with a 55-gallon tank, I must have a LOT of ice cubes
>ready for after the big thaw.
>
>Any better suggestions, aside from getting an air conditioner?
>
>Linda Bouck

 I recently was shown a catalog from American Design Components
Secaucus NJ phone 800-776-3700. It's basically an electronic
supply company. They have a Liquid cooler/cooler bath for $59.95
heres the description:

	6 liter capacity 1/2 HP compressor
	Has a self-contained reservoir with rotory agitator.
	Maintains water temperature of 36deg F. Operates on 115v
	60hz 3A, 60W. Liquids are cooled by means of an ice-bank with
	ice probe which signals the compressor to shut down. Evaporator
    	maintains temperature of 5 deg F. Dimensions are 12"Dx16"Wx20"H.
	
	Item #31844 $59.95

	This appears to be adaptable as a chiller by either adding an
	external thermostat and running a coiled plastic tube through
	the reservoir or by adjusting the water flow through the
	reservoir. I have ordered one and I'll post how it works out.
	I have no ties to this company and have no info over the
	catalog. This is a manufacturers closeout and they have about
	150 left. I make no guarantees whether this will work well
	and you can wait till I get one and check it out. 
	Thought this might interest some of the mechanically inclined
	and financially deprived reef keepers.

		Scott Schaeffer
		scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com


Update on cheap cooler

by scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com (Scott Schaeffer)
Date: 4 Jun 92 12:46:47 GMT

In a previous post I mentioned a ~$60 1/2hp cooler in
an electronics supply house. See the previous post for
info. I finally have the cooler up and running. Here's the
info. The cooler is from a fountain soda machine which has
been modified to disable CO2 mixing as per thier contract
with the manufacturer. It contains an open plastic reservoir
with a mixing rod which is chilled. The company states that
it maintains the water at 35F but after calling them and asking
why it didn't work they said they had mistakenly quoted the
temp and it actually kept the water at room temp (microcontroller
controlled with NO pot to set the temperature) The compressor
is capable of keeping the temperature in the 40s but this requires
a minor rework on the control board which actually shorts
110AC hot to the compressor and heat exchanger fan and circumvents
the microcontroller board. If anyone buys one mail me for the
info and some other details. I'm using a coiled pvc tubing
which is running through water in the reservoir. This isn't
working well and while keeping the temp in my 150g a few degrees
lower it's not keeping it at 78 (note the system has 4 175w
halides). It does appear the proper heat exchanger maybe 316 stainless
tubing should work well.

As for the company they required much prodding to get the unit out
and then the first unit compressor was bad. The whole thing took
8 weeks until I got a working unit and about 10 phone calls.
The synopsis: If you're up for the possible aggrivation you can
have a relatively nice cooler for $60. Note you will need an external
thermostat to turn it on and off or you could do it manually.
I have it controlled via computer but a thermostatically controlled
ac outlet should be available somewhere or you could build one.

A final note. The unit is suprizingly quiet, totally inaudible over
my tat pumps.

	scott schaeffer
	scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com


Update on update of cheap cooler

by scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com (Scott Schaeffer)
Date: 12 Jun 92 12:03:55 GMT

I have received several requests for info on my original
post about the $60 cooler. I can't seem to locate the 
catalog but the company name is American Design Components
and the number is (201)601-8999. The part number is 31844.
Just to update after a full week of running 24 hours a day
the second cooler received from this company just died.
When it was functioning it worked well but given 2 failures
I would say that purchasing one would be a gamble. But $60
may be a decent gamble, just not a winning one for me.

In case anyone purchases this unit you can disable the
microcontroller which keeps the temp at room temperature
and turn the cooler on constantly by the following modification.

Remove the pc board behind the cover plate at the left of the
unit. With the heat sink facing up remove the left 2 legs
from the rightmost 3 pin device (triac). Solder a 18 gauge wire
between the holes in the board which the legs resided in.
This connects 110v to the power of the compressor and heat
exchanger fan. Reinstall the board. Of course do the above with
power off. Now you need to rig up a thermostat to turn the unit
on and off. If anyone successfully uses one of these let me know.

	Scott Schaeffer
	scotts-at-cbmvax.commodore.com


aquarium cooling

by anbo-at-wuee1.wustl.edu (Albrecht Jander)
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1992 03:38:09 GMT

In article <45644-at-mentor.cc.purdue.edu> neuzerli-at-sage.cc.purdue.edu (Andy Neuzerling) writes:
>I am doing some research on cooling aquariums. I would like to know 
>how all of you out there cool your aquariums when they get too hot.
>Please post your response or email it me. Don't be afraid to copy a 
>response previously used.
>	Thankyou
>		Andy Neuzerling

Well, I am going to be needing to do that soon, so I've done a little
thinking on the subject.  Had a couple of ideas:

1) Peltier cooling devices.  These are compact solid state heat pumps.
   You could thermal epoxy them directly to the glass, or incorporate
   them in a heat exchanger.  Can move about 60 Watts of heat for $25.

2) Buy an old beat up dorm fridge, and take the guts out.

3) If your Aquarium is near the refrigerator, you could just run a hose
   through the freezer or something.

4)  Cheepest is simply a fan blowing on the surface.  You lose a lot of
    water that way.  Also doesn't work well with CO2 fertilization.

I think I will do no. 2.

My $0.02,
Albrecht


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