New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

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New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby darkone8484 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:11 am

Hi Everyone,

So, A while back I came across something that I thought could be very useful for me in the future when I have a sump someday. The price was hard to beat, (free) so I would really like to come up with some good ideas for ways to implement it. I have found some info on people using similar devices, but none of them really matched up with what I was wanting to do. What I have is a peltier assembly from Laird Technologies with 2 peltier pads wired in series. I work in the food equipment repair industry, and this particular unit is used to cool the concentrate on liquid coffee machines. I have seen this particular assembly freeze 2 half gallon concentrate boxes solid, so I think it should have more than enough capability to cool a 30+ gallon setup -10 deg without over taxing the chips. The I have a power supply for it, and still need to locate a suitable thermostat to control it.

he main problem I am having is coming up with a way to transfer the cooling of the aluminum block (the smaller rectangle in the picture below) into contact with the water to cool it. I believe using a simple aluminum block would be a bad idea (worried about leaching of aluminum in the water). I thought about just using thermal paste and adhearing it somehow right onto the glass of my future sump. From what I've read though, glass does not transfer heat very well. Using a stainless steel block would be fine, but I would think getting a large piece like that could be very expensive.

My question/request to everyone is to give me ideas for possible ways to implement this into my setup. Nothing is too out there so if you have a creative or common sense idea, please share by all means. I'll try to update this post if/when we come up with a usable solution.
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby CowboyStan » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:41 am

my first thought would be to build your own sump using a sheet of stainless for the end plate. thin stainless plate should be easy enough to come up with
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby iced98lx » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:00 am

That's going to take a lot of power for the cooling you'll get out of it, but if you have the ambient temp difference to do it, free is free. I'd suggest a plastic container with a very low-freeze point liquid in it touching the cooler. Use the plastic as the barrier to the sump. Plastic isn't a good temp conductor either but a very thin wall won't do much to stop it (ice cream pails are still cold coming out of the freezer ;)) Something non-corrosive, ice pack materials perhaps, oil of some sort, not sure. If that's a somewhat standard sized fan (80mm? 92mm?) a plastic tub/storage box may work. I'd make it so the top rim of the tub is a couple inches above the water in the sump. you'll need to turn it off a little early as the material between the cooler and the tub will retain temp and continue to cool the tank.

I think that'd be the safest (no aluminum/ss in your tank) way to do it, but would require some creative engineering.
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby cdness » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:41 pm

This is close to the same thing but they use a ceramic probe to go into the water...

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem. ... AqOz8P8HAQ
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby iced98lx » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:45 pm

cdness wrote:This is close to the same thing but they use a ceramic probe to go into the water...

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem. ... AqOz8P8HAQ


And is likely VERY low on output compared to the one he has there, if it's freezing liquids are room temp that's a 40 degree drop below ambient, not 6 degrees like they claim...
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby cdness » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:11 pm

iced98lx wrote:
cdness wrote:This is close to the same thing but they use a ceramic probe to go into the water...

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem. ... AqOz8P8HAQ


And is likely VERY low on output compared to the one he has there, if it's freezing liquids are room temp that's a 40 degree drop below ambient, not 6 degrees like they claim...


Same in theory... Peltier cooler with a heat sink on one side and a reef safe element on the other side. The one I posted was just to show one possible solution by adding ceramic to the mix for the saltwater contact. Could also use a piece of titanium to carry the cold side into the tank.

Stainless is not 100% reef safe as it will still corrode. Neither is aluminum. Titanium and Ceramic are good materials to use for contact with the saltwater that will still conduct the cooling fairly well.
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby aquaticgeek » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:57 pm

Anyone know the going rate on titanium? And i agree that stainless will corrode in certain conditions
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Re: New idea for an aquarium chiller (help wanted)

Postby hc2025 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:37 pm

What about an acrylic radiator could be milled out in pannels and sandwiched together
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