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DIY Dual Peltier Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller


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This is the journal of DIY Chiller with peltier thermoelectric cooler

 

Materials:

 

1. 12V DC water pump:

http://smile.amazon.com/Andoer-Ultra-quiet-DC12V-Brushless-Submersible/dp/B00LUL3F5K/ref=pd_sim_86_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=08Z9SZ653426GR5SV6GR

post-231-0-30959800-1432056363_thumb.jpg

 

2. Vktech TEC1-12706 Thermoelectric Cooler

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E4GY0FC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

post-231-0-72201000-1432056366_thumb.jpg

 

3. Water Cooling GPU CPU Block 46mmX46mm Aluminum from eBay

post-231-0-11557500-1432056218_thumb.jpg

 

4. ID 5/16" clear Vinyl tube

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How do you intend on cooling the "hot" side? You could use another water block, pump, radiator and fans. They make pre-assembled kits for the water cooled PC guys. Something like the Corsair H80 would work well and be relatively simple. Cost may be a limiting factor though.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181032

 

Remember, the colder you get the hot side, the lower the cold side will get.

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How do you intend on cooling the "hot" side? You could use another water block, pump, radiator and fans. They make pre-assembled kits for the water cooled PC guys. Something like the Corsair H80 would work well and be relatively simple. Cost may be a limiting factor though.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181032

 

Remember, the colder you get the hot side, the lower the cold side will get.

 

Normally CPU fan would be good enough, it's rated at 100W piece. you can get used for very cheap price.

 

From work, I have access to all kinds of heat sink. so first step is using big heat sink with standard 120mm fan.

I will try it out first, then decide which is best way to cool it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very good idea!

I'm going to make one too, I've got same pump already and heatsink and now I'm buying x5 thermoelectric collers but I'm ordering bigger water cooling block 122x41 to place two thermoelectric coolers on one block to increase the power. The block is coming from Hong Kong so I have to wait a couple of weeks.

I will share my update once I receive water cooling block.

I also read you can place two or three thermoelectrics plates on top of each other to increase the cooling power.

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Very good idea!

I'm going to make one too, I've got same pump already and heatsink and now I'm buying x5 thermoelectric collers but I'm ordering bigger water cooling block 122x41 to place two thermoelectric coolers on one block to increase the power. The block is coming from Hong Kong so I have to wait a couple of weeks.

I will share my update once I receive water cooling block.

I also read you can place two or three thermoelectrics plates on top of each other to increase the cooling power.

 

You can put 6 pieces on both sides. I just wonder if it's too powerful for single tank, so I will try two pieces first.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not working for me. Those plates consuming way too much power. When I connected 6a transformer to only one plate with cooler, transformer get so hot in few minutes I can fry some eggs on it.

I tested it with two cooling plates on both sides of water block like on your picture. It managed slightly cooling water in 10L bucket but for 10g tank you need about 10 of them and very powerful dc transformers. They also need to place away from the tank because they get very hot. I think a simple cooler above the tank do a much better job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not working for me. Those plates consuming way too much power. When I connected 6a transformer to only one plate with cooler, transformer get so hot in few minutes I can fry some eggs on it.

I tested it with two cooling plates on both sides of water block like on your picture. It managed slightly cooling water in 10L bucket but for 10g tank you need about 10 of them and very powerful dc transformers. They also need to place away from the tank because they get very hot. I think a simple cooler above the tank do a much better job.

Im new here, but I will try to help.

It was a 6A DC rectifier. What voltage?

 

Also, how were you removing heat from the hot side of the plate?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got one of those things that is so post to cool or heat.  Only thing I could figure out is that you got to pull electricity from it to cool things off.  So to heat things with it, you put voltage to it and to cool things it acts like a thermacouple? or when it heats up it produces a voltage.  Did that make since?  I haven't played with it in while.  But that was my guess on how it cooled things off.

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  • 7 months later...

 

I've helped a few people use mini fridges to design coolers that use their canister filters.  

basically the return from your canister goes into the mini fridge which has a long coil of hose then back out the mini fridge and back into the tank.

or you can use a canister filter as a closed loop. same idea. tubing goes into the mini fridge and instead of water back into the tank just loop it back around back into the canister.

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The problem lay with thermodynamics.  To chill the water, you have to remove the heat.  Where does the heat go? Into the insulated fridge, which traps heat, but it is still trying to cool the coil, which releases more heat... well, you get the idea.

 

Additionally, it causes the compressor to run continuously for cooling, which shortens the life of the compressor and raises electric bills.

 

They really are not made to handle temperature swings, but instead are insulated to keep the inside of the fridge cold with an occasional small heat load.  That's why it may take 24 hours or so just to make your case of beer/pop cold.

 

The removal of heat per hour is called BTU.  A dorm fridge may remove 100- 800 BTU on average, and air conditioners may remove 5000+ BTU.

 

Evaporation is roughly 8000+ BTU per gallon making that the most efficient.  I may check out DIY auto top offs.

 

Now, after having said all that, I have thought about just placing a whole tank in a glass door fridge. ;)

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Realizing that this doesn't change anything Soothing posted above RE conservation of energy, wouldn't the fridge chiller setup be more efficient if the entire coil of hose was sitting submerged in a tub of (chilled) water (inside the fridge)?  It seems to me that this would give a better temperature exchange in comparison to air.

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20 minutes ago, Shrimple minded said:

Realizing that this doesn't change anything Soothing posted above RE conservation of energy, wouldn't the fridge chiller setup be more efficient if the entire coil of hose was sitting submerged in a tub of (chilled) water (inside the fridge)?  It seems to me that this would give a better temperature exchange in comparison to air.

I was going to propose this idea as well. 

On top of that, it would be trivial to create a basic thermostat for your pump with a microcontroller and a relay. That would probably reduce a lot of the cycling issues.

 

Though, I totally agree that using a fridge for this purpose is kinda stupid and wrong headed. It isn't the intent of the fridge design. The Peltier is a more elegant solution.

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Peltiers are also very inefficient, use a lot of electricity, generate a lot of heat and are really only effective on very small tanks.  A real chiller is the best solution, but even then they are expensive, loud and use a lot of electricity.  

I have thought about using the frig as a supplement during the hottest summer days, just plumb in a bypass.  I use fans and for the most part I am OK, but last year we had very high humidity which made the fans not work very well.  Hard to get water to evaporate when the humidity is at 89%.

 

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I wouldn't necessarily call it stupid, rather it's a myth that has been around since as long as I remember- and there's more efficient ways of cooling.

 

Where would our hobby be without brainstorms? [emoji6]

I meant stupid as in "not the way any engineer would EVER purpose-build a solution". Not implying anyone here lacked intelligence.

Peltier chillers are inefficient but reliable, functional, and will last. There are professional products that are peltier-based.

Sent from my Nexus 5X

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