Recommendations for Water Chiller?


#1

Hi there,

I’m about to start building a food computer, and I’m very new to the whole process. There seems to be a lot of discussion around here about different kinds of water chillers, but there seem to be a huge range and I don’t really understand the pros/cons of different systems. I’m using the FC for an experiment, so it’s important to keep the water temperature pretty constant. What are the things I should be considering when looking for a water chiller? Any recommendations on ones that have worked well?

Thoughts on any of these options?

Thank you!


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#2

@ferguman could you post a link to what you used on your V1? I know it was costly but it did the job well if I remember right.

HUGE community need around developing a good water chilling solution. I think not only do most crops prefer cooler root zones than canopy temps but also you can use the same cooling systems for both applications. These systems are better than traditional HVAC because they don’t exchange internal air, which would immediately expel Co2 if you were controlling that.

Please keep us in the loop on what you decide!


#3

Here is the chiller that my team purchased and used to chill the water in a V2 Food Computer. We had good luck with it growing Romaine lettuce. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0048IVBT4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


#4

I’m glad this conversation got started again. @sagreen I had some time to review your links and wanted to share my thoughts.

  1. $200 - 10L/min - Application:Cool a single 60W or 80W CO2 glass laser tube or below CO2 laser tube (emitting rate lower than 60%),and for 0.8KW / 1.5KW Spindle Cooling;It is suitable for small water cooling device.
  2. $130 - Description says intended for 55 gallon aquarium tanks.
  3. $13 - I got excited, but it’s too good to be true. I reviewed some of the other offerings and the description and there is no way this chills water. I think it’s just a simple recirculating pump.
  4. $285 - 3-12L/min - Recommended reservoir capacity (13-50 gal/50-190 L). Worth nothing, I think this requires an additional pump. I believe this is the same product that @ferguman referenced.

I’m intruiged by option #1, that seems to maybe be our best option for large-scale reservoir water cooling. It would seem that #2 offers the most control in that it has an internal thermostat I think. @drewthomas89 @NicThake correct me if I’m wrong please.


#5

Thanks so much for the responses! I think we’re going to go with either #2 or the one that @ferguman suggested – I’ll keep y’all posted with how it works.

Another question – do people typically use these chillers to control the relative humidity of the environment or do you have to use another humidifier or air cooling/heating system to control the humidity?


#6
  1. Option #2 is cheaper here: https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/iceprobe-thermoelectric-aquarium-chiller-nova-tec.html

  2. Here is the manual: https://media.cdn.bulkreefsupply.com/media/wysiwyg/PDFs/IceProbeIPAC-50Manual.pdf

  3. Before purchasing I’d do some digging around the DIY aquarium community (it’s huge). You’re likely to find the best solution there. I only say this because it seems like this might actually be more power than what you need. That being said, $119 is the cheapest water cooling solution I’ve seen yet.

  4. Insulation matters. Definitely, something we should all keep in mind when planning future reservoirs.


#7

@sagreen V2 doesn’t control humidity. Honestly, from what I understand if anything we’re going to be needing to lower it.

FYI good links:
"Temperature controls the rate of plant growth. Generally, as temperatures increase, chemical processes proceed at faster rates. Most chemical processes in plants are regulated by enzymes which, in turn, perform at their best within narrow temperature ranges. Above and below these temperature ranges, enzyme activity starts to deteriorate and as a result chemical processes slow down or are stopped. At this point, plants are stressed, growth is reduced, and, eventually, the plant may die. The temperature of the plant environment should be kept at optimum levels for fast and successful maturation. Both the air and the nutrient solution temperature must be monitored and controlled. A chiller must be purchased to maintain the water temperature at a sufficiently cool level. Water temperature should be maintained at 50-68 F (15-20 C). Temperature control of the nutrient solution is critical to controlling the pathogen population sothat the entire crop is not lost to disease."
http://www.cornellcea.com/attachments/Cornell%20CEA%20baby%20spinach%20handbook.pdf


What EC and temperature sensor and ph sensor shall we buy?
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#8

Hello,
I was looking for a replacement for the chiller. I was wondering it this would work for V2 of the food computer. Any thoughts on using this https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106254
I’m novice to building but thinking it could fit inside the food computer would help keep the environment enclosed Any throughts would be helpful.
Thanks you!


#9

Thermoelectrical chiller uses the Peltier effect. Would it be much cheaper to buy Peltier plate and construct chiller (or chiller and heater in one). Actually, you could cool down the water in the tank and heat the air in the PFC at the same time with the same Peltier plate.