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Calling all HVAC experts to help with a new chilled water project.[Now Window Unit] - Page 4

post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaotik55 View Post
I have no problem with it dying in 3 years to be honest, or even 2 most likely. I can upgrade my A/C units like I upgrade my video cards. (haha)

I just don't want it to die in a month.
I think the key to getting this unit to last for a while will be removing the proper amount of refrigerant. The only way will be to ask your dad for some help. If he is into tinkering, this might be fun for him. My son is 5-months, so it will be a while before he will ask me for help with this kind of this- but when/if he does I'm sure it will be a cool project. Those packaged units generally are sealed, as in they don't have 1/4" service ports. Your dad will probably need to solder one on (very easy) and recharge the unit (again, simple). By charging it after set up in it's new environment, you won't be overcharged which would be the biggest threat to that compressor.

When a unit is overcharged liquid refrigerant can make it's way back to the compressor, since a liquid can't be compressed this is where something breaks. Amperage draw goes up, oil is washed out of the compressor, and bad things happen.
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post #32 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike597 View Post
I think the key to getting this unit to last for a while will be removing the proper amount of refrigerant. The only way will be to ask your dad for some help. If he is into tinkering, this might be fun for him. My son is 5-months, so it will be a while before he will ask me for help with this kind of this- but when/if he does I'm sure it will be a cool project. Those packaged units generally are sealed, as in they don't have 1/4" service ports. Your dad will probably need to solder one on (very easy) and recharge the unit (again, simple). By charging it after set up in it's new environment, you won't be overcharged which would be the biggest threat to that compressor.

When a unit is overcharged liquid refrigerant can make it's way back to the compressor, since a liquid can't be compressed this is where something breaks. Amperage draw goes up, oil is washed out of the compressor, and bad things happen.
I heard that taking refrigerant out makes the evaporator colder ie. more prone to freezing, which would be a bad thing in a typical air environment but not so bad in my water tank. But doesn't that make the problem worse as I've heard it's bad for the compressor to have the evaporator way colder than normal? Heck, to be honest I have no clue what I'm talking about.
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaotik55 View Post
I heard that taking refrigerant out makes the evaporator colder ie. more prone to freezing, which would be a bad thing in a typical air environment but not so bad in my water tank. But doesn't that make the problem worse as I've heard it's bad for the compressor to have the evaporator way colder than normal? Heck, to be honest I have no clue what I'm talking about.
It's a little more complicated than that, but you are on the right track. The refrigerant charge is based on a number of factors, including refrigerant line lengths, coil sizes (internal volume), and designed operation. When it comes to freezing up in a window unit, that means the evaporator temp has gone below 32*F, so condensation on the coil freezes. In your case, we want to get well below 32*F so whatever medium you use has to have a lower freezing temp. The cooler or whatever you decide to put your evap coil in to cool the water lines going to the PC will need to be filled with something like antifreeze or a mixture to get below your designed temp.

When the refrigerant enters the evaporator, it changes state from a liquid to a gas, rapidly expanding and absorbing heat. Since there isn't as much heat to absorb at these low temps, we can only get so much refrigerant to change from liquid to a gas. To go back to a previous post, if we don't get all the refrigerant back to a gas the compressor will try to compress a liquid and eventually fail. By removing the proper amount of refrigerant, we avoid this.
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post #34 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike597 View Post
When the refrigerant enters the evaporator, it changes state from a liquid to a gas, rapidly expanding and absorbing heat. Since there isn't as much heat to absorb at these low temps, we can only get so much refrigerant to change from liquid to a gas. To go back to a previous post, if we don't get all the refrigerant back to a gas the compressor will try to compress a liquid and eventually fail. By removing the proper amount of refrigerant, we avoid this.
( So it would work similar to this: )

@60PSI
50f = 100% evaporation (good)
40f = 95% evaporation
30f = 90% evaporation
20f = 85% evaporation
10f = 80% evaporation
0f = 75% evaporation

@50PSI
50f = 100% evaporation (good)
40f = 98% evaporation
30f = 96% evaporation
20f = 94% evaporation
10f = 92% evaporation
0f = 90% evaporation

If what you're saying about removing the right amount of refrigerant making it easier to change from a liquid to a gas in the evaporator at extreme low temps... is true, will it harm the compressor when ran at normal temps?

Is there any way to check I'm getting full evaporation?
Edited by Khaotik55 - 5/23/11 at 4:37pm
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaotik55 View Post
Is there any way to check I'm getting full evaporation?
Yes, buy checking the superheat.
Superheat is the difference between the temperature the refrigerant is changing state(evaporating) at in the coil, also called the saturated evaporator temperature, and the temperature of the refrigerant vapor leaving the coil.

The saturated temperature can be determined by measuring the pressure of the refrigerant vapor in the suction line leaving the coil and referencing a PT chart for the refrigerant.

Suction line temperature - saturated temperature = superheat.

If the superheat is 0º, than not all of the refrigerant is changing to a vapor, so some liquid is making it out of the coil.

If the superheat is above 0º, all of the refrigerant is changing to a vapor before it leaves the coil.

There needs to be a little bit of a buffer to account for changing operating conditions, so adjusting the charge to around 10-15ºF superheat would be a good idea.

The final checks and adjustments need to be done when the system is operating in the conditions it will normally operate in, so after the water is chilled to around the desired temperature.
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post #36 of 65
WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm subbing in because I love water chillers!
    
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post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaotik55 View Post

If what you're saying about removing the right amount of refrigerant making it easier to change from a liquid to a gas in the evaporator at extreme low temps... is true, will it harm the compressor when ran at normal temps?
I don't think I understand what you are asking, do you mean if you take the a/c unit out of this setup and try cooling a room or space again? In that case, the unit would be very short on refrigerant and would probably shut off on low pressure (or freeze up the coil).
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post #38 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike597 View Post
I don't think I understand what you are asking, do you mean if you take the a/c unit out of this setup and try cooling a room or space again? In that case, the unit would be very short on refrigerant and would probably shut off on low pressure (or freeze up the coil).
I meant would adjusting the unit to cool water down to -5c 24/7 be harmful to the unit if I decided to go easier on it and run it at 10c. (But keep the adjustment that I tweaked for -5c)

I don't think it would.... btw sorry that I'm so confusing I can't express what I'm thinking half the time.

In the most basics words I was just wondering if I reduce the refrigerant to compensate for lower temps would it affect the unit negatively when put back up to more reasonable temps, or would I have to re-add refrigerant.

BTW for anyone actually keeping up with my progress, it'll be about another 8-14 days before I receive my Silicone Rubber, block, and have time to build my water box.
Edited by Khaotik55 - 5/23/11 at 8:32pm
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khaotik55 View Post
I meant would adjusting the unit to cool water down to -5c 24/7 be harmful to the unit if I decided to go easier on it and run it at 10c. (But keep the adjustment that I tweaked for -5c)

I don't think it would.
That shouldn't bother the system, as Caleal mentioned this is why you give it 10-15* superheat. This gives a little room for fluctuations in operating conditions. Raising the temp will bring your superheat up a little, which will slightly reducing cooling to the compressor but not by a substantial amount.
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post #40 of 65
I did an AC water chiller a few years back, still have it, but stopped using it because it dumped the heat it the room and it was too noisy for my taste. Drewmiester has a whole guide over on extremoverclocking.com on how to build one. He helped me with mine. Cost was pretty low, around $150, but a third of it was the controller which allows me to set the temp and have it cycle the compressor on and off based on temps. The biggest issues I have with AC conversions is that the evap is copper and aluminum fins, so you have to use some sort of anti corrosive additive to prevent corrosion and it can be harsh on some pumps and blocks. Never had an issue, but it's something to consider. Here is link to my build if you need some ideas:

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...light=utnorris

I learned a lot from the project and i will probably do a new one soon. I have a phase unit sitting here that I am thinking of cutting the head off and attaching a copper coil to it for the evap. It has a much quieter compressor than my chiller does.
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