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PLEASE READ 1st!
I forgot to dedicate this build to somebody, and I highly regret not saying anything, which makes me sound completely selfish
I would like to thank Drewmeister from Extreme overclocking Forums, he is a giant in this field, building custom chillers for overclockers like you and me. His uber l33t builds include his AC-X chiller, which is 1000x better than mine (look at the custom work!). He has given me tons of his little freetime, answering my n00b questions hour after hour, PM after PM, helping me late into the night/morning (yes were talking 4AM) I appreciate all the help he has given me, his guide and I shouldn't have left you out, otherwise, I would be a lost little n00bie still on my thermaltake bigwater! Again thanks bro, you made this possible for me.

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Ok so I decided to start to build a chiller. First, I ran by my local Sears and picked up a Kenmore 5150 BTU A/C unit. Then I went to my local ACE and orderd a Rubbermaid 12 Can Cooler (didn't have it instock so I ordered one, which should arrive thrusday). Also, I picked up some dielelectric grease and some silicone for insulation. I also picked up a Swiftech MCW6000-775 waterblock which is an easy insulator, and will do the trick. For tubing, I picked up 15 feet of the Clearflex 60 3/8" ID, 5/8" OD which was only .89 cents a foot (if you buy 10+ feet). I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I will try to keep this updated as much as possible..

I ran to the Home Depot and picked up some Pipe Insulation (only thing they had) some Pipe Wrap and some White Cork Tape for insulation on the back of the motherboard. I also ordered some HydrX from Xixode, though, I didn't order enough mis-calculating the amout of HydrX for my setup, those little bottles are a rip off
I am probably going to run to an auto shop in my area and pick up some Watter Wetter
I still need to buy a pump and I was offered a Danner Mag 5 which I might get. I also need to pick up some Prestone De-Icer which may be hard to find in Cal-i due to the heavy restrictions on that kind of stuff.

Update:
Tonight (still working) I unscrewed my way into my chiller, there was one stupid screw that I had to grind off
which set me back quite a bit of time.. I get some pics in a second.




 

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whats this costing?
like $160~ so far?
 

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This will be very interesting as mine seemed to be a bit of a failure for reasons I have now rectified. Good luck and lots of progress reprts\\pics please
As for a pump, you could look into the pond pump idea, submergable, heaps of grunt and cheaper. gees I was using a 1600LPH job. If the chiller gets happening again if I dont go drirct die, the compressor and (slush box) will be located maybe outside with insulated pipes running to and from. No noise at all
I put a garden hose on the pump and put the hose over the top of the house and it pumped water no worries. Enjoy.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by thehybridpyro

whats this costing?
like $160~ so far?

Price rundown, glad you brought this up. This is one of the main advantages of a water chiller. It's cheap and effective if you want subzero on a buget. It also runs very quiet (quieter than a Vantec tornado)

110 A/C unit
20 Tubing
30 Waterblock
100 Pump (didn't go cheap, but could get one for around 50)
20 Insulation stuff
15 Rubbermaid 12 can cooler
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295 Total so far.

I still have to get the Prestone De-Icer and the Water Wetter, assume an extra 40 bux ontop of that 320.. This would all be a lot cheaper if I had a decent water setup to go off of. Unfortunatly, the TT kit I have would crack in a milisecond if it got a hint of subzero.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by tuchan

This will be very interesting as mine seemed to be a bit of a failure for reasons I have now rectified. Good luck and lots of progress reprts\\pics please
As for a pump, you could look into the pond pump idea, submergable, heaps of grunt and cheaper. gees I was using a 1600LPH job. If the chiller gets happening again if I dont go drirct die, the compressor and (slush box) will be located maybe outside with insulated pipes running to and from. No noise at all
I put a garden hose on the pump and put the hose over the top of the house and it pumped water no worries. Enjoy.

Thanks.. I was mainly avoiding submersable pumps in my tank because it adds extra heat (yea, lame reason
) and they are a little more damage prone when sitting in -30c water. Also, I am very tight on space with that evap in the tank so I don't think I could fit a pump in there. Definitly insulating pipes is a biggie.. I got a ton of insulation tape and some of that foam, don't need Ice forming on the tubes..


I'll give you tons of updates, probably every other day, depending on how school sports goes for me.
 

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You can buy insulated foam style tubing disigned for this sort of application, usually used by refridgeration machanics. I got mine for a minimal price in 1 meter lengths and just cut or added to suit. There is a hole already down the center to slide your tube through. Very easy and available in a plumbing section at a good hardware store. (here anyway)
 

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Ok, I will keep that in mind. I know there is something out there that will do the trick.. Humm we have fairly dinkey hardware stores here in the states (at least where I live) most of them just carry the basic stuff. I really have to go to a home improvement center to get anything done these days, though it's about a 30 min drive from where I live (traffic
)
 

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Update
I gutted my setup a little more, took out the styrophome, and took out the extra junk in an A/C unit. I fired it up and got some frozen condensation buildup going
Many pics to come!


 

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gees how good is it working with clean and new gear!!! Hows the progress going now, take it easy with the pipes, dont bust one open like I did! How noisy is the fan, I replaced mine with a regular ceiling fan and it is very quiet, quieter than my radiator fans for the watercooling rig. Also another cheap mod. I also read somewhere on the forum that it is a good idea to take all of the fins off the condenser and give it a paint??? not sure about this mod though???
 

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Hey Wowza,

If you don`t want to scramble the compressor, you need to be careful about letting the frostback get past the accumulator and into the compressor. That`s the job for the accumulator (that little black expanded bulb in the suction line returning to the compressor). Running that compressor with no heat load on it, ie without heat transfer of the water, is extremely hard on it. It would only take a half dozen or so times of your name written in frost to knock out the compressor. Also, do NOT remove any fins from the condenser; I gave that advice in an earlier thread about the evaporator that another guy was going to immerse in his reservoir. I see you removed the fan blade that was going to the evaporator; good move, `will cut down on the air noise. You`re on the right track. You can get some Armaflex (brand) sheet closed cell rubber insulation at most refrigeration supply houses. Even though these places are wholesale, I think they will still sell this to you, as that would be no threat to the tradesmen competition wise. `Same goes for the Armaflex pipe insulation, which comes in varying thicknesses and I.D.s. If you`re going to run your refrigerant piping any distance over 20 feet, you need to vapor seal each joint of pipe insulation. Black duct tape will be good enough, unless you want to use spray on contact glue. A better evaporator to immerse in the water was shown in the earlier thread, which consisted of a specially coiled copper tube specifically made for this type of setup. But to do this you need to be prepared to do some refrigeration work, which would take the right tools and materials (freon-22, refrigerant scale, torch, vacuum pump, copper couplings,refrigerant access taps w./schrader valves, 15% silv-floss, and the skills and know to use them). If you have any more questions relating to this topic, ie refrigeration and chillers, let 38 years of experience give you a hand.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by hvacgaspiping

Hey Wowza,

If you don`t want to scramble the compressor, you need to be careful about letting the frostback get past the accumulator and into the compressor. That`s the job for the accumulator (that little black expanded bulb in the suction line returning to the compressor). Running that compressor with no heat load on it, ie without heat transfer of the water, is extremely hard on it. It would only take a half dozen or so times of your name written in frost to knock out the compressor. Also, do NOT remove any fins from the condenser; I gave that advice in an earlier thread about the evaporator that another guy was going to immerse in his reservoir. I see you removed the fan blade that was going to the evaporator; good move, `will cut down on the air noise. You`re on the right track. You can get some Armaflex (brand) sheet closed cell rubber insulation at most refrigeration supply houses. Even though these places are wholesale, I think they will still sell this to you, as that would be no threat to the tradesmen competition wise. `Same goes for the Armaflex pipe insulation, which comes in varying thicknesses and I.D.s. If you`re going to run your refrigerant piping any distance over 20 feet, you need to vapor seal each joint of pipe insulation. Black duct tape will be good enough, unless you want to use spray on contact glue. A better evaporator to immerse in the water was shown in the earlier thread, which consisted of a specially coiled copper tube specifically made for this type of setup. But to do this you need to be prepared to do some refrigeration work, which would take the right tools and materials (freon-22, refrigerant scale, torch, vacuum pump, copper couplings,refrigerant access taps w./schrader valves, 15% silv-floss, and the skills and know to use them). If you have any more questions relating to this topic, ie refrigeration and chillers, let 38 years of experience give you a hand.

Can't complain about that, good work mate!!
 

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@ Tuchan, I read that at XS, they painted and polished their setup, mainly for looks.. Didn't do anything to their preofrmance

@ hvacgaspiping, Thanks for the thoughts, I was planning on insulating the compressor pipes that should let me deal with the condensation problem somewhat. I wasn't planning on removing fans from the condenser, that is more or less suscide.

I ran by ace to pickup my cooler that I am planning on putting the evap in, but they didn't have it in yet. They will by tommrow. There isn't much I can do right now untill the pipes come along with that cooler.
 

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Very nice work man, I bet that presler will really excel when its cooled right down. I just hope you have another air conditioner running in your room because that chiller is going to expel loads of hot air! Make sure to condensation proof everything real good aswell, but I'm sure you know all about this already. Good luck.
 

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Hey Wowza,

Why not set that chiller outside and make it a split system. What I`m talking about is setting the compressor/condenser unit outside and pipe the refrigerant lines through a wall/window to the evaporator inside your house where it sits in the reservoir. The only other control you`ll need for the outside unit is a condenser fan cycling control for cold weather operation. This control would connect to the refrigerant liquid line (smaller refrigerant line to the evaporator) via of an access tee with a schrader tap. This control would keep the refrigerant pressures at the correct level for proper operation when it`s cold outside. When the weather warms up it would just keep the fan run normally, instead of cycling on and off. You just have to make sure that you have the glycol mix concentrated enough for winter time, in case the pump quit or got shut off accidentally.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by hvacgaspiping

Hey Wowza,

Why not set that chiller outside and make it a split system. What I`m talking about is setting the compressor/condenser unit outside and pipe the refrigerant lines through a wall/window to the evaporator inside your house where it sits in the reservoir. The only other control you`ll need for the outside unit is a condenser fan cycling control for cold weather operation. This control would connect to the refrigerant liquid line (smaller refrigerant line to the evaporator) via of an access tee with a schrader tap. This control would keep the refrigerant pressures at the correct level for proper operation when it`s cold outside. When the weather warms up it would just keep the fan run normally, instead of cycling on and off. You just have to make sure that you have the glycol mix concentrated enough for winter time, in case the pump quit or got shut off accidentally.

My parents wouldn't let me do any house remodeling in the process of this build
Idealy that is what I would do, use a full setup with the compressor + conden. outside and the evap inside. I would probably go LN2 before I did that though. Also, the coldest it gets on a chilly night is 40F, usually not nearly that cold. What do you recommend for insulating the compressor again? Could I use the pipe wrap or would I need something else?

Btw, I will give you all an update tonight
 

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hey man, nice. if you haven't already read i'm making a waterchiller too. its a good project and not too expensive
 

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You don`t need to insulate the compressor itself, just the suction line and accumulator connecting to the compressor. The compressor shouldn`t get cold enough during normal operation to cause condensation. If something weird happens to cause it to get cold enough to have condensation form on it, then there is some improper operating condition. If this is worrying you, then you can cover the area where the suction line enters (maybe a 2" to 3" diameter area) it with closed cell rubber insulation (Armaflex). You have to be careful here, so as not to cover too much area. If you do, it could cause the compressor to run too hot and also present a fire hazard with the insulation getting too warm.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by hvacgaspiping

You don`t need to insulate the compressor itself, just the suction line and accumulator connecting to the compressor. The compressor shouldn`t get cold enough during normal operation to cause condensation. If something weird happens to cause it to get cold enough to have condensation form on it, then there is some improper operating condition. If this is worrying you, then you can cover the area where the suction line enters (maybe a 2" to 3" diameter area) it with closed cell rubber insulation (Armaflex). You have to be careful here, so as not to cover too much area. If you do, it could cause the compressor to run too hot and also present a fire hazard with the insulation getting too warm.

Ok, thanks for the tips, I was wondering if I should get that accumulator wrapped up.

Humm I got some more pics to post, just got in my chiller today. Tommrow I am going to cruise around to find some De-icer. Hope I can get something for low enough temps.. I'll attach a few pix in a second



 

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well you could get some plumbing antifreeze. The great thing about the plumbing antifreeze is that its non-toxic unlike normal antifreeze. Its also good for down to -50C and i dont think you will go much past -30.
 

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Thanks, but any kind of Antifreeze will be too thick for any pump below 0C.

Ok I got my tubing today after waiting a week and a half for UPS to deliver it at their own leisure. Later, I am going to cut into the cooler and custom fit in the tubes. That is my next project. Over the weekend, I went searching for De-icer, though unfortunatly I couldn't find any. All that was in stock was the "summer blend" which isn't good past 0c. I hope I can get it instores to I don't have to pay the ripoff price for shipping.

 
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