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Thread: DIY Aquarium Cooler

  1. #41
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

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    Sera
    Skyjuice, I am now really confused with your replies. I am trying to tell you that the working performance between a peltier based chiller and a refrigerant based chiller are far from similar. I'd even gave an analogy of comparing them like a bicycle and a car. But you came out with technical terms that you alone think is worthwhile. It may be true in your line of work but it has no bearing in our discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    In terms of restarting after power failure, peltier chiller will start faster because unlike freon chiller, peltier chiller does not have to wait for 60 seconds recycling time to restart; of course, this is not a significant point to choose peltier chiller. So far, Peltier chiller is good to be used as back up unit because of its relatively lower capital cost and higher running cost for the same unit size (so far, commercial units are less than 300 watts).
    I agree peltier chiller will start faster BUT in no way would it be in the same league as a refrigerant based chiller. Even with a 60 second delay in starting time, the refrigerant chiller will overtake the rate of cooling of the water compared to the peltier chiller. The refrigerant chiller would reach it's programmed cooled temperature earlier even with the tank lighting is switched on. The peltier chiller would not reach it's programmed cooling temperature as fast as a refrigerant based chiller BECAUSE it's operation is tied to the temperature of the surrounding area. If the room temperature is at 30 degree c, it would take a long time to reach 26 degree celsius, even with the tank lighting switched off. The refrigerant based chiller would have reached that 26 degree c earlier and would be on standby mode until the water temperature rise again.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    Resun CL150 is a peltier chiller. It has a cooling output of only 150 watts compare to Resun CL650 (a freon chiller) which has an cooling output of 650 watts. If one were to install 5 nos of CL150 for a fish tank, would it not run as efficient as CL650 in term of cooling down the fish tank? It all boils down to design and the economic.
    I would say no, I might be wrong as I never had the chance to use 5 peltier chiller. Again, a peltier chiller operation is tied to the surrounding air temperature.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    So far, Peltier chiller is good to be used as back up unit because of its relatively lower capital cost and higher running cost for the same unit size (so far, commercial units are less than 300 watts).
    Again, no from me. If you are keeping a temperature sensitive pets like those exotic shrimps, a peltier chiller will be your worst choice to spend your money on. You see, a refrigerant based chiller will have no problem keeping the water temperature low, as in 25 degree c or lower. If you have a peltier based chiller as a back up unit, that equipment will have difficulty in reaching that temperature target. It might reach it, depending on the surrounding air temperature but it will stay in operation for a very long time to reach it. During that period, your pets would be stressed due to the higher water temperature.

    I know you've said peltier chiller are not energy efficient. What you do not know that technically, they are inefficient for aquarium use. This is what me and my buddy, Tawauboy, is trying to inform you. I do agree with Tawauboy efficiency rating of 5-8% as I have tried peltier chiller, sadly when I was not wise of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    This video will show how peltier chips work. It can go down to freezing point. If there are more chips running in parallel, it can even freeze a tank. This is actually how ICE Probe chiller works also.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snrE1...eature=related
    I think it can do what you said but in this forum, no one is keeping a tank with water alone. There are other equipment like lighting, pumps and canister filter that will add heat back into the water. A refrigerant chiller , proper size for the tank, can overcome this heat addition by various equipment easily but a peltier chiller will have a hard time just maintaining a couple degree c below 30 degree. This is what I meant by real world setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    This video will show how peltier chips work. It can go down to freezing point. If there are more chips running in parallel, it can even freeze a tank. This is actually how ICE Probe chiller works also.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snrE1...eature=related

    As for the natural cooling using surrounding low temperature, one could cool the most to the ambient wetbulb temperature which averages around 28C oin a very efficient method such as using very efficient cooling towers. If one were to dig a well deep into the ground, may be one can get a temperature around 27.5C.
    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    The youtube clip you've posted had me smiling for a while. To the uninformed person, they could be convinced easily. Of course, a coin and a few drop of water can be frozen easily. WHY you may ask? It is because the chilling surface versus the coin and even the few drop of water is larger, hence the water and the coin will freeze. And if you bother to check what was written on the 1st youtube clip you posted, it said that the air in the room that the experiment is being conducted is being cooled by an aircon down to 26 degree c. That low air temperature definitely helped with the diy peltier cooler. You look but you did not see.

    I really hope you are enlightened with my explanation. As a moderator in the equipment section, we do encounter this topic every year and do our best to inform the members but with new members who are misinformed, it has been an uphill task. Some comes into the discussion with good intention while other just wouldn't agree. Yeah, it's time to move on now.
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  2. #42
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    ok guys....CHILLED....relax..... i read about peltier chiller,interesting love to experiment with it but because im done with the cooler, i probably going to do
    upgrading on the cooler.

    Skyjuice and BFG - You guys give good info. lets move on.

  3. #43
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Here is the update,
    i try putting a beat up small external filter in the cooler so that i can
    cool a small amount of water reservoir in the canister to be pump out to the tank. I got the filter at sungei
    road for 5sgd, really beat up,even the uncle is not sure whether is it working.

    Result not good.

    My initial set up is better.
    I think it is because my first set up, i can fill the box with
    ice pack right to the max and there is less air space inside and therefore
    the coolness last longer.

    The current set up,the one with the canister inside,left me with a lot of space
    which i cant utilize my ice pack.The temperature goes up really fast,the ice pack only last for 12 hrs.
    Unlike the first setup it last for 24 hrs.

    for now i switch back to my original setup until
    i get get hold of the aluminum tube.

    http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/...hterx101/5.jpg

  4. #44
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    A long reply. But to be fair to skyjuice, he did not say he recommended peltier chiller nor he say peltier chiller is better than refrigeration chiller for aqua cooling. He only give an alternative pointing out resun CL150 is an aqua chiller made of Peltier and he is leading the readers to where one can find components for DIY such a chiller at a cheaper cost. Whether it is electronic or refrigeration, they work all the same when taking out the heat load from the tank. The fish will not know if one choose otherwise. This is because Peltier can response even faster being electronic. They also use Peltier for many other operation such as cooling and heating as well as electricity generation. The largest so far commercially available cooler is about 1/10 hp. They are developing even larger and better peltier chips. The largest one found on ebay is around 543Watts. Say it has COP of 0.55, this will yield 300 watts cooling which is about 1/10 hp chiller.

    http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Peltier-T...item416dd558ee

    They are now developing fairly large chip having more than 100mm size that can operate at higher voltage such 110 volts, couple two in series, one should be able to operate it directly from 230 volts mains. This paper give promising views witth good COP.

    http://www.furukawa.co.jp/review/fr027/fr27_03.pdf

    One would need to do more research and understand Peltier's characteristic and its thermodynamic behaviour. As with any sort of equipment or device, wrong application will not bring joy but bitter experience.

  5. #45
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Love to hear it that you want to try peltier. Skyjuice did not mention that one can also make use of small black radiator like this for heat sink

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Alumin...-/180646297270

    I happen to have 2 spare one ordered wrongly and never used. If you are interested, leave a message

    Quote Originally Posted by zerofighterx101 View Post
    ok guys....CHILLED....relax..... i read about peltier chiller,interesting love to experiment with it but because im done with the cooler, i probably going to do
    upgrading on the cooler.

    Skyjuice and BFG - You guys give good info. lets move on.

  6. #46
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    When you say peltier has a 5-8% efficiency, you may be referring to its carnot cycle efficiency. It is not the usual Coefficient of Performance (COP) that most chillers are referring to..
    Here is extract..

    COP (which should have been used earlier) is often used in heat pump and refrigeration. It is the ratio between heat(cooling) energy output and work energy input and this can be more than 100%.

    Hope that will clear up the misunderstanding..
    i guess this is where the misunderstanding came from.

    in a cooling system, efficiency cannot exceed 100% because there will be losses in the system.
    take a simple heating system, an electrical heater. it has less than 100% efficiency due to losses in the heating element.
    the efficiency of a cooling system will be worse due to the work required to reduce the temperature of the coolant, losses at the heat exchanger and work required to circulate the coolant in the cooling system.

    for aquarist, we are interested in efficiency because of the energy cost. we want to know the cooling achieved with respect to the energy consumed.
    so when you mentioned that CL150 has an efficiency of 75%, alarm bells start to ring. there is no way for a peltier based cooling system to achieve that number; not even a refrigerant-based chiller.

    even the 5~8% efficiency which i mentioned may be a little optimistic. losses from the heat exchanger and power supply have not been included. so a peltier-based chiller is very inefficient. however, the advantage is that there is no running parts and should be quieter while it is operating.
    thomas liew

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    A long reply. But to be fair to skyjuice, he did not say he recommended peltier chiller nor he say peltier chiller is better than refrigeration chiller for aqua cooling. He only give an alternative pointing out resun CL150 is an aqua chiller made of Peltier and he is leading the readers to where one can find components for DIY such a chiller at a cheaper cost. Whether it is electronic or refrigeration, they work all the same when taking out the heat load from the tank. The fish will not know if one choose otherwise. This is because Peltier can response even faster being electronic. They also use Peltier for many other operation such as cooling and heating as well as electricity generation. The largest so far commercially available cooler is about 1/10 hp. They are developing even larger and better peltier chips. The largest one found on ebay is around 543Watts. Say it has COP of 0.55, this will yield 300 watts cooling which is about 1/10 hp chiller.

    http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Peltier-T...item416dd558ee

    They are now developing fairly large chip having more than 100mm size that can operate at higher voltage such 110 volts, couple two in series, one should be able to operate it directly from 230 volts mains. This paper give promising views witth good COP.

    http://www.furukawa.co.jp/review/fr027/fr27_03.pdf

    One would need to do more research and understand Peltier's characteristic and its thermodynamic behaviour. As with any sort of equipment or device, wrong application will not bring joy but bitter experience.
    2 questions
    a) assuming that the device you mentioned (consumption of 543 watts and cooling of 300 watts - 55% efficiency) works as advertised, do you have any idea of the amount heat that needs to be removed from the peltier device? i believe one can cook an egg with the waste heat.
    b) are you able to verify that the 300 watts cooling is real and not some marketing number?
    thomas liew

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Not sure why pple pick on skyjuice. what he had said are so far correct. His website on CL150 has the following which I work out to be 0.75%..

    http://i47.tinypic.com/35amc0o.jpg

    the other site @ www.shine7.com also showed that his peltier chiller has a cop of 0.53 which is less efficient

    http://i45.tinypic.com/ogwe8y.jpg

    skyjuice should thank me for clarification

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    ever heard about cpu liquid cooling? this can take 660 watts with 2 80mm fan. I happened to have 2 of similar type but for 100mm fan, aluminum type

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...oducts_id=2023

    Quote Originally Posted by tawauboy View Post
    2 questions
    a) assuming that the device you mentioned (consumption of 543 watts and cooling of 300 watts - 55% efficiency) works as advertised, do you have any idea of the amount heat that needs to be removed from the peltier device? i believe one can cook an egg with the waste heat.
    b) are you able to verify that the 300 watts cooling is real and not some marketing number?
    Last edited by techno123; 18th Nov 2012 at 18:40.

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Thanks Techno.. promised not to dwell with this topic anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    ...skyjuice should thank me for clarification

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    Not sure why pple pick on skyjuice. what he had said are so far correct. His website on CL150 has the following which I work out to be 0.75%..

    http://i47.tinypic.com/35amc0o.jpg

    the other site @ www.shine7.com also showed that his peltier chiller has a cop of 0.53 which is less efficient

    http://i45.tinypic.com/ogwe8y.jpg

    skyjuice should thank me for clarification
    as you are familiar with COP, could you share your knowledge on this topic?
    it seems that COP is the ratio of useful work (cooling power) to input power. how does one derive the cooling power for CL150 based on information provided by the website?
    thomas liew

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    ever heard about cpu liquid cooling? this can take 660 watts with 2 80mm fan. I happened to have 2 of similar type but for 100mm fan, aluminum type

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...oducts_id=2023
    i am sure that you know cpu liquid cooling and aquarium cooling are different animals.
    cpu cooling takes heat from the cpu and dump it elsewhere. the cpu temperature is much higher than ambient temperature and the coolant transports the heat away from the cpu. a fan is then used to reduce the temperature of the coolant throught a radiator. the final cooling medium is ambient air.
    for aquarium cooling, where the water temperature is within a few degrees of ambient, so you will not be able to use ambient air to cool the aquarium.

    this is why we are not able to get a glass of cold water using a simple cooling system made from a water block, a water pump, coolant, a radiator and fans.
    thomas liew

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    We are talking about how to remove the heat from the peltier and not from aquarium. Study the Shine project carefully, please

    Quote Originally Posted by tawauboy View Post
    i am sure that you know cpu liquid cooling and aquarium cooling are different animals.
    cpu cooling takes heat from the cpu and dump it elsewhere. the cpu temperature is much higher than ambient temperature and the coolant transports the heat away from the cpu. a fan is then used to reduce the temperature of the coolant throught a radiator. the final cooling medium is ambient air.
    for aquarium cooling, where the water temperature is within a few degrees of ambient, so you will not be able to use ambient air to cool the aquarium.

    this is why we are not able to get a glass of cold water using a simple cooling system made from a water block, a water pump, coolant, a radiator and fans.

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    For TEC peltier, there is a TEC calculator in shine's project where one can put in the parameters such as temperature difference etc to get the result. The other way is to measure. for this case, it is given by the website.

    Quote Originally Posted by tawauboy View Post
    as you are familiar with COP, could you share your knowledge on this topic?
    it seems that COP is the ratio of useful work (cooling power) to input power. how does one derive the cooling power for CL150 based on information provided by the website?

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Ah...computer watercooling. I used to be crazy about it. In fact, my current old rig is still cooled by an overkill WC loop.
    Well, the first problem with trying to use PC Water cooling gears for aquarium, peltier or otherwise, is not efficiency or power consumption.

    It's chokes, toxicity and corrosion. Most good watercooling waterblock and radiator are made of copper and will be highly toxic. That leaves the 2nd tier aluminum blocks. However, aside from not being as conductive as copper, they are soft and prone to corrosion & damage. Most PC cooling system uses proper coolant and corrosion are normally due to galvanic corrosion (mixing aluminum and other metal in the loop).

    In aquariums, with acidic water full of all sorts of crap, the aluminium waterblock will likely rot away and either chokes or leaks. Aluminum is also toxic to aquatic organisms under acidic conditions.
    That is why most aquarium chillers use stainless steel or titanium. To date, I've not seen any easily available waterblocks made of steel or titanium.

    If we look at one of the ancient 1st gen (less complicated and less effective) waterblocks:

    it's terribly restrictive and would not be able to take the flow needed to effectively cool a large volume of water. A high flow, high head pressure pump hooked up to one will probably cause the hoses to pop off or kill the pump. Add crap from the water and corrosion and you get this:

    Newer generation waterblocks are even more restrictive, although I doubt anyone makes them in aluminum anymore. It's almost a fine filter!


    The one used on Shine Project looks like one of those generic older "fins in a chamber design" waterblocks from Alibaba. That'll corrode and choke in no time with tank water going through it.

    It is also interesting that the idea was floated to use a 2nd watercooling loop with radiator to cool the peltier chip so that its performance does not deteriorate. The effort, energy cost and space needed for that, is it worth it?
    I did explore somehow using a 2nd loop of coolant to somehow cool my tanks without tank water coming into contact with the copper since I have ALOT of leftover radiators, pumps and waterblocks. Too noisy, cannot scale with tank volume and not quite worth the effort frankly.

    If one looks at the really extreme PC coolers, they either use dry-ice/liquid nitrogen (which is purely for benching as no one can run it long term), evaporative cooling (bong coolers) or phase cooling (ye olde refrigerant compressor based tech). Some folks do use peltier for benching as well but it's easier to just dump dry ice into a cooling pot.

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    ever heard about cpu liquid cooling? this can take 660 watts with 2 80mm fan. I happened to have 2 of similar type but for 100mm fan, aluminum type

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...oducts_id=2023
    CPU cooling lets say, IF they still produce aluminum based waterblocks then MAYBE.
    Else this topic has been brought up before. Very strong doubt swifttec or dangerden makes any since Copper is a much better conductor of heat.

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    We are talking about how to remove the heat from the peltier and not from aquarium. Study the Shine project carefully, please
    Hi Techno,

    You talking about

    how to remove the heat from the peltier and not from aquarium
    May i ask can this be implemented in TS's DIY?
    If so are we using water block where, radiator where.

    Cost efficient vs real world usage, this i guess is in many folks mind...

    Thou good to give TS suggestions, I do see that you are somewhat derailing this thread into a technology debate with the others. Keep it to helping the TS
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    This issue of aluminum or copper poisoning or rusting should not arise if one were to DIY the Peltier's cooling block using stainless steel or suitable box section with ends sealed with inlet and outlet connectors. Aluminum or even copper box or stock cooling block can be used on the hot side of the peltier with radiator to extract the heat to atmosphere. Just providing alternative views. Think I have said and also clarified with enough information. Will let the other readers go and decipher the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navanod View Post
    Ah...computer watercooling...... .
    Last edited by techno123; 19th Nov 2012 at 11:42.

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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Sorry to derail your thread zerofighterx101 but some of the misinformation has to be corrected. You must understand that there are others who might stumble into this thread and thought that what is posted would be taken as the correct info and might jeopardise their setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    A long reply. But to be fair to skyjuice, he did not say he recommended peltier chiller nor he say peltier chiller is better than refrigeration chiller for aqua cooling. He only give an alternative pointing out resun CL150 is an aqua chiller made of Peltier and he is leading the readers to where one can find components for DIY such a chiller at a cheaper cost.
    Are you sure? His 1st post since joining this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    Try what this guy was doing, using peltier electronic chips.
    http://www.shine7.com/aquarium/chiller.htm

    Multiple small power chips can be used to make up the requirement. Cooling power about 0.8 of electricity power consumptioni. so a 200 watt peltier will have about 160 watts cooling power which is equivalent to Hailea 1/10 hp chiller. A kit for refrigeration unit is available from ebay for something less than SGD50/= including shiipping. Can't remember what power. Replace the cold heat sink with a cooler block plus a temperature controller for less than SGD20/- also from ebay, it will work like a water chiller.
    Another misinformation.

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    Love to hear it that you want to try peltier. Skyjuice did not mention that one can also make use of small black radiator like this for heat sink

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Alumin...-/180646297270

    I happen to have 2 spare one ordered wrongly and never used. If you are interested, leave a message
    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    ever heard about cpu liquid cooling? this can take 660 watts with 2 80mm fan. I happened to have 2 of similar type but for 100mm fan, aluminum type

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...oducts_id=2023
    These are useful to remove heat from water, not to lower temperature as it also is affected by surrounding temperature. That's why pc enthusiast uses these to cool their water from their watercooling setup on their pc. The hot water passes through the radiator and cooled the water to room temperature. In an aquarium however, you need the water to go below what the room temperature is.

    Quote Originally Posted by techno123 View Post
    We are talking about how to remove the heat from the peltier and not from aquarium. Study the Shine project carefully, please
    We are talking about how to cool the water, not to remove the heat from peltier. This is what the topic starter, zerofighterx101 is trying to do when he start this thread. Do not lose focus, Skyjuice 1st post was to recommend the use of peltier remember?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    Try what this guy was doing, using peltier electronic chips.
    http://www.shine7.com/aquarium/chiller.htm

    Multiple small power chips can be used to make up the requirement. Cooling power about 0.8 of electricity power consumptioni. so a 200 watt peltier will have about 160 watts cooling power which is equivalent to Hailea 1/10 hp chiller. A kit for refrigeration unit is available from ebay for something less than SGD50/= including shiipping. Can't remember what power. Replace the cold heat sink with a cooler block plus a temperature controller for less than SGD20/- also from ebay, it will work like a water chiller.
    This post is what alarmed me the most.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    This video will show how peltier chips work. It can go down to freezing point. If there are more chips running in parallel, it can even freeze a tank. This is actually how ICE Probe chiller works also.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snrE1...eature=related

    As for the natural cooling using surrounding low temperature, one could cool the most to the ambient wetbulb temperature which averages around 28C oin a very efficient method such as using very efficient cooling towers. If one were to dig a well deep into the ground, may be one can get a temperature around 27.5C.
    How can a 38 year experienced professional engineer missed the detail??? The link Skyjuice posted above shows the experiment is done in a room chilled by aircon at 26 degree c. By this flaw, the peltier performance is increased dramatically. I want to say that this would be considered as cheating and favour highly on the peltier chiller side. What if a refrigerant chiller is also cooled in a room by an aircon at 26 degree c? It would enhanced the refrigerant chiller performance too wouldn't it? Click on the link if you want to see the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyjuice View Post
    I am a registered professional M&E engineer for last 38 years. Have been designing airconditioning system, installing and commissioning very large chillers for buildings in Singapore and Malaysia. I was a reefer some 30 years ago.
    And one more thing, why is it Skyjuice and Techno123 post are only prevalent in this thread? Coincidence? Can it be they are the same person or even related? Something fishy, I hope I am wrong.
    Last edited by BFG; 19th Nov 2012 at 18:55.
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    I give up... think we are getting to nowhere..last quote.. Shine7 said

    I set the temperature control to 25 degree. The hottest day here in HK since I made this chiller was 32 degree outdoor
    and 30 degree indoor, and it can cool the water to 25 degree. My estimation is that this chiller is able to cool 20 liter of

    water to about 6 degree below ambient.


    He has got the peltier chiller working with a COP of 0.5376.. that is left for all readers to read..no point arguing by just talking talking..

    Lets agree to disagree, think Resun is wrong to come up with CL150.. it just does not work according to someone

    http://i46.tinypic.com/mwe0wj.jpg

    bye bye and thanks for reading..
    Last edited by techno123; 19th Nov 2012 at 19:55.

  20. #60
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    Re: DIY Aquarium Cooler

    Techno123, do you know what tank size the topic starter has?

    Quote Originally Posted by zerofighterx101 View Post
    Its not that big,
    it 60 x 23 cm, just nice for my 3 by 2 feet tank cabinet.
    For that size cabinet, he may have a 1ft tall tank or a 1.5ft tall tank or even a 2ft tall tank, which might be the norm for that cabinet size. Did you mis-read somewhere? The peltier chiller is too small to chill that large tank. 20 litre of water 6 degree c below ambient? Resun is not wrong to come up with the CL150, somebody is wrong to want to use that chiller on a 3ft tank. Another detail that the 38 year professional engineer overlooked.
    If you've learnt, teach, if you have, give.
    Don't walk behind me as I might not lead, don't walk in front of me as I might not follow. Walk beside me, as my friend.
    Mohamad Rohaizal is my name. If it's too hard, use BFG. I don't mind.

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