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Thread: Massive Water Chiller

  1. #51
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    Well, I did some work today, but my camera ran out of juice....

    Ran into some problems while making the evaporator. It fit nice and snug, and there is a bit more contact than I'd like. However, it fills most of the space between the central tube and the outer wall. The problem happened due to the switch to the 3/8 inch tubing. It changes the way I've got to pipe it, and I'm kind of annoyed, but the 1/2 coil was flat when I wound it... it was uniform, except for a kink in the middle that pretty much meant it was shot even if I WANTED to use it. I'll likely have to couple them and then join them in a tee on the outside.

    The supports are all fastened to the base, but lots of work left to do.
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  2. #52
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    I decided to share the pictures that came out best.... I didn't get a heck of a lot. I tried to save battery power as much as I could so I ended up taking pics of fewer steps... The first one is the almost completed condenser. Its initial steps didn't come out well so this is all I got. The inside coil is a little more compressed than I'd like, but it will stay in place and resist vibrations a little better that way. There isn't a lot of contact and once brazed it won't move. The design changed as I could not figure out how to get the inlet and outlet to be on the same side. So, They will be on the bottom of opposite sides. I'm going to update my piping design to accommodate the changes. The inner tubes actually had to butt up against the inside of the reducer. I can braze them in place somewhat easily, as there are flush with the edges. I'll get pictures when I braze them.

    The only other two pictures that are worth sharing below are the evaporator coils. I did try to bend the 1/2" coil, even though it flattened I almost got it to work; save one kink. Most unfortunate..... These evaporator coils are extremely snug. They won't move AT ALL. I am going to utilize an isolator flex tube to dampen vibrations across the suction line. Its probably not necessary, but given that I'd have to completely replace the evaporator in the event of a leak I don't want to take any chances. I wanted to photo the coils inside the pipe, but that was when my battery died. They actually made for a nice helix structure that took up most of the space available. Contact may limit efficiency, but all in all it worked out pretty well. All in all its pretty cool, but hard to assemble hehe.

    Sorry for the blurry images...




    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  3. #53
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    Nice work Stew !
    That think looks like a beast !

  4. #54
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    That coil is looking great! I like that design, and knowing absolutely nothing I have no clue what's it good for, vs a more standard design.

  5. #55
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    Well the coil forms like that because of the curvature of the tubing and the fact that there really isn't a way to get a perfect mesh. Were I to use a 1/2" coil it would have been a more standard design.

    The water will flow about the pipe in a "vortex" pattern as the discharging water will be directed toward the sides of the tube. A more standard coil would probably be less efficient.... We'll see

    Edit: When I said less efficient I was speaking more on the fact that the tubes would have been flat versus round.
    Last edited by Stewie007; 05-23-2013 at 07:19 PM.
    Regards, Stew.....

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  6. #56
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    What a cluster @$@!#%^$#

    The cylinder I got from National was empty! WTF. Didn't get anything done. The screws I got for my radiators were a hair too long, and I ran out of the others.

    Got about NOTHING DONE! >=^E
    Regards, Stew.....

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  7. #57
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    Got a new cylinder today. Here's to hoping its FULL... :p

    This Saturday I plan on completing the condenser brazing and beginning work on the evaporator. If all goes well I'll be able to start assembly of the major pieces soon.
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  8. #58
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    Got some work done yesterday. I forgot to bring my power supply with me though... Didn't make a difference since I took a lot of the time with the condenser. I did finish installing the fans to the radiators, though... First thing I had to do was drill some holes in the reducers. I gave up on trying to utilize a 3/8" hole for the coil tubing. Instead, I drilled it to 5/8 and created a sleeve out of some 5/8" Tubing This way the coil was not under tension inside. The brazes look alright, although with the small torch I wasn't completely thrilled with the finished look on some parts. I noticed some holes later on, but I think it was just from some boiled alloy. The small tip wasn't ideal for the job.

    In the last picture you can see the sleeve and the water inlet/outlet. I used a street elbow and angled it so the water is discharged along the curvature for good water movement. The inner tube is hidden inside and is brazed in place. Needless to say.... I painted it orange...




    Last edited by Stewie007; 06-02-2013 at 09:30 AM.
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  9. #59
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    I brazed the thermal well connection in place as well. Drilling that hotel pan was a bit of a pain since its so thin, but it worked out alright. I'm going to coat the connections in an epoxy or similar resin to protect the joint. I screwed the well into place temporarily for picturing sakes.

    Regards, Stew.....

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  10. #60
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    I thought I had more pictures, but that's it. Next time I'm working on the evaporator.
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  11. #61
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    Hahaa! Got my radiators all wired up. Running a heat test on the power supply now. I've had it going steady for about 1.5 hours and its gotten pretty warm. Though I think the temp has largely peaked. I had a little trouble with the CoolerMaster fans given the stupid clear wire jackets. It made it difficult to keep track of the negative and positive leads. I was going to wire all of the 180s to the same switch, but I wasn't sure if they were designed to handle the 20 watts max of all three fans.

    All 15 fans together consume 78 to 84 Watts of Power (.65 - .7A) total. That amperage is at 120V of course. Which basically means that if I ran these suckers all day long they'd cost me about 20 cents a day. Given a typical run time of a few hours per day I'd say barely 5 cents a day. As if the fans are the real power monger. :-p

    Not surprising, the power factor remains between .98 and 1. Pretty typical for 12V fans.

    The noise is minimal considering that 15 fans are running. Its probably 35 - 40 db. The insulated chest will take care of much of the noise.
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  12. #62
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    Did some more work today, but couldn't find the proper fittings I needed to braze the evaporator. Additionally my oxygen bottle needs to be replaced so I cut it short once I got the brazing of the internal lines done. Didn't want to get too far into it and then run out. Plenty of acetylene now that I have a bigger cylinder. Next time I'm getting propylene though. I am sick of that black crap that comes out with the acetylene. I'll get a new torch tip at that point too.

    First image is just a braze shot. Second image shows the coil header for the double coil. I'm missing a small elbow to join the inlets unfortunately. The great thing is how well this one fits together. I cut the inner tube to spec and drilled the holes according to the spacing. It fit up well and buts up against the inside of the reducer without any tension. So the reducers stay in place. I couldn't drill the inlet and outlet holes given that the drill batteries were drained completely.

    After that I just brazed the oil line into the separator. However, I still need a solenoid valve, so that is thus far omitted.

    I placed the radiators back into their locations, though I have to formally attach the orange radiators to the shroud. I'll probably use armaflex insulation tape around the top and I'll design a clamp type of system to secure them. No glue this time. It'll have to figure out that design later. The power supply will have to be elevated as well to avoid any potential drips. As long as it is below that radiator it won't get too hot. The air will be warm blowing over it but not stagnant. For this reason I'm running the water through the cool air radiator first. The last one is the picture so far.

    All in all, its going well.






    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  13. #63
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    Starting to shape up nicely

    Can't wait to see moar.

  14. #64
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    Thanks. Hopefully next week I'll be able to get the refrigeration system together. I want to get a lot of work done given that the following weekend we're going on vacation. Charging and testing is getting closer..
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  15. #65
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    Got a proper heating tip! Will allow for more efficient gas usage. I had to have the acetylene on full bore and at least now I can regulate the flame a little better and provide more overall heat.

    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  16. #66
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    Is that a copper tube? O.o


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  17. #67
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    There are lots of copper tubes.... hehe...

    If you're referring to the torch its a Miller 301016 Medium Duty Heating Tip
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  18. #68
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    I came up with a securing system for the heat exchangers. The condenser will be held in place by two 4" hangers inverted and using a 1/2" bolt to create a stand. The same will be done for the evaporator. The clamp is pictured below.


    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  19. #69
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    Alright, finally got to use my new torch tip today. Before that, though... I had to do some work on the condenser. The drill batteries were once again drained and I had to wait for one to charge. I got right to work on the piping and brazed the barbs onto the inlet and outlet tubing. I used phos-copper on the barbs given that I didn't have any silver, and phos copper works with brass with a little care. The return bend has a nice and long radius.



    After this I got to work on the pipe hangers, which I'm using as brackets to hold my heat exchangers. They conveniently have threaded rod connections. I drilled the appropriate holes into the plastic and secured the carriage bolts with a nut on the top. No need for a washer. Once secured I screwed the brackets into place. I carefully measured and placed the other one into position. On the inside I used some insulation tape. I really wasn't happy with the quality of it. It breaks apart way too easily. Its nothing like the armaflex stuff that I was used to. At least the adhesive was good.





    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  20. #70
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    Once I finished this the batteries were finally charged and I drilled the appropriate holes. I brazed the evaporator together with no issues and brazed the manifold tubing. It worked out well enough, but it was hot when I snapped the photos so I hadn't yet cleaned the tubing. I could have done a better job cleaning the connections before brazing... it was a little more difficult than usual. The big torch made quick work of the 4" tube and reducer, and the inner tube braze was A LOT easier.





    I then did the same thing as the condenser with the brackets and attached the evaporator into place. It fits into place but will need to modify the design slightly. I'll have to figure out how to insulate the bracket location properly, but I suspect it will be fine.


    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  21. #71
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    Finally I just did some tube cutting to start the discharge and suction lines. Couldn't put the suction line into place, though, given the length and weight. There are going to be two vibration dampeners. One is on the discharge line and the other is on the suction line. Didn't open up the suction line piece, though. The receiver, as it turns out, will use the same brackets, but I've gotta get some 3" brackets to hold it.



    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  22. #72
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    WoW Nice work Stew. It's coming along very nicely !

  23. #73
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    I like your idea with the stands, pretty cool!

  24. #74
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    Thanks!

    The pipe hangers worked out a lot better than I thought. I've got to get two more for the receiver..

    I'm thinking that next weekend (this weekend I'm on vacation ) I'll be finishing up the refrigeration circuit and maybe even the water loop. That way I can wire the system and get it ready for testing.

    Got a vacuum pump, so we're good to go for that. >=)
    Regards, Stew.....

    - This message brought to you by Frank Lee E. Snutz

  25. #75
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    Hey Stewie,
    I'm impressed by the building quality - this is by far the nicest work I've seen so far from an (non-professional) american builder ! BIG UPS!
    Whats the reason you decided to build your own heat exchangers and not just buying plate hxs?
    Keep up the good work!
    Quote Originally Posted by Xeon th MG Pony View Post
    ....and avoid being a total venting loser!

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