• DIY Mini Chiller for Shrimp Tanks, Part 2

    Water from tank will go into the reservoir, brush through Cold Fin and mix with colder water inside there, then go out of the reservoir and back to the tank.

    Drill 2 holes on the side of the plastic box with diametter just slightly bigger than 12mm.



    Cut the tube into 2 sizes, 5 cm and 16 cm. The long tube is cut with a 45 degree taper at one end. The long one will be placed near Cold Fin to use as inlet and short one as outlet.



    Seal both tube in place, keep the protruding parts (out of the Reservoir) at 4cm. Position the tapered side of long tube upward, close to Cold Fin.





    Wait for sealant to dry. Reservoir Assembly is now done.

    Next step is simple, put the TEM assembly on Reservoir Assembly, tighten the screws that come with the box. Seal the contact between the 2 assembies and the 4 screw holes.

    Before you seal them up, it is good to test for leak, fill the Reservoir Assembly with water and see if there is any leak.



    Wait for sealant to cure.

    The outlet has to face upwards so water will be able to fill up the reservoir. Use a piece of eraser, cut to suitable height and place it underneath the fan to support the Heatsink/Fan.




    The most exciting step is to power up the chiller.

    I am using an ATX power supply to drive the Heaksink fan and TEM. Pin 14 and 15 of the ATX connector has to be shorted so that the PSU will be alway on. You can short them using a paper clip.



    To get +12VDC, cut one of the power supply connector, the yellow is +12VDC and the black next to yellow is 0VDC (DC ground). Both TEM and Heatsink fan can be connected to the same lines.




    Note that TEM red wire is to be connected to +12VDC and black to 0VDC. If you reverse the order, you will get a heater instead.

    If you have a current meter, monitor the current flow in the yellow power supply wire, you will see it drop to a steady state within couples of minutes. And at this time, you will feel that the Heatsink is hot, while the cover of reservoir is cool.

    Insert a themometer into the outlet tube, you should see dropping temperature of the air in the reservoir.

    At this stage, you have a working chiller, you can hook up the hose from the tank to the chiller. Connect filtered water from canister filter or internal filter to the inlet of Mini Chiller and the outlet back to the tank.

    Alway place Mini Chiller in a well ventilated place.

    TEM cooling efficiency is lower than refrigerant based chiller and it chilling capability is limited to small size tank and/or ambient temperature. In tropical country, with room temperature around 30C, it can cool a 1 foot tank to 25C. One should not have unrealistic expectation of TEM based chiller to cool bigger tank with tank keep in high ambient temperature.

    That's it, you got all the information to make Mini Chiller. If there is a demand, I will write on enhancements like insulation, temperature control and ............

    Discussion on making a chiller using TEM

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    Article Copyright: Silane