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Dorm fridge freezer section in water bath?
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I read in the book "Sunshine to Dollars" that it is easier to cool water than air... makes sense. This guy tore apart a smaller "dorm size" refrigerator, the type with the aluminum cooling coil that is in essence the "freezer section" of the unit. He submerged that in saltwater and then would fill up buckets of fresh water which he placed in the chilled saltwater bath. In no time at all, he had low cost blocks of ice.

What about running our methanol recovery condensor water through this chilled bath instead? Low cost chiller that runs on very little electricity.

Think it would be worth the effort? I don't have running water at my shop so I have to bring in what I use. A little Shurflo pump circulating chilled water sounds good to me.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
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'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
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I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think some people have built condensers inside of small fridges. There wouldn't be a need for the extra circulation pump.

If freezing is an issue, I think I'd choose Ethylene Glycol rather than salt water due to it being less corrosive.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree on the ethylene glycol. Rather than just having a copper coil inside a dorm fridge, I think it would be more efficient to have the cooling section submerged in a liquid.

Would there be enough convective turnover to not need a pump to circulate the coolant through the condensor? You could have the whole setup in a large ice cooler. The suction hose pulling from inside the cooling unit (freezer section) and returning to the opposite end of the chest. With the slow temperature change, you might not even need to run the refrigerator compressor all the time.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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my 90 gallon set up just used a 55 gallon drum of water, and a submergible pump to circulate water through a plumber's delight condensor. It worked well, but it you wanted to do more than one batch of fuel in a day, you had to change the water to cool it down. We tried giant blocks of ice in the barrel, but they didn't make enough of a difference to fool with them. Our new set up uses the same set up, but we buried two 1/2" pex lines in the ground, one for methanol liguid/ vapor, the other to cool the water before going to our plumber delight condensor at the demether. we had to do this because we are making 375 gallon batches for weeks at a time. we ran it for about 3 weeks straight 24/7 recently, and the condensor was still cool to the touch. If you have the land and equipment, It is a no brainer. no energy input! we used 2 300' rolls of pex which is about $70 / roll at lowe's. If you are on a small scale, the loop could be much shorter


powering
2 bobcats, an excavator, and a ventrac mower. looking for a diesel weedeater!
 
Location: morgantown wv | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Excellent geothermal approach with the pex tubing. How far down did you bury it? I'd figure in WV it is tough digging. Not so much in my area... until I hit water! My shop is actually in Louisiana.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Using brine as a heat transfer fluid is quite common on large fridge systems, I have been trying to remember the type of salts used but it was so long ago. I do know it is not common salt sodium chloride and is probably a mixture with borax added to regulate the pH like they do with antifreeze.

Glycerin makes excellent antifreeze and would be free, 65% glycerin and 35% water freezes at -45F
 
Location: Nimbin Australia | Registered: December 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I think it might be easier to get condenser coils from a large fridge and the fan..
no water needed and the only power drawer is the cost to run the fan.

Ideally get the stuff from fridge that has the coils on the bottom.

-dkenny


'84 bluebird school bus, DD8.2L turbo( 4/2011, the bus tranny has died..Frown 8.23.11 bus driven to scrap yard Frown )
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Smile - the wife's
99 dodge 2500 5.9l 24v..-mine Smile
everything run B100 when its warm enough Smile
 
Location: RTP, North Carolina | Registered: December 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On average, we buried it about 3' deep, but some of the ditch is 6'. One of my friends wanted to "play" so I let him dig the ditch with the excavator. needless to say, the ditch looked like a snake, and was all up and down, but I didn't have to dig it, so, I'm not complaining. we did consider the fridge/ freezer idea, but gave this a try, and are very happy with it. If you live in the land of building permits, however, this may not be a very good option


powering
2 bobcats, an excavator, and a ventrac mower. looking for a diesel weedeater!
 
Location: morgantown wv | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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