cthulhu77 said:I have an old japanese aquarist's magazine filled with hobbyist's tanks...one of the enterprising lads made a chiller using a standard small cube fridge (65 bucks here, new), and few drilled holes. Tube goes from tank to fridge, through the wall, through a long spiral coil inside the little thing, and then returns to the tank.
Pretty dang ingenious.
I was just reading an article on RC about mini-fridge chillers. It appears they're thermodynamically impossible: a small refrigerator just doesn't have the BTU-moving capacity to do any real cooling. The fridges are designed to cool a very limited volume very slowly, this application would be like keeping the door open and using it as an air conditioner. The author of this article had experience with modifying room air conditioners into chillers (considerably more hp), even though he admits at that point its cheaper to buy one.
In the face of impermeable thermodynamics, the author posits that people who report results from mini-fridge chillers aren't liars, they just haven't done a controlled experiment: when they add the chiller they've typically also done other temperature-reducing things like shortening their photo-period or removing pumps. Not disingenuous by any means, I just thought it was a fun play on words :o)
I can try to look up the article on RC if anyone is interested (which is not quite as easy as finding a bimac in an Eclipse).