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RE Chillers -- just chill until they make the big one
- To: Aquatic Plants Digest Messages <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: RE Chillers -- just chill until they make the big one
- From: "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com>
- Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 10:37:37 -0700 (PDT)
The thermoelectrics tend to be better buys for small
aquariums. For larger cooling tasks, the units available
aren't as efficiently employed and compressor/evaporator
chiller. But there's more to the story. A year and a hlaf
ago the cost per BTU/hr was much higher than for
conventional chillers -- the advantage was the small size
and quietness. Recently, the price gap pretty much ended,
the cost per BTU/hr is about even, the advantages remain
but the disadvantage is limited overall capapcity.
But the size and number of manufacturers is increasing.
About a year or so ago, these units were mainly to chill
electronics cabinets. The more widespread application to
water systems is more recent. The
mount-it-yourself-in-a-bulkhead type (Coolworks IceProbe)
is giving way to in-line versions with the peltier devices
mounted on a remote (from the aqaurium) heat exchanger.
Aqualine-B makes one, and a few others have popped up, like
the Azoo model at Fosters & Smith:
This 240 Watt (input) peltier-based model sells for about
the same price as the 240 watt (input) Via Aqua Chiller
model based on a rotatory compressor. Conventional units
Like Aqualogics, JBJ-Artica, and CustomSeaLife that are
comparably rated for size or cooling capacity have much
much higher electrical demands. [I'm not sure if that
means what it sounds like it means. I'm still trying to
figure the ratings out. The several engineers I've gone to
so far have each scrathed his head and said, "Hmmmmm, very
interesting, what's the answer?" or words to that effect.]
These peltier-based units are generally built for small to
medium size aquaria at best. You could run several on one
aquarium, but then a larger conventional unit might be more
practical due to size, cost, loudness.
If you're a gardener and not a reefer, you're probably
only looking for a few degrees of pull down rather than the
10 or so degrees the reefers often need. In such cases, a
small unit might work just find, even on a large tank, say
150 gal or so ;-) .
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