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Old 07-20-11, 09:43 AM   #31
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I like that filter idea. I have some spare PVC pipe laying around and if need be I can even drill some holes in it.

The radiator is an automotive style. It is off my 1993 Tercel. The size is roughly 16" x 24" I'd guess. I'll be making a stand for it out of wood. I'll also add some ducting for the fan that'll go behind it.

I'm thinking I will probably have to deal with some condensation (hopefully). I'll have to have some sort of trough or something to collect the condensed water.

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Last edited by Daox; 07-20-11 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 07-20-11, 09:55 AM   #32
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After a quick wiki read, it looks like I might have condenstation to deal with. This is an image from the wiki page on dewpoint. Lately the house temerature has been in the high 70F area and the humidity has also been in the 70s. This makes it look like just under 60F will produce condensation. If the system works real well, it looks like I might have some condensation.

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Old 07-20-11, 10:19 AM   #33
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As for the priming problem with the pump. Is it possible to just put a check valve on the inlet of the tubing so the pump always has water in it? Seems like a simple fix.
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Old 07-20-11, 03:13 PM   #34
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Whilst waiting for my files to save while at work, I thought up an idea to easily tripple (or more) the cooling capacity of the system at almost zero cost. Simply put a 55 gallon drum on the return line coming from the radiator back to the sump. The 55 gallons will cool off to the temperature of the basement and essentially give me another ~9,000 BTUs of cooling. The great thing about this is it would be incredibly easy to add another barrel if the system still proves to be too small. At some point I'll just end up heating my basement up, but thats really not a problem nor do I think I'll really be using it that much.
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Old 07-20-11, 05:58 PM   #35
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Have you thought about using a radiator in the basement on the return to the barrel? How about making the plumbing back to the barrel out of the kind of radiators found in hydronic baseboards? I have something like that for cooling my computers.
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Old 07-20-11, 06:41 PM   #36
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That would be a great idea. Even some of those old cast iron radiators would probably work much better than a barrel. Alas, I have only polyethylene barrels, so thats what I'll use for now. I'll keep my eye out for something like that though.

I decided to go with two barrels for a total of somewhere around 130 gallons. This should give me about 21,000 BTU of cooling. I'm curious how long the barrels will take to cool back down though. I guess we'll wait and see.

I got the parts together a bit so far. I grabbed my barrels to see what kind of fittings I could use with them. Looks like I should be able to use some 1/2" NPT fittings.





I also dug out my radiator. It measures 27" x 13" x 5/8" thick. I'm hoping since it helped cool a ~80hp engine it should be up to this task. I also grabbed some radiator hose for the main connections and plugged up the overflow nipple so it doesn't leak.





Tomorrow I'll try to go get the hose and fittings that I'll need. I'd ideally like to have this ready to go when the pump gets here so I can just plug it in and go. Its not supposed to be incredibly hot this weekend, but it won't be cool either. It would be a perfect time to test the setup.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:31 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
I decided to go with two barrels for a total of somewhere around 130 gallons. This should give me about 21,000 BTU of cooling. I'm curious how long the barrels will take to cool back down though. I guess we'll wait and see.
It might take a while - barrels have a relatively low surface area-to-volume ratio, so you'd be storing heat without too much loss... Though not a problem if you have a few days between heat waves to let them cool off. Last autumn I left one of my 220 liter (58 US gal) rain barrels out until the first freeze and it took ~2-3 days just to get a thin layer of ice on the top.

You could set up a second loop (with the same pump to keep cost down) that goes to a radiator outside and cool the barrel/sump water at night. I doubt that WI has enough heat waves during the year to justify the extra complication, maybe farther south? On the other hand, you'd be one step closer to a system which could collect outdoor heat during the day and warm the house in the evening...
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Old 07-21-11, 10:27 AM   #38
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I agree the barrels aren't ideal, but they're all I have at the moment. Perhaps I'll buy some extra tubing and have it just coiled up along the return line to try to loose some heat on the way to the barrels.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:20 AM   #39
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Just got my tracking info the other day. Looks like I won't have the pump by this weekend.

However, I did remember something. I do have another car radiator. Its actually still in the car (parts car), but if this works out well it could definitely be used.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:44 AM   #40
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Make sure you clean those radiators out really well lest the grime inside clogs up the pump. At least this is the sentiment among the PC water cooling enthusiasts.

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