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Old 01-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
Nagoshi
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Anything to do with an old dehumidifier?

I have that old dehumidifier around. It still works quite nice, a bit noisy, but I noticed that the coils do get frosty. And well I got the idea

If my father ever get a new dehumidifier, Ill see if I can nab it, but in the meantime, would it be any good for a small chiller?

I dont know the specs of the compressor since the label is located right where there is a panel, and Id have to rip the whole thing apart. Ill see tonight if I can read it using a mirror.

It's an old Mastercraft D20, for the reference.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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Just go in there and disconnect some wires so your dad thinks it's broke. Then he will go get a new one and you can nab the old one.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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w00t, sabotage to your own advantage FTW
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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I wish it was possible that way He might decide to get a new, super cheap one since this one is hella noisy.

Might give him like $10 or 20 for it too, since it works, but I would do that only if it'd be safe to use... and Id need help on how to set it up too. I reckon the chilly coils are made of aluminium, so I can't just drop then into a bucket of water and use that water in my loop... it'd likely corrode.

Additional Comment:

Basically Im just wondering if it would be able to bring my temps down, and if it would be worth a shot. I have currently no idea of the power it has... all I know is that how it is set up right now, the coils do get frosty after some time. That's with the fan working.

Ill take a pic later and post it here. My father removed the casing so it would work better, or to check something out... cant remember.

Last edited by Nagoshi : 01-29-2010 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:09 PM   #5
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Well that noise might be a good sign that it has a 3/8-1/2hp rotary compressor and is charged with a gas such as r22. That will certainly get you low temps and quite a bit more capacity than the smaller quieter 1/8-1/6hp recip compressors running r12 or r134a.

The routing of the refrigerant lines will dictate if the mod is possible and the risk level if they need bending.

Post some pics and we'll see what's possible.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:13 AM   #6
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Forgot to take pics, but the sticker on the compressor does mention 1 HP, Im pretty sure of that. As for the gas, if it was the one I saw, it had "33" in there... ARL 33? I suck at reading through a mirror Might be wrong.

Anyhow Im pretty much sure that the compressor is an 1HP one, my mirror can't lie about that. There were no fractions.

Ill post a pic tomorrow... in the meantime it somehow is shaped like the joined picture. The radiator part is located right in front of the fan, and the coils that gets frosty are located after it. They're like U-shaped somehow flexible pipes, made of some kind of metal if my memory is right, with no fins at all on them.

The tank, or wahtever it is, that cumulates the water, is located under the coils too.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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Very few compressors (actually none of the 10 I have here or any can remember seeing) will have a HP rating on them. All of mine do have 1PH on them though, which means 1 phase, I'm betting that is what you are seeing.

Most dehumidifiers made in the last few years have rotary compressors, older ones have recips. If that pic in your last post is correct, yours has a recip compressor and it's probably going to be in the 1/6 to 1/3 HP range, maybe 1/2 if it's a very large dehumidifier.

In any case, it will be completely adequate for a small chiller, especially if you use it to chill a complete loop and keep temps above the dew point to avoid condensation and the hassles of insulation. Drew is great at setting up chillers, I'm sure he can help you get it setup to meet your needs.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:19 PM   #8
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Now that you say it, it's probably a 1 PH compressor... lmao. I had to read it through a mirror, and I suck at doing that

The pic I found was a rough comparison to what I have, to show how it's placed inside. My dehumidifier is fairly old too.

Ima grab the model number and brand of the compressor tomorrow, along with pics of how it's set up in its frame right now.

I dont want anything extreme out of a chiller if I ever build one... just something to keep temperatures lower, since the Deneb architecture LOVES lower temps.

As for insulation I already have some rubber eraser, and insulation for my tubing I had other projects for the winter but kind of dropped them, altho I still have everything.

How do I see if it is a rotary compressor or a recip compressor?

Also, is there a way to bring the noise level lower on these things? Id love to use one as a 24/7 solution, but if it's noisy, it's gonna end up frustrating my lady I guess I could somehow insulate the compressor to keep the noises down?
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:06 AM   #9
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A rotary compressor will be tall and smaller in diameter, a reciprocating will be about as tall as it is in diameter (hope that makes sense ). That compressor in your pic is a recip.

The noise will pretty much be determined by the fan on the condenser, in anything but a build with a large rotary that fan will be the loudest component in the system. Recip compressors will just put out a slight hum (listen to your fridge when it is running), a rotary may or may not be slightly louder.

If it's an older model then I'm betting it will have a recip compressor and may be charged with r12 or possibly r134a if it's a little newer.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:29 AM   #10
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Yep, it would be a recip then, it's about as large as it is high.

Ill snap a few pics tonight and see if there's something I can do with it.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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Pics time!

Will check the compressor's model and specs tomorrow as right now it's running, and dont want to hit anything while it does

You can see the flexible coils there... it's strange that it does not uses a radiator like the other pics I could find on the net, but it still freezes. I guess it would still work, with a minimal loss in performance because of the lack of fins... but that's just a very wild guess.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #12
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You should be able to get all the loops.. except the last 1/2 one, into a reservoir like a Rubbermaid 12 can cooler. So basically you just carefully bend that last 1/2 size loop a little and slip the cooler up around all the others. This way the notch will be at the top allowing over 75% of the coil to be submerged without fear of leaks.

That compressor should be plenty strong for sub-ambient performance. If that uses r12 or r134a then you can replace the big noisey fan with 4 x 120mm fans. You can go with 60-80cfm ea and use a speed controller.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #13
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Any way to find out what gas it uses? There's apparently no label on the casing of the dehumidifier, so unless it's labeled on the compressor, I dont know what's running in there.

Also the hot loop of the compressor gets kinda warm/hot, even with the noisy fan. Four 120mm fans would probably keep it at reasonable temps, but they'd have to run at a decent speed to probably keep up.

Im cheap on the fans, so excuse my poor choice, but would one of these two models fit the bills? I have a 6-channel sunbeam controller so it's not an issue, with 20W per channel. Cheapest fan, and 3rd cheapest.

As for the reservoir. Can I use directly a rubbermaid 12 can cooler, with no extra insulation around it/inside it? Also, wouldn't it cause an issue, directly using the frosted water in a loop, because of possible copper and aluminium mixture? Dont feel like corroding my GTZ

And while talking about the GTZ, it has an acetal top - good enough? And I currently have a MCP655-B pump, but I dont think it would be up to the colder temps job, and thicker mixture, so Id have to change that too, right?
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:04 AM   #14
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The compressor model should give us a good idea of the refrigerant used. The type of gas really doesn't matter much for this mild application. The lower pressure refrigerants like r12 and r134a will make for a quieter unit. I think it would have to be something like 15-17yrs old to have r12. If it has r22 then it will be able to achieve lower temps but will require higher airflow.

The 1st fan might not achieve it's 2k rpm according to one of the reviews. I would go with the blue led fan. The compressor and discharge loop will be warm to hot. The line temp exiting the condenser should be as close to ambient as possible. The compressor can get hot... if you can keep your hand on it then it's fine.

The cooler has good enough insulation. You'll need to seal the notch where the evap line enters the cooler. I would use seal string or silicon sealer for that. Insulate the exposed suction line that goes back to the compressor.

Use Zerex Dex-Cool with distilled water. Acetal blocks should be fine down to -20c or so. I think the chiller will be limited to milder temps so I wouldn't be too concerned about the blocks or pump.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:31 AM   #15
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The dehumidifier is probably 15-20 years old, easily, probably more. The hot heatsink (discharge loop? lol) is fairly warm considering it has the noisy fan blowing quite alot of air.

Hmm I actually thought that the blue LED fan was only a clear one, but I really dont need the LED and might just make extra useless lighting, so I'd probably go with these instead.

And yeah I reckon the compressor was only warm, definitively not burning hot tho. The discharge loop was warm, getting hot at some places.

What kind of ratio should I use for the antifreeze and distilled water? Round 15-20%?


Thanks BTW for chiming in, and helping out. Still unsure whether or not the project will end up working, but Ill see if I can get my father to buy a new cheap dehumidifier, so that I can have fun with that one
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:47 AM   #16
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I'm pretty sure it's going to have r12 or r134a then... they perform very close to one another. The compressor is probably 1/6-1/4hp.

That fan will do. You must have a decent shroud though. If the original fan is in good shape then you could just add a ceiling fan controller.

The inside of the rubbermaid 12 can cooler measures approx 4" x 17" x 12" so abut 3.5 gallons. Just use 1 gal of Dex-Cool to 2.5 gal distilled water.

Do you have an a/c there that you can take apart

Glad to help.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #17
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Was busy and half dropped the project, until I can get some money to afford the components, and the time to work on it.

And sadly, no I dont have an a/c I could take apart. I thought a dehumidifer would do about the same thing while using less electricity, which is kind of my main concern. The current unit I have is fairly small/compact and I could probably try and manage to build my computer around it.

As for the Dex-Cool, any specific model or whatever I should look at? A quick Google run seemed to show different bottles.

Additional Comment:

Would that be fine? Trying not to search half of the city to find a specific antifreeze brand that might not even be available. I know this one is available where I fill up my car, so it'd be easy to pick up.

Prestone Extended Life DEX-COOL

Ima also use the same antifreeze in the loop Im gonna be building in the next week. No chiller in it yet, just a standard loop, but I dont have any additive, so Ima go with 15% AF mix to distillated water to act as an additive. It will also let me put my radiator outside the window so that I can play in the cold

Last edited by Nagoshi : 02-16-2010 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:53 PM   #18
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I recommended the Zerex brand of Dex-Cool above. http://valvoline.com/products/brands.../antifreeze/41 If you can't find that then the Prestone should be fine.

Be careful of condensation forming on the waterblocks. If possible monitor the humidity in your room and the liquid temps. Keep the temp of the liquid slightly above the dewpoint of your room. You can control the temps by cycling the fans. Use a hygrometer to measure humidity and then use the chart here to find the dewpoint. http://www.lamtec.com/dew-point-calculator.htm
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:29 PM   #19
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Ill see if I can find some Zerex around here. Will cross fingers.

And thanks on the info about the dew point - really useful! Will monitor that closely when I will experiment. I have one of these around so I will search for it and use it to monitor temps inside the computer case. As for the water temps I still have to find some way to check them out... haven't figured yet, I might just use a regular mercury thermometer and dip it in my reservoir, keeping it there while my radiator is out in the cold (but sealing the opening so that moisture doesnt get out).
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #20
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These Taylor thermometers are cheap and pretty accurate. The one I have reads within .2c of my k-probe from ambient to -20c. The temp difference gets slightly greater as temps drop but I've never seen more than 1.5c diff near -50c. Not bad for $10.95 http://www.ambientweather.com/tain1dith.html
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