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-   -   Refrigerator compressor to freeze glycol (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/refrigerator-compressor-freeze-glycol-175686/)

terrazza 04-30-2010 04:33 AM

Refrigerator compressor to freeze glycol
 
So if I wanted to recycle an old refrigerator to turn into a chilling solution for 30 gallons of glycol, what would I do? First off I don't want to stick a tank of glycol inside the refrigerator. I'd rather construct a copper coil evaporater that is submerged directly I to the glycol. The tank building isn't so rough, neither is the march pump to circulate glycol, nor the pid and electric wiring. It's really understanding the refrigerant line and how to remove/ fill it with freon. But I don't know whAT to do to salvage parts off of the fridge.

First I'd imagine that I'd have to install a T-valve fitting into the refrigerant line to recover the freon. But how? Then I'd like to sever the refrigerant line, run 20 feet of copper line through bulkhead fittings into my tank( 20 feet? Or how would I calculate the length of the evaporator) and reattach, vacate air out of the lines, add refrigerant (to who knows what pressure), voilą! So i'm needing some help. Thanks for any replies!

Bobby_M 04-30-2010 01:23 PM

Breaking into refrigerant lines isn't a DIY project in my opinion and I'm all about DIY.

terrazza 05-01-2010 01:40 AM

Whoops... My bad, I think I posted in the wrong forum. Maybe I'll fish around a refrigeration/HVAC forum and ask for a professional opinion. Thanks anyway

marzsit 05-02-2010 12:25 AM

refrigeration work requires some expensive equipment, like a high-vacuum pump, that is generally beyond the realm of diy...

plus the fact that most states require you to have a license or certificate in order to purchase refrigerant...

most residential refrigerators and freezers don't have service valves or ports so a special saddle fitting is used to pierce a hole in a refrigerant line so that the refrigerant can be recovered, which requires another expensive machine...

evaporator length can be as long as you want if you set up the system with a thermostatic expansion valve, which regulates liquid flow through the evaporator. recharge volume/pressures are dependent on the type of refrigerant and the size of the finished evaporator.

terrazza 05-02-2010 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marzsit (Post 2037708)
evaporator length can be as long as you want if you set up the system with a thermostatic expansion valve, which regulates liquid flow through the evaporator. recharge volume/pressures are dependent on the type of refrigerant and the size of the finished evaporator.

All right. So who says there is no science in making beer. Well making your own refrigeration unit is no different. It looks like you will have to observe some laws and hire out an HVAC tech to fill your lines with refrigerant, but you can definitely make your own glycol chiller from components ahead of that point.

I did decide to give up on recycling an old fridge, because I didn't want to vent any freon into the atmosphere. But buying my own components off of ebay to make a unit seems ok, right? I went to ebay and found a few refrigerator compressors.

Problem number one I ran into was that compressors don't just come in differernt horsepowers. Each seem specific to a type of freon (of which I learned there are more than 50 types!)

So it seems that some compressors work on different types of freon (most are not good for the environment - I'd recommend one that has an Ozone depletion of 0, and a greenhouse value as low as you can get). Another thing is that the freon returning to the compressor can return either at a low, medium, or high pressure return, and the compressor has to be specific for this pressure (more importantly the temperature at that pressure). Since each different type of freon has a different melting point, it is important to pick out the right type of compressor.

Also, some compressors have short strokes, some have long strokes. I don't know how this will affect cooling, but am learning slowly. Any help would be appreciated.

BrewBeemer 05-02-2010 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrazza (Post 2037866)
All right. So who says there is no science in making beer. Well making your own refrigeration unit is no different. It looks like you will have to observe some laws and hire out an HVAC tech to fill your lines with refrigerant, but you can definitely make your own glycol chiller from components ahead of that point.

I did decide to give up on recycling an old fridge, because I didn't want to vent any freon into the atmosphere. But buying my own components off of ebay to make a unit seems ok, right? I went to ebay and found a few refrigerator compressors.

Problem number one I ran into was that compressors don't just come in differernt horsepowers. Each seem specific to a type of freon (of which I learned there are more than 50 types!)

So it seems that some compressors work on different types of freon (most are not good for the environment - I'd recommend one that has an Ozone depletion of 0, and a greenhouse value as low as you can get). Another thing is that the freon returning to the compressor can return either at a low, medium, or high pressure return, and the compressor has to be specific for this pressure (more importantly the temperature at that pressure). Since each different type of freon has a different melting point, it is important to pick out the right type of compressor.

Also, some compressors have short strokes, some have long strokes. I don't know how this will affect cooling, but am learning slowly. Any help would be appreciated.

I DIY with R12 Freon with over 75 pounds of it collected before they went totally nuts on the R12 killing the world of the Ozone hole BS. I vacuum down and refill, R12 beats R134a all to hell with better cooling plus my vehicles are all R12 or in the 50's with 240 air.


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