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Old 08-15-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
Hugit
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Default Tower cooling with fan plus copper pipes

I decided to go with a cooling fan to cool my kegerator tower that I'm making out of a mini fridge. But I also want to implement copper pipe.

-My plan is to have two 7/8 OD copper pipes going from the fridge to the top of the tower through two 7/8 OD holes.
-Then next to those holes, there will be a 1/2" OD hole that will hold the air tube which will run all the way up to the tower.

-The tower will be cooled by the cool air from the air hose and with no other way for the cool air to escape the tower, it will be forced down the copper pipes that have the beer line in them. This will result in a cool tower plus cool beer lines. Killing two birds with one stone.


Can you find anything that needs to be changed / modified with this idea?

Here is a diagram for more clarification.

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Old 08-16-2012, 03:08 AM   #2
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You're not going to get much air to flow through a 1/2" OD tube (~3/8" ID if thin wall). I run 1" ID tubing on my tower cooler - that's seven times the cross section of 3/8" ID - and the air flow is modest but sufficient.

Go bigger. As big as you can...

Cheers!

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Old 08-16-2012, 03:20 AM   #3
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Isn't that more like killing one bird with two stones?

I would agree on a bigger air flow pipe, if at all possible.
I was thinking of a similar design for my coffin box (copper plus fan), but I was actually thinking of having a separate outflow air duct back into the main chamber for recirculation, rather that trying to force air back down the copper.

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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I'm realized that I need a bigger air tube so I'm going to go with a 7/8" OD air tube. I know this still isn't the ideal size, but this is the problem I'm dealing with.

I'm going to have 3 separate holes (2 for copper, 1 for air tube) that are all 7/8" in diameter that need to fit between the coolant lines and also fit in my tower which has a diameter of 3".

The space issue is my problem. Once I get the foam dug out, hopefully I'll see that I will have a good amount of space between to cooling lines so that I can arrange my holes in a "triangle" formation so I can save space plus spread the holes out a little.

If the coolant lines are close together at the spot where I want to mount, I will just have to settle with drilling my holes in a line, very close to each other. This is where the space issue comes into play.

Here's some math...

  • Diameter of tower: 3"
  • 7/8" (each hole) = 0.875"
  • Three 7/8" holes = 2.625"
  • Amount of extra space if I were to drill in a straight line = 3.000" - 2.625" = 0.375"

So hopefully I will be able to drill in a "triangle" style!

Also the only reason I'm trying to force the air back down the copper is because the beer line is in the copper.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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There is a working assumption here that is most likely not the case: most mini-fridges do not have coolant lines running across the top surface...

Cheers!

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Old 08-16-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugit View Post
I'm realized that I need a bigger air tube so I'm going to go with a 7/8" OD air tube. I know this still isn't the ideal size, but this is the problem I'm dealing with.

I'm going to have 3 separate holes (2 for copper, 1 for air tube) that are all 7/8" in diameter that need to fit between the coolant lines and also fit in my tower which has a diameter of 3".

The space issue is my problem. Once I get the foam dug out, hopefully I'll see that I will have a good amount of space between to cooling lines so that I can arrange my holes in a "triangle" formation so I can save space plus spread the holes out a little.

If the coolant lines are close together at the spot where I want to mount, I will just have to settle with drilling my holes in a line, very close to each other. This is where the space issue comes into play.

Here's some math...
  • Diameter of tower: 3"
  • 7/8" (each hole) = 0.875"
  • Three 7/8" holes = 2.625"
  • Amount of extra space if I were to drill in a straight line = 3.000" - 2.625" = 0.375"

So hopefully I will be able to drill in a "triangle" style!

Also the only reason I'm trying to force the air back down the copper is because the beer line is in the copper.
your calculation for the three holes is incorrect. That is assuming that the three pipes are in one line (inefficient use of space). If you use a triangular method, you are looking at no more than 1.75"

Think of it this way: When you form a triangle with the three circles of the same diameter, the longest dimension is across one of the side length (think of an equalateral triangle, becuase this is, in essence, what you are forming). Since all side lengths consist of two circles, the largest dimension is 0.875"x2=1.75". See the poorly drawn picture below for a visual.

This means that you could go as large as an OD of 1.5", but I wouldn't do that, as manufacturing defects and allowances may make it a little too tight for comfort! Nonetheless, a 1" OD tube should be an easy squeeze.

EDIT: I used the ID value in the pic.... but you get the gist!
circles.jpg  
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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Here's what I come up with, assuming a 3" OD column with 1/16" wall, 3x 3/4" Cu, plus 1" ID/1.25" OD vinyl for the air line.



There's still over a quarter inch of space left to line the column with neoprene insulation...

Cheers!

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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I guess you really need to determine the location of those coolant lines... without that theres really no reason to speculate as to where you are going to fit the copper and air lines

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the diagrams! I am going to try to do the triangle style, but this all depends how spaced out the coolant lines are like I said before.

Also day_trippr diagram shows something I didn't think of. Your three 7/8" OD pipes are set up in a sort of triangle style but not quite, with the top 2 not touching (less height). I will use this method if I don't have enough space for a complete "triangle" style as shown in JayMac's diagram!

I'm going back to home depot today to get both 1/2" OD and 7/8" OD air tube. I'll figure out which one to use when I dig my out my foam and see how much space I have to work with. I know everyone is probably going to roast me for using these sizes of tubes, but I'm already going to be going the copper pipe route (extending 2 1/2" into the fridge) and most people do not have foaming problems when doing this method. The small air tube is just a safety for me.

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