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Old 06-23-2009, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Walk In cooler project

I am beginning to gather the parts for my basement walk in cooler. I have two questions:

1. Would a portable AC unit work as well (or even better maybe) as a window unit? I have a window that I can run the vent hose to that already has the vent attachment on it. I can run the drainage hose out the bottom of the cooler to a basement drain.

A window unit would have to just vent into the open air of the basement because I can't get it into the small basement window and still have it enclosed in the cooler. This would also mean that the condensate would be dripping onto the basement floor.

The portable unit would just be a more elegant solution if there are no mechanical issues that would prohibit its use.

2. What are some specific options for the temperature controller? I am familiar with the Rancos that B3 and other vendors carry but I really want to avoid spending $100 attaching my temp controller to my AC. I am looking for specific manufacturer and even source here. The reason I ask is when I go to ebay or similar and search I have no idea what will work and what won't.

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Old 06-23-2009, 05:12 AM   #2
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Check out this thread.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-latest-project-walk-cooler-11440/

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Old 06-23-2009, 05:32 AM   #3
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I read that thread all the way through, twice, the last time you pointed me in that direction. While it serves as my inspiration for this project, these questions are not asked, answered or addressed in any way on that thread.

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Old 06-23-2009, 01:46 PM   #4
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1. Need more info on portable AC. Model number so we can look it up on the net or a link to the manufactures web site.

2. if you are searching ebay/craigslist/etc look for ranco 111000.

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Old 06-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camiller View Post
1. Need more info on portable AC. Model number so we can look it up on the net or a link to the manufactures web site.

2. if you are searching ebay/craigslist/etc look for ranco 111000.
I don't have a particular portable in mind. I figure an 8K-10K unit. Craig's List will answer that question when I figure out whether a portable will work or not.

Thanks for the info on the controller.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
A window unit would have to just vent into the open air of the basement because I can't get it into the small basement window and still have it enclosed in the cooler. This would also mean that the condensate would be dripping onto the basement floor.
I have no experience doing this but it seems like it could work, not the most elegant solution though. Since you say you can run a duct over, why not build an outside enclosure for the back of the window unit that has a duct going to the window. You could even put a booster fan in there. For the dripping, you could somehow funnel it to a drip tube and into a drain or bucket.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
2. What are some specific options for the temperature controller? I am familiar with the Rancos that B3 and other vendors carry but I really want to avoid spending $100 attaching my temp controller to my AC. I am looking for specific manufacturer and even source here. The reason I ask is when I go to ebay or similar and search I have no idea what will work and what won't.
I use a ranco for my chest freezer. Since your walkin will probably not need such a large temp range you could use the johnson controls analog thermostat which is a bit cheaper. Looking through the northern brewer catalog I have sitting here:

Johnson control analog range 30-80F 3.5degree differential $58.99
Johnson Control digital range -30-220F 1-30degree differential $79.99
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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I am not sure that a portable unit would work well at all in this application. I have a portable AC unit in the house and it sucks. I have read that a portable unit of say 10K BTU's is not as efficient as a window unit of the same BTU rating. Google for information on portable AC units and you will find some links that support what I am saying. My personal experience supports this as the portable unit runs continuously on hot days and is only able to keep a room a few degrees cooler than ambient. I've tried it in smaller rooms with the same poor perfomance.

Another issue is that the portable units collect water from evaporation in a resevoir and need to be drained every few days or so. Probably more often if running full time.

I would not recommend a portable unit for this project, I think you will be very dissapointed.

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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Buying Advice: Portable air conditioners: Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
I read that thread all the way through, twice, the last time you pointed me in that direction. While it serves as my inspiration for this project, these questions are not asked, answered or addressed in any way on that thread.
Oops, I didn't realize it was you again. Shoulda paid better attention.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:15 PM   #10
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Maybe a split system?

More expensive than a window unit but looks nicer IMO.

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