Will this cooling unit work?

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boodyrischous

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I am trying to find out if anyone with HVAC knowledge can evaluate this piece of equipment- http://www.surpluscenter.com/pages/170.pdf
The tech support from the surplus website did not know anything, and were unable to help. I want to know if this could cool a small, contained and well insulated cabinet, or if it can only cool something that fits inside the "flexible cooling jacket." Any ideas?

Thanks for any and all input.
 
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boodyrischous

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Sorry, I should have been more specific. The unit is the refrigeration unit in the top right corner of the page. Costs 19.95 and ships for around 20-25. I am aiming to cool a 4' x 4' x 6' (approx) chamber that will be very thickly insulated.
 

bluehouse

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This is an interesting line. What temperature difference are you trying to accomplish? People take mini fridges and build side by side insulated compartments and acheive sufficent cooling for a fermentation cabinet, but do they cool sufficently to actually be a beer cooler? I am interested in what some of the more experiance
DYI people say on this one too.
 
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boodyrischous

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I am looking to cool one chamber to 64 degrees for fermentation. If it were possible, I would use another unit to cool a separate chamber (due to space issues) to 34 degrees for kegs, though I assume this unit couldn't handle that kind of chilling.
 

ClutchDude

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Hmmm....I can't get a good enough look at it. I can't see where the expansion tray is to cool. That's the key part for any custom use. Here's a Color picture. The solenoid valves are exciting too!
I see three possible problems:
1. Does not indicate if refrigerant is already in the system.
2. BTU cooling is good, but not awesome at only 200btu from what I've seen(only window AC's). Two systems in a well insulated cabinet could lager a good size though. I bet. Read this to find out more about BTU in cooling terms but keep in mind we're not trying to cool 75 gallons, only a 1/5th of that! BTW, that link is a great read.

3. Possible Small or weird tray to expand on.

It's duty cycle may also be much higher than others for all we know. so #2 may be a moot point.
BUT, based on the other parts it's coming with, I'd at least check and see how much shipping is. For me, it's $28.81., so ~$50 for this thing. Part of me want's to get it to check it out, the other part of me wants to just keep an eye out for an window A/C unit.
 
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boodyrischous

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Yes, my thoughts are similar. It would cost me about 25 in shipping. I just can't tell what the method of cooling is, how it would be best mounted in a cabinet, etc. I wish they offered more than 1 picture.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Boody - just TOFTT and get it. Be sure to let me know if it works! I'd do i, but have too much inprogress right now :)

I hope that works..
 
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boodyrischous

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Almost. I am waiting on two more opinions. Once I hear from them, I will purchase it ( I would already have one if the shipping weren't more than the item cost).
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Yeah, I would like one, but see two issues:

- Shipping, as mentioned, will be more than item cost ($24.95, for me).

- Little "cube" dorm fridges put out more, at about 350 BTU. They cost more new, but appear on CL for as little as $25.

They do look like they could be used to make wicked cool fermentation chambers, though.
 
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boodyrischous

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Yeah, a big plus for me would be not needing to do any cutting apart of a dorm fridge. But...we'll see which way I end up going.
 

cardcon

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It uses R-12 as a refrigerant dont buy this it looks pre 1987 to me. No drop in Ref for replacment.
 

ClutchDude

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Replacing the refrigerant would typically be more expensive than a new unit, wouldn't it?

If it ships without the refrigerant filled, then I'd be wary of getting it.
 
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boodyrischous

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Thanks for the info. Sounds like I should go with a different unit (I may use a low BTU AC unit for the Ferm. chamber and higher BTU or Fridge unit for the keg chamber).
 

ClutchDude

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I dunno. Like I said, replacing/recharging refrigerant in a small fridge is something I've never heard of.

I don't know what Cardcon meant by there being no drop-in replacement, considering if you get a hole in a unit, it'd be easier to replace than fix and recharge.
 
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boodyrischous

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Update: I finally heard back from the people at the Surplus Center, and it sounds like the unit will only cool whatever is wrapped in the cooling jacket, so it will not work for my needs.
 
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boodyrischous

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Additional update- The builder of the amazing Fermoire let me know that he bought one of the units, and had to pretty much dismantle it to have it cool (and it didn't cool very effectively, certainly not enough to serve my needs). So, probably not the unit for homebrewers.
 
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