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A Cooled Wardian Case

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by s1214215, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    While living in Thailand, in an apartment got to about 40c in the day sometimes and with a fish tank that I was not able to use due to body corporate idiocy, I converted it into a cooled wardian case. This was using the fish tank, lights, an aquarium water chiller and a mile of tubes and other bits and pieces.

    I am now back in Australia and have modified an old display cabinet I had stored away along the same lines. Luckily I also brought most of my aquarium equipment back too. The water in a reservoir is chilled to 18c, and pumped into the wardian case to filter through a radiator with fans. The air blowing over the cold radiator chills the air in the case to a nice 22c (constant in summer) and now its winter to about 17c at night and 22c day. It oddly seems to stop the temps dropping too low also. I presume even though its cool, the radiator is at night warmer than ambient in the room. Eventually I want to get a larger chiller so to drop the water to really cold temps, and get a comp controller so that I can drop the temps at night by 10c or so. This chiller is rated to drop water to 4c, but it cant handle it for this volume of water and heat exchange as it has not got enough horse power (aquarium chillers are rated up to 4hp and this one is only 1/4hp I think).

    Here are some photos.
    The case with the 150 watt metal halide (5700K tube). I cut a hole in the top of the case to fit it. No heat gets in as the case has a glass false ceiling.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_935506_569920203075080_752766609_n.jpg
     
  2. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    The shelves made from egg crate and some bonding glue.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_179757_574777432589357_403326058_n.jpg
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_970720_574777452589355_563035116_n.jpg
     
  3. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    The chiller, reservoir.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_10442_470797422987359_1836983247_n.jpg
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_374000_470797052987396_311388687_n.jpg
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_30359_470797559654012_410933424_n.jpg
    The radiator fan (computer cooling radiator that I have powered by a laptop power source.)
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_935467_569920156408418_1690874257_n.jpg
    Pipes going in.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_535644_470797132987388_892754464_n.jpg
     
  4. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    Partly stocked up.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_524313_595401423860291_248088744_n_1.jpg
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_480042_595401483860285_995629587_n.jpg
     
  5. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    Housing a lot of seedlings now until they get going in mounts and can go home to the greenhouse in spring. Doing very well with Polyrhiza lindenii seedlings in here. This is what's in there for now until spring.

    Seedlings are:

    Bulbophyllum tingabarinum alba
    Bulbophyllum ipanemensis "The Girl" x self
    Dendrobium subuliferum
    Chaubardiella pubescens
    Lepanthes ingridiana
    Lepanthes JMcalsa (calodictyon x saltatrix)
    Lepanthes saltatrix
    Lepanthes elata x sijmii
    Lepanthes escobariana x elegantula
    Lepanthes niesseniae
    Lepanthes calodictyon
    Lepanthes culprimulgus
    Lepanthes grandiflora
    Polyrhiza lindenii
    Psychopsiella liminghii
    Sophronitis cernua 'flava" x self
    Trichocentrum albo-cocinnum

    Flowering size plants are;

    Dendrobium leavifolium
    Dracula bella
    Masdevallia richardsiana
    Masdevallia paiveana
    Masdevallia yungasensis
    Masdevallia yungasensis 'calodon'
    Restrepia guttulatta
    Restrepia elegans
     
  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I really like that cooling system with the computer radiator. Do the 2 radiator fans give you enough air movement or are you going to add more fans? Do you remove the plants to water?
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Brett, thanks for this great post. Things are looking really good. Rather silly of me, but I am really taken with the hose clamps. I've never seen ones that don't involve a screwdriver and scratched up knuckles.
     
  8. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Very nicely done Brett! I've seen those radiators used a few times with carnivorous plant growers, but they've used various methods to cool the water. Do you think using a mini-fridge with freezer would cool the water more effectively, and thus generate more of a drop?
     
  9. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    I guess you could use any water chilling maching, but the main thing with an aquarium water chiller is it allows you to precisely control the water temperature. If a water cooler can do the same, then no reason why not to use it.
     
  10. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    The clamps are easy to get at any hardware store here Marni. Yes, much easier to use than the normal screw types.
     
    Marni likes this.
  11. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    Wow that's a great setup! I'm impressed that your able to maintain such consistent temps. Very well done.
     
  12. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    I just added another fan for more Air Flow. It perplexed me how to add more fans easily, so I got this low voltage fan and modified a plant hanger which could be hung from 3M hook (glued to the glass ceiling with silcone). I then glued the fan for updraft to the hanger.. Easy to move if the location doesn't suit.
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_SAM_8496.jpg
    ai79.photobucket.com_albums_j157_s1214215_SAM_8499.jpg
     
  13. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    Cool! Look into "Gelid" fans, they are very high quality and rather cheap, they even have waterproof fans that cost under 10 euros here. (They are not very pretty though).

    I've been experimenting with cool growing for several years. In the end i realised active cooling was not necessary, i found evaporative cooling by airflow moving through the plants provided a much more efficient natural cooling and the plants are doing great.

    Aren't you losing alot of cooling power with the long hoses without any insulation on them?
     
  14. Andy May

    Andy May Active Member

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    hey Brett how ya doin I remember you talking about this idea when you were here I liked the idea then, i plan to rob your idea and chop it around a little for when i move i will use industrial beer chillers and make a cool room when we start building the new farm next year. Do you have any plans to come back in he future???
     
  15. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    Interesting way to attach the fans. I found I needed a third fan lower down in my growing case, and wound up using mini zip ties (from the hardware store), one in each corner through the hole. Easy, and works great.