Converting Window AC Unit to Glycol Chiller

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by TonyDiBratto, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. TonyDiBratto

    TonyDiBratto New Member

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    Looking to buy a window AC unit that has electronic thermostat on it, not mechanical..

    Anyone know how to override it so it can be controlled externally with temp controller. Basically need the AC Thermostat to be always on.

    thx
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Not sure, I bought an inkbird and plan to just max out the AC setting. Or bypass it. I haven't built my cooling chamber yet though.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yep...Inkbird can be had for as little as 30-something bucks. No question it's more accurate and dependable than hacking existing circuit.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  5. TonyDiBratto

    TonyDiBratto New Member

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    I wasn't looking to hack the circuit so much as to override it..On Manual thermstats, you can just take the 2 wires either side of the switch and tape them together. The AC now thinks there is a demand for cooling all the time. Then place an InkBird on the AC plug and voila. For digital thermostats, it's a matter of finding the correct wires to pull off the controller and tape together. I am guessing here though. Simply placing the AC on coolest won't work, at least I don't think it will. But have never tried it.
     
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  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...I think the cooling range is too high and you probably couldn't count on gettting the glycol as cold as you'd like. Bypassing is the way to go as far as I know. I've seen some DIY vids and the wiring is pretty standard.
    BTW...I think making glycol cold one way or another is the relatively straight-forward part. How do you intend to deliver it to your fermenters? Jackets? Cooling coils?
    Pumping really cold liquid is where I hit a wall in conceptualizing a DIY (translate: cheap) system. I don't think that inexpensive pond pumps and such will hold up if the glycol is held at below freezing temps. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
  7. TonyDiBratto

    TonyDiBratto New Member

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    Spike and SS Brewtech both sell cooling coils and pump kits for chilling. I plan on using one of them. Still have not bought my conical but whichever I buy it most certainly will come with the FTSS.. Now my assumption is their pumps are rated for cold liquid transfers otherwise they would be of no use.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    since I pulled the trigger on a Brewtech Unitank this weekend, I've been looking into the same thing. The Brewtech pumps should be rated for low-temp liquids and the price isn't prohibitive. Also I've been looking more into the whole process and figuring out that it's possible to use water at just above freezing as an effective coolant and that most or many pond pumps will function at temps at least a little below freezing but may struggle with the added viscosity of glycol/water solution at temps approaching zero.
    Hoping to get some more insight in the Unitank tread that I started. ;)
     
  9. TonyDiBratto

    TonyDiBratto New Member

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  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I use that stuff in a chest cooler with the AC unit but it does tend to actually start to ice up the radiator at about -8C.
     
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  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Water, if you can keep from freezing is the best to use in terms of cooling and strain on equipment. I use a 25% propylene glycol solution to run thru ice banks buried underground for cooling buildings. A 25% solution allows for temps a bit below freezing while allowing pretty easy fluid transfer. There are pumps out there that would work easily enough with the transfer fluid mix, for $90-100 but head and amps may cause issues.
     
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