Automotive Style Recirculating Cooling Setup

For those without the room for a IBC tote (or Four), I was thinking something like this may be interesting to discuss...


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  • Interesting, seems similar to @grim design, but what's the purpose of the heater core? It seems counter productive in our use, as I assume the process heat (the engine in this diagram) from the still would provide enough temp gradient to keep the coolant from being too cold without having an external source. Even for an engine it seems odd to have an additional heater in a combustion system except maybe for cold starting?

  • @brewsmith The heater core seems like it's going to heat the inside of the car... Not sure how much heat you can dissipate over a radiator without forced air. Did a water cooled PC about 15 years ago with a car radiator as passive cooled and the system was leveling at about 40C.

  • I used a generic drawing of a system that works, I should have stated to remove the heater core...

    unlike Grim's design or other designs discussed, it does not have large reservoir or glycol chilled reservoir like all the ones discussed to date have...

  • A slight evolution of mythical air-cooled condenser, it's more realistic in this incarnation, but still a long shot, and environmental factors are going to play a big role.

    Cotherman, I might be able to get this to work up here, it's 29F right now, going down to 3F tonight (-1.5C down to -16C). You'll be what, 68-70F today?

    This is easier if you've got the temperature differential. With a 140F coolant temp, your delta T is 70F, mine is 110F, much easier to exchange that heat. In addition, it's nearly impossible to get to ambient temp, so best case, you can cool to 71F, my best case is near freezing. But once spring and summer roll around, I'm out of luck too.

    Other challenge here is you are going to need to control for the output temperature of the cooler, in addition to the output temperature of the condensers. More variables in the mix.

    Blended design is probably going to win. Don't you have a big chiller?

  • edited February 2015

    Re: the heater circuit.

    It would be great if there were some way to use heat recovery on the waste heat, like what is done with combined cycle combustion turbine power plants.

    @grim you could heat your shed with the side stream.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • edited February 2015

    Don't even bring up heating the shed, we may need to put in about 4000cfm of exhaust and make up air, and I'm dreading that they'll tell me I need to condition the make up air.

    My shed is pretty big :))



  • better than what I am using now, just recirc in a tote till the inlet temp jumps (5-6 hours) and switch to another tote while one cools down to ambient, about 2 days...... that will not work for the other 8 months of the year.....

    I have a big chiller, have to build the control panel for it and add the refrigerant loop and water tank/pump... also have a medium size one sitting on top of it, just needs a control circuit... both sitting in the back of the shop.... if figured I would run the chiller after the radiator... that and I am staying low key with the city until we get our final occupancy... 2 years dealing with the city come the 27th of this month!

  • Sounds like job for a forced draft cooling tower. I know for certain they work in Florida's summer heat and humidity.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • @grim, are you building a distillery or a nuclear fallout shelter? Concrete shear walls? That ought to be good for a several megaton direct hit!

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • That back wall is 18" thick and completely underground.

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