I'm designing a cabinet used to ferment beer. It has to be kept very cold, and I'm designing it to ferment up to 60 gallons at once, so I've chosen to use a compressor from a freezer in order to help maintain temperatures.
I'll try to explain briefly, but if you care to read more, visit my blog where I elaborate a bit more:
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The concept is to keep a tub of liquid (water + glycol_ chilled with the compressor. the evaporator coils are (ideally) submerged in the liquid itself. Some pumps force this water into radiators in different chambers (each for a separate fermentation) over which a fan blows. Each fan and pump pair are independently controlled by a microcontroller, which monitors a series of thermometers to determine when more cooling is necessary. Likewise, the coolant temperature is monitored and the compressor is turned on/off as appropriate.
I've done some crude tests using some ghetto cardboard boxes and a cooler full of coolant, in combination with a compressor I extracted from a 2 cu ft fridge. The results were great - I was able to maintain fermentation temperatures well within the range I was shooting for, and the system was very efficient.
The problem now is that I'm designing the final cabinet, and need to support 3 fermentations at once. I was donated an old chest freezer, and took the compressor out of it, wanting to use something with a little more 'cooling' power than the 2 cu ft fridge compressor. Unfortunately, it is either very old and doesn't operate, or I may have kinked one of the pipes.
I'm open to suggestions, but I'm nearly done with the project, and I need to get on with my life, so I have to do something cheap and quick, and I have to stick closely to the designs I've already implemented.
My options are basically:
1) repair the current compressor
2) obtain another compressor
3) come up with another solution.