Refrigeration 101

By: ssjwizard

MATERIALS:

CONDENSER:

So now we will start with the assembling of our system. The first thing we will talk about is the condenser. Aside from your compressor this is the most vital part of your phaze cooler, if your condenser doesn’t move heat your refrigerant doesn’t liquefy. Ok what you really want is something that uses a moderate width tubing with a lot of fins. Your going to probably want about 20' of condenser the larger your condenser and the more Freon you have the larger heat load it can handle. Now you can check around on fridges and stuff but most don’t use good condensers just something that’s good enough to let it run for a few mins at a time because they are designed to remove heat and keep it there not to run constantly. You will want something out of an air conditioner or similar.
Your going to want to look for something that has 3/8" or 1/4" OD pipe 1/4" works better because it’s easier to keep up head pressure. You can probably find something like this at a refrigeration shop easily enough if you wish to purchase it. You may get a better price if you just get a sheet of condenser and cut it down and bridge the pipes into a cube style condenser.

For anyone who has the skill, time, and materials to make a quality air cooled condenser here is how!

Materials needed:

01) sheets of copper about .015" thick
02) 20' of copper tubing
03) moderate temperature silver solder or tin/silver solder
05) blow torch
06) pipe bender OR many copper 180 joints
07) saw with metal blade (table saw recommended).
08) drill or drill press with 1/4" bit (drill press recommended!)

Ok now what you need to do is decide on how big you want your condenser to be and how many passes. I like the size of 6x6 now that enables me to get it all inside of 3 passes. Now what you need to do is cut your fins to size mine will be 6x2" so I can get all my fins out of a sheet or two of 24x24. Once you have all of your fins cut out what you need to do is line them all up and mark where your pipes are going to go through. Once all of the holes required are marked get your drill ready what your going to want to do is use a C clamp and clamp all of the pieces of copper together so all the drill holes line up in the end. Now start drilling your holes once you have completed about half of them you will want to stop and move the clam to the other side to finish. So now you should have all your fins cut and drilled start pulling the copper tube through the holes. It will be excessively difficult to bend the 20' of pipe through the holes if you want to save money on 180 joints you can do the piping in like 2-3' lengths and connect them at each of these it will be easier than doing one piece of copper but harder than just using all 180's. Personally id just cut each piece of pipe so that it will be about 5 1/2" long and connect it on both ends with copper 180 turns.

Now for those of us who cant find one for free, do not want to pay for one, don’t have the skills to make a nice one, or material to make a nice one, here is a few ways to make a "ghetto condenser".

Method #1: A basic air-cooled condenser. ok what you can do is crank out about 20' of your 1/4" copper tubing bend it in a maze pattern. The maze pattern will probably give you a bit better surface area contact if you make it a tight maze pattern with about 1 inch between passes 2-3 layers thick
and place a fan on it you will probably get pretty good results.

Method #2: Again you will use 20' of tube but this time you will coil it up over around the side of one of those blow torch size canisters of propane/mapp/oxygen this way you will have about a 3.5" coil of copper tubing. Now this is the perfect size for an 80mm fan you would want something with a pretty good amount of air flow. Another thing you can do to increase performance would be, to stick this inside a piece of 4" PVC pipe and attach a 120mm fan to the end of that this way you will have a better airflow with less noise plus it’s all ducted over your condenser coil.

Method #3: This is probably the most expensive and difficult option though it will probably yield moderately better results than the previous two mentioned. Now what you need to start off with is the same 20' of copper tubing same as all the others now coil it up the same as in method #2. once this is completed insert the coil into the piece of pipe. Now you will need a pair of "test caps" they are about 58C or a set of "end caps" which are about 5 dollars each. End caps are easier to get the proper seal but test caps are much cheaper. If you really want to seal it use both. ok now drill a 1/4" hole in your cap and bend a small amount of your copper coil out to go through this hole you will need at least 6" on each side to insure that you don’t completely melt the plastic while soldering the pipe. Once that has been completed you want to glue the cap in place and run a large bead of silicone sealant around the copper pipe to make sure that doesn’t leak. The next thing you will need is a set of hose barbs 1/2" or 3/8" depending on your preference. Next you need a heater core radiator just about any will do (larger IS better) something like a 1986 Chevy caprice heater core, which is $16.95 at auto zone, should work well. Now you need to change the fittings on the heater core down to the same size you used on the PVC pipe. Now connect that up with some tubing and hook it to a pump and your ready to go.





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Table Of Contents:

I: MISSION STATEMENT

1: MATERIALS

2: CONDENSER

3: EVAPORATOR/RESERVOIR

4: COMPRESSOR

5: FINAL ASSEMBLY

6: REFRIGERANTS

7: CHARGING

8: MODS

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