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Discussion Starter #1
Well it cost me a lot more than what most internet sites say it will, but I built a fog chiller. I think I am doing something wrong here so I have a bunch of questions. Basically this is what it looks like, the 1000 watt chiller sits on top. All of the piping is 3" except the inside of the chest that flares up to 4" with the screen. I only had enough ice to fill the chest up toward the top of the screen, but it never covered it on my first run. I was a little underwhelmed of what came out. I put a partial trashbag right at the exit. I guess a decent amount of fog came out and most of it hugged the ground. It seemed like there was a good bit inside the ice chest, actually a lot. Is this normal? Also should I be using partial dry ice? I have never worked with it before and am actually scared about even being able to find it on Halloween. Between runs of the fogger a decent amount would come out between the fogger and the opening, which is the 3" pipe narrowed down to 1.5", that seems wasted.

Here is a pic.

20151017_105742.jpg

This is the juice I will be using on Halloween, I used something else for my test.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FLLUU8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00

This is the fog machine.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F2ATHMK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00
 

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get rid of the screen and just fill the chest up with ice and see how it works. The fog needs to flow between the ice and mix with the cold air. With that set up the fog is pretty much just shooting through the cooler with out really contacting the ice, kind of like a tunnel through the ice instead of coming into contact with the ice
 

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I've used that design before, and it works...adequately...but not great.
Reason is, there's a short run through chilled air for the fog, so it can't get real cold before exiting the other side, and the fog that seeps into the chest takes longer to escape since it has to move through the ice...and at that point, it can leave through either pipe, as they're both at the same height and are the same dimension.

I somewhat agree with SpookyMuFu in that the straight channel isn't helping you as much as you want, and removing it may be a good option.
What I'd suggest in addition, however, is to add a 90 degree elbow to the inlet, pointing it toward the lid, adding some pipe to that, and cutting the pipe so it ends about 2 or 3 inches from the lid.
What this will do is; the incoming fog will be forced to the top of the chiller, where it will begin to cool. The top of the pipe will be at the high point of the chest, so the fog is forced to exit through the other port, which is now the low point and open to the atmosphere.
Pile the ice into the chest, and when the fog comes in, it will have to move through all that ice to get out - maximizing the amount of time the fog is in contact with ice, chilling it as much as possible.

You may still end up with some fog sitting in the chiller, but it won't be as much, and it will eventually exit through the lower port due to physics.
 

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Something else to consider is that the fog entering the chiller is hot and therefore inclined to rise. The wire mesh is probably far enough from the fogger's nozzle that the fog has started to slow down and is clouding out rather than "shooting" as it does right out from the nozzle which is why it's fogging up the cooler.

There's a tutorial for a vortex chiller in the tutorial section here. In that, there's a short tube that leads to an "expansion chamber" under the ice, where fog expands before rising up through the ice. The outlet tube is up high, cooled fog falls down through it and out of the chiller.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
More than likely I screwed up. The exit pipe is probably half way up the chest. It should be way toward the bottom right?

I am kind of a perfectionist, I will be redoing this. Would I get better results with another 48 quart cooler or a cat litter bucket?
 

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Well it cost me a lot more than what most internet sites say it will, but I built a fog chiller.
Yeah, a LOT of tutorials completely underestimate costs.

More than likely I screwed up. The exit pipe is probably half way up the chest. It should be way toward the bottom right?

I am kind of a perfectionist, I will be redoing this. Would I get better results with another 48 quart cooler or a cat litter bucket?
I don't think you've screwed up, I've seen this chiller design before, so you followed instructions to a T. There are just better designs out there.

In MY opinion, I would ditch the cooler idea all together. I know some people have good luck getting some bizaar voodoo together that somehow keeps the fog in something as small as a cooler long enough for it to cool...I've never had that kind of luck, and a lot of that has to do with ambient temperatures. I'm dealing with 30s and 40s for temp on Halloween. Fog coming out above that is going to rise.

For my money, bang for buck, the trash can chillers work best.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am in the southeast, so I am looking at very high temperatures and humidity.

So a trashcan cooler works best? I am hearing mixed things. Some say that the fog has to come in direct contact with the ice.
 

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I am in the southeast, so I am looking at very high temperatures and humidity.

So a trashcan cooler works best? I am hearing mixed things. Some say that the fog has to come in direct contact with the ice.
It's more a question of what are your goals?

Fog needs to contact cold air to be chilled.

The compact designs that use a kitty litter box or cooler are the most efficient chillers. In those cases, direct contact with ice (or more accurately the tiny spaces of air BETWEEN the ice) helps cool the fog as it finds it's way down between all the ice. What has been seen as 'the best' design for these is to have your inlet turn 90 degrees and shoot the fog right to the lid. The Fog then has to filter through all the ice down to the outlet at the bottom of the cooler/box/whatever. There is usually a screen to create a space at the bottom free of ice as well.

The advantages are the space, easy to hide, and very efficient at cooling thanks to the direct contact. Disadvantages include limited ice capacity, and for some applications the slow velocity of the fog coming out can be a detriment (for some an advantage).

Now, continuous pipe designs (whether in a cooler or trash can) are designed to provide the longest course of the fog through the pipe, thus a longer TIME to be cooled.

Primary advantage is capacity, better ability to sustain a larger machine, and with a long enough pipe, just as good at chilling. Disadvantages include size, weight, and a tendancy to have a higher velocity of fog coming out compared to above designs (which can be an advantage).

For ME, I need the capacity, not to be adding ice half way through the night, and took advantage of the velocity to spread the fog.

(this whole thing was basically a home built cooler using the trash can design. Held 100 lbs of ice and used 30' of pipe for the fog)
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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The best economical idea I have seen so far is using a hose/tube/dryer vent and putting several frozen water bottles inside. No leaking water as they thaw and very inexpensive.
 

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We have made 2 cooler chillers and covered the mesh with aluminum foil and it seems to help cool the fog. We live in Texas and have trouble with the heat and wind most Halloweens and end up fogging the whole neighborhood. Not a great way to make friends with the neighbors but the street looks eerie. I am hoping someone out there has a great design as well that can really get that fog cool.
 

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I might be going with the trash can design then. I can paint/hide it behind something. I need velocity and really low lying fog. Also, I really do not want to have to add ice in the middle of the night. Is a standard dryer hose long enough? I do not remember those being as long as the pictures and videos show.

Something like this, just does not seem long enough.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Deflect-o-4-in-x-8-ft-Semi-Rigid-Aluminum-Dryer-Venting-Duct-A048-40/100034844
The longer the better, but the less room for ice. It's a balancing act. Kinda depends on the size of your trash can. Looks like most tutorials get 15-18ft of the vent, just duct taped together, or some of the aluminum tape if you got it.

http://www.ghostsofhalloween.com/projects/fog_chiller/

Note the addendums on that page for best results. Especially on the trash bag use.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, so another trip to Lowes and more money spent. All for a good cause. My damn luck it will be a windy Halloween, but hey I learned a lot.
 
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