Halloween Forum banner

refrigerator/freezer guts as chiller?

11012 Views 38 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  kentuckyspecialfx.com
has anyone tried this? Like disassembling say a chest freezer and using the refrigeration system as a chiller? I've been looking around on craigslist and classifieds ever since I came up with this idea a few days ago and found several freezers for insanely cheap

I know it will be some work but refilling ice gets tired and messy (and looks amateur), ice melts, dry ice is too pricey to go all nite, and ice only cools the fog to 32F whereas freezer coils would get it a bit cooler. In the end I would think if I could build a self-contained, reuseable contraption I would feel alot better about it

thoughts?
21 - 39 of 39 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
thats the only way I would consider actually doing something like this is if I could find one free or just about.

I still haven't decided on a design that I would use if I were to actually venture and build one of these... I would probably use a fridge/freezer as-is if I could find one small enough like a dorm/personal/etc unit, then use ice/dry ice to supplement the refrigeration system. Or dismantle a larger unit and rearrange the coils into a long tube that the fog would have to pass thru, also supplemented by ice/dry ice. I'm leaning towards the tube idea since a larger unit will be more heavy duty, offering both greater cooling capacity and improved duty cycle. Plus the tube design will maximize the time that the fog is in direct contact with the cooling surfaces.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Luckily I have time and a fridge to WASTE! It was a good thought. I took an old fridge/freezer and cut two holes in the freezer portion. One for fog inlet and one for the outlet. It seemed as though the fan blowing on the inside, or whatever it was, disturbed the fog and the effect of it. It was a good try. Needless to say I finished trashing it out and put it to the curb.
I wouldn't waste the time time again. I just needed to know for myself if the idea would work.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
I have posted this before but I will again....Someone has accomplished this. It can be done. Here is the proof:


Here is the comments from the user:
This is a "home brew" refrigerated low fog generator that I built last last week (8-1-08) This requires NO co2, no ice cubes, no dry ice, etc, etc... Its completely self contained. Its a little underpowered in the BTU dept (4,000btu) as this was just a trial mockup and was built on a tight budget. (everything was under $100 -foger not included) The next unit is going to be built on a 35,000 to 40,000 BTU scale. Once the project commences, new video ensures. =)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Hacked Low Fog on a Budget?

I have posted this before but I will again....Someone has accomplished this. It can be done. Here is the proof:

YouTube - Low fog generator

Here is the comments from the user:
This is a "home brew" refrigerated low fog generator that I built last last week (8-1-08) This requires NO co2, no ice cubes, no dry ice, etc, etc... Its completely self contained. Its a little underpowered in the BTU dept (4,000btu) as this was just a trial mockup and was built on a tight budget. (everything was under $100 -foger not included) The next unit is going to be built on a 35,000 to 40,000 BTU scale. Once the project commences, new video ensures. =)
Were going to do this for sure now.
For some reason I just want to chop up a brand new fridge.
It's kinda hard not cheat since I have seen the inside of a Glaciator and know the specs on all the parts.
Matter of fact we have repaired just about every fogger on the market except for the budget ones.

I guess if I limited myself to basic hardware store supplies and didnt let myself use our machine shop to fabricate any thing and documented it as a how to for you guys then it might be worth while.
I do know this much, for every 100watts of heat on a fogger block you have to have roughly 1000 BTU's to get good results for low fog.
We are going to use aluminum tubing brazed to the aluminum freezer plate, I figure 1/4 ID inch will sufface for pleanty of travel, I think about ten foot will do.
Well use a minfridge that is notiourious for freezing beer, Haier Americ HSE02 -WNAWW 1.8 CF $89.99 the fridge has a lot of complaints on consumer reports that it gets too cold on the half way setting, so for this use it should be a money shot.:cool:
For the fogger I guess well just use a 800watt constant fogger, the rest is all plumbing, im sure you guys and gals will be able to look at the pics and kinda follow, I will make sure our pics are high quaility so you all can zoom in on them at the end I will do a video overview.
If I am missing anything that you guys wouldl like to see added let me know before we start so we can get the max benifit for you guys so im not just throwing stuff together.
 

· Shadow box dancer
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
I have posted this before but I will again....Someone has accomplished this. It can be done. Here is the proof:

YouTube - Low fog generator

Here is the comments from the user:
This is a "home brew" refrigerated low fog generator that I built last last week (8-1-08) This requires NO co2, no ice cubes, no dry ice, etc, etc... Its completely self contained. Its a little underpowered in the BTU dept (4,000btu) as this was just a trial mockup and was built on a tight budget. (everything was under $100 -foger not included) The next unit is going to be built on a 35,000 to 40,000 BTU scale. Once the project commences, new video ensures. =)
I personally have never said that something like this wouldn't work. What I keep saying however is that once you put it outside and there is any kind of breeze or wind it becomes pretty much like having just a plain fogger. So the question then becomes, do you want to spend the time and money on something that will be fruitless? Once again this video was INSIDE. You can accomplish low lying fog with a kitty liter bucket full of ice if you are going to do it inside or somewhere that has no breezes or people walking by. I think this video clearly illustrates how cool it is, but if you are doing a small haunt for one night a year outside this isn't a reasonable solution. That is just my opinion. Once again I will state that I think this is really cool, I just think it wouldn't be a great solution for outdoors.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
What I was thinking is to build this out of a chest freezer. Cut some holes in the lid and run some aluminum dryer vent and coil it around like you would for a normal chiller. Make sure that the hose is all water tight, pour in some water and let it freeze into a big old block and then run the fog through. Crazy? Probably, but I'd still like to see if it's possible and if it works or not.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
So did it work?

Hey all,

Followed this thread, wondering if kentuckyspecialfx did post a video of how he made it work or not?

I just moved to my new home and have a nice sized lawn to do a grave yard with. I was one of those that bought the Chauvet foggers last year and had issues, so returned it. This year, I am looking at getting the VEI 960. I am also pissed that during my move I hired some trash guys to dump everything and completely forgot my fog chillers were out back and they were trashed! So I have to make a new one.. hence my interest in this thread.

So if anyone has built a working example of this, I'd love to see how it was done. Given that the ice chest, PVC and such will cost me $40 or so to build a new chiller, if I can find an old used dorm fridge and a little bit of materials to do something similar, would love to consider it.

Thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I too think it would be pretty interesting to see it put together and working. I don't know that I would go through the trouble for my yard. I have a simple pvc pipe chiller that works great for me. It's cool to see how we haunters and tinkerers think and come up with stuff. Good luck to whoever decides to build one and I hope you post plenty of pics!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Were going to do this for sure now.
For some reason I just want to chop up a brand new fridge.
It's kinda hard not cheat since I have seen the inside of a Glaciator and know the specs on all the parts.
Matter of fact we have repaired just about every fogger on the market except for the budget ones.

I guess if I limited myself to basic hardware store supplies and didnt let myself use our machine shop to fabricate any thing and documented it as a how to for you guys then it might be worth while.
I do know this much, for every 100watts of heat on a fogger block you have to have roughly 1000 BTU's to get good results for low fog.
We are going to use aluminum tubing brazed to the aluminum freezer plate, I figure 1/4 ID inch will sufface for pleanty of travel, I think about ten foot will do.
Well use a minfridge that is notiourious for freezing beer, Haier Americ HSE02 -WNAWW 1.8 CF $89.99 the fridge has a lot of complaints on consumer reports that it gets too cold on the half way setting, so for this use it should be a money shot.:cool:
For the fogger I guess well just use a 800watt constant fogger, the rest is all plumbing, im sure you guys and gals will be able to look at the pics and kinda follow, I will make sure our pics are high quaility so you all can zoom in on them at the end I will do a video overview.
If I am missing anything that you guys wouldl like to see added let me know before we start so we can get the max benifit for you guys so im not just throwing stuff together.

Weeelllll..?? <fingers tapping on desk> :D
 

· HELLoween Ubber Lord
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Not sure, but I have an old 115ac 20"x20" fridge I took off my boat awhile back & since I never use it, figured I would salvage the compressor & chiller system & try building one myself when things settle down for me. Let ya know, would definitely save on ice !
 

· Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Sorry we never replied about the fog chiller :(

We did build it and it worked perfect.

Pictures didnt get posted upon finish of the project as I had to settle up a divorce, so between keeping the shop running and the divorce I was a bit pressed for time, I sincerely apologize.

What we did - On ours we did wind up cheating in the end though because it took too long for the unit to get to a point that would fight fifty five degree weather which in alls reality is what most of you will be fighting so we wound up using a special tight aluminum cooling fin set to get the output temp of the fog down to a temp gun measured 22.6 deg. hose output degrees verses the cooling fins from the factory unit that only got it down to 43.1 deg. MAJOR DIFFERENCE!
The catch.
With the unit we built in the end it takes about a half an hour to really get good and cold so you dont have to take breaks but the fogger we hooked up to it was a American DJ 1200W.

The first version inital cost was $136.00 in supplies if you count the unit from wally world and it didnt look too horrible but the performance was mediocre and the wind could still catch it and blow it away fairly easy.
The second version where we used the special cooling gate added a extra $112.00 and another ten in redoing the air passage way.

So to do this project in terms of making not only cold fog that hugs but cold fog that condenses and packs its self tighter the extra $112.00 for the cooling gate ( which is made locally here in Louisville ) made it in my eyes a worth while project for you guys to do.
My personal laptop and camera walked off in the divorce that had the pics of the project as did a whole bunch of other stuff so I kinda feel like I owe to you guys to do it again.

I did notice something that made it a lot easier / faster once we got going, a pop rivet gun, we started doing tack welds with the mig when we first started but then I realized not all you guys own a mig so we looked around for the next best thing that most of you guys would have, the pop rivet gun.
I have no problem with you guys and gals calling me with questions on where to find stuff or how to get through any issues as long as your physically attempting the project and your some what dedicated to it. 502-836-3125 im usually in the shop from 11am - 1am seven days a week ( now that im single LOL! )
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
I personally have never said that something like this wouldn't work. What I keep saying however is that once you put it outside and there is any kind of breeze or wind it becomes pretty much like having just a plain fogger. So the question then becomes, do you want to spend the time and money on something that will be fruitless? Once again this video was INSIDE. You can accomplish low lying fog with a kitty liter bucket full of ice if you are going to do it inside or somewhere that has no breezes or people walking by. I think this video clearly illustrates how cool it is, but if you are doing a small haunt for one night a year outside this isn't a reasonable solution. That is just my opinion. Once again I will state that I think this is really cool, I just think it wouldn't be a great solution for outdoors.
I have to agree with yardhauntjunkie here. I made a freezer chiller. It wasn't what I wanted when done and didn't work well outside. Too big and bulky for indoors, so I threw it out and use my ice chest cooler. I don't like chillers or foggers outside, because the wind does not cooperate.
 

· HELLoween Ubber Lord
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Hey there kentuckyspecialfx, sorry to hear about your divorce & the loss of laptop & camera. You went thru a lot there so appreciate your 24-7 bachelor time,LoL
& understand not being able to get back on this & with pics.Thanx for the info you did give us & phone #.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Wow what a great idea. I made a vortex style chiller out of an 80 gallon food drum that worked fantastic with my American DJ 1700 HD. It just takes about 90 lbs of ice. Thank god for 99 cent store... Even with wind gusts I was able to cover my front yard and across the street and down the hill. I just need to find a way to keep inside the chamber longer. That fog machine pushes it through real fast. On a side note, the fog seemed to work better when I aimed it at the faux iron fencing. It rolled back on itself then crept all over the place.

Still thinking of the freezer idea though. The chest style is all over craigslist for $50 or less.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
909 Posts
Kentucky,

If the unit takes 30 minutes to cool down, then how often can you burst the fogger and continue to cool the fog? Can the unit recover in say a cycle of a 10 second burst every 30 seconds? Re the temp? Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius? I am assuming Fahrenheit since 22.6 Celsius is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Also did you aim the gun at the fog? Generally for a accurate reading with a thermal temp gun, you should be aiming at a hard surface. I only ask this because dropping near 200 degree fog down to sub freezing temps is a bit odd. Plus if the fog is that cold one would think you would see moisture in the fog forming ice. Fog juice is mostly water, but the glycol could indeed drop the freezing point, so perhaps the temps can be achieved.

Hopefully you can take some pictures soon. There are plenty of us that fight every year with chilling fog, so a true non ice unit that works is definitely wanted.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
We did build it and it worked perfect.

Pictures didnt get posted upon finish of the project as I had to settle up a divorce, so between keeping the shop running and the divorce I was a bit pressed for time, I sincerely apologize.

What we did - On ours we did wind up cheating in the end though because it took too long for the unit to get to a point that would fight fifty five degree weather which in alls reality is what most of you will be fighting so we wound up using a special tight aluminum cooling fin set to get the output temp of the fog down to a temp gun measured 22.6 deg. hose output degrees verses the cooling fins from the factory unit that only got it down to 43.1 deg. MAJOR DIFFERENCE!
The catch.
With the unit we built in the end it takes about a half an hour to really get good and cold so you dont have to take breaks but the fogger we hooked up to it was a American DJ 1200W.

The first version inital cost was $136.00 in supplies if you count the unit from wally world and it didnt look too horrible but the performance was mediocre and the wind could still catch it and blow it away fairly easy.
The second version where we used the special cooling gate added a extra $112.00 and another ten in redoing the air passage way.

So to do this project in terms of making not only cold fog that hugs but cold fog that condenses and packs its self tighter the extra $112.00 for the cooling gate ( which is made locally here in Louisville ) made it in my eyes a worth while project for you guys to do.
My personal laptop and camera walked off in the divorce that had the pics of the project as did a whole bunch of other stuff so I kinda feel like I owe to you guys to do it again.

I did notice something that made it a lot easier / faster once we got going, a pop rivet gun, we started doing tack welds with the mig when we first started but then I realized not all you guys own a mig so we looked around for the next best thing that most of you guys would have, the pop rivet gun.
I have no problem with you guys and gals calling me with questions on where to find stuff or how to get through any issues as long as your physically attempting the project and your some what dedicated to it. 502-836-3125 im usually in the shop from 11am - 1am seven days a week ( now that im single LOL! )
anything yet...sorry to revive an old thread, but I'm really interested in doing this project this year. I just need ideas on what to use for cooling fins...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
When the temp was measured it was always the out put port surface.
Trust me if we had the temp of the fog itself down to sub zero id be retired by now.
But we did get good measurements at good distances from the cooling gate.
Temps were all Fahrenhite.
Youll never see ice forming in the fog for several reason but the most non scientific is the glycol, average person can't get it cold enough unless you hit it with a LN2 GDU Gas Dispersal Unit screen style but then that would kinda put it in the realm of unaffordable for you guys and gals.
So many ways to chill fog machine outputs but no matter how hard you try you, nor I can fight mother nature, even with a Glaciator if a strong wind comes along the fog goes by by.
Personally ive learned the best way to duke it out with wind is to have two or three neighbors join in on the fun.
Trust me on this.
You get three people with two 1500 watt foggers a piece spaced out and you should have no issue with causing a white out for a friggin city block.
Usually if wind isnt too bad even though it may blow away you always get shifts and the wind blows the built up pockets right back to ya.
Have a contest to see who can get the fire Department called first. lol
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top