DYI rez cooler idea
Ok so water chillers appear to be very expensive. If you are like me and you are just starting and have more important things to invest that money on then make this one.
Basically the only things you need are bubble rap, reflective tape, and a USB powered fridge, available at Walmart.
Now to the mini fridge part. I have a small 4 plant dwc that takes about 3.5 gallons. The USB mini fridge available at large box store or online for $15-$23 keeps my water at 68-70F. Now if you have a larger system or want to go colder buy an electric cooler available at the same stores. They start at 50 and go up to about 100… Your other option is much cheaper and that is to go to your local thrift stores and buy a wine fridge. They are very common at thrift stores. Just plug it in and make sure it works before leaving. I actually got the USB fridge from goodwill for $2 so my cooler really only cost me $2.
Whatever fridge you get big or small start to disassemble it. When you get down to just the electronics you will be left with just a few components a power cable, heatsink, and depending on if you got a wine cooler a very handy temperature controller.
From here you have two options. Personally I’m able to do the easier and frankly better way which is to simply glue the smooth side of the heatsink to the tub then insulate the entire tub around the heatsink and put reflective tape around it. The reflective tape is key though other wise you will be putting a green house on your tub.
Plug it in and you are done. Now if you have a round container like a bucket you can build a recirculating system using a small water pump or maybe you could try using a thermally conductive material to basically make a flat area on your bucket, I think you could get away with modeling clay but the trick is just to use the bare minimum to ensure contact with the heatsink and bucket.
So maybe this isn’t a complete guide but the idea I have not seen used before and wanted to share my luck with it. Really it’s impossible to do a water chiller any cheaper. I have a couple pics of mine on my grow journal.
If anybody wants me to I will post a picture guide on making a wine chiller into a water chiller. I’m better I can pick one up today. That’s how common they are at thrift stores. It’s almost like bread makers, everybody gives them as gifts and nobody uses them. It’s like fruit cake.