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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to come up with a decent way to cool my frogroom (mainly the tanks in it).
It is the middle of winter here, and I havent had to turn the heat on in my apt...even when it was -29 degrees below zero outside! The temp in the frogroom (7X7") stays in the mid seventies, with the tanks reaching peaks of 82 sometimes, which I don't like. The only windows I can open are on the opposite end of my apt, and are clogged with plants, so opening the windows in the winter is not an option (they'd freeze). I also would feel wasteful using the AC in the middle of winter!
I use AC in the summertime, but this is also near the windows, so doesnt cool the frogroom well.
My options are limited, as I rent. (otherwize I'd just add another vent or more ac)
So the question is this, would a swamp cooler be an option to cool my frogroom? For example, today the temp in the room was 76, with a humidity of 32 %.
Second question, does anyone think it would work to plumb a swamp cooler to racks of tanks to cool the tanks instead of the room? That way the intake air would stay a little less saturated, allowing the unit to cool more effeciently, and I'm guessing the air pumped to the tanks would be humid enough so as to not dry out the tanks in the process.
Which would be better, or do I need to move?
Any better ideas?
 

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swamp coolers are only effective in an open circuit. In coming air to the frog room must come from another room. However, the door to the frog must be open for warm air to exit. The cool air would force the warm air out. That is how greenhouses function, I believe.

Once again, check out that article how to build a chiller. You can definitely pipe multiple tanks through this, but it probably be more cost effective to open the window slightly.
 

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another problem with evaporative cooling, which is the real reason why I avoid it, is rapid temperature swings. You're best running it with a digital ccontroller, but the cooling would kick on and cool the tank way too fast if you're trying to simulate night time drops. (if and only if you pipe it into a tank).

Piping it would lose a ton of efficiency, even if you have plenty of insulation.

It is not nearly humid enough, so you could end up with dehydrated frogs.

Once again, your best bet is an open circuit. But allowing the warm air to blow out could consequently let cold air in, raising your heating bills and lowering the efficiency.
 

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why dont you buy fans for the room and elivate the lights from the tank so it isnt as hot
 

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Yet another problem with swamp coolers is that they do not work well in humid climates. The whole system is based on the latent heat of vaporization of water which provides the cooling effect when water evaporates. If the air going in to the system is already satruated with moisture, you don't get much evaporation and thus little cooling effect. Swamp coolers work fantastic in arid climates but not in the more humid parts of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well...I mainly want to use it in the winter time, when the humidity is low, and in the summertime, as a boost to my present ac.
I can open windows briefly, but it still gets too warm while I'm at work.

As for elevating the lights, and adding fans, I've already done that.
As I mentioned, the room temp nears 80 degrees in the middle of the day, so raising the lights much more is only going to result in lost light intensity, with little benefit to the inside of the tanks.

The temps right now are about the highest I'd like to see, and there is room for about twice as many tanks (thereby adding more lights, and more heat), but if the heat will climb too much, and I can't figure out how to control it, I won't be able to do that :cry:
 

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Brian,

Not the cheapest solution, but you could use a windowless A/C unit. I first saw these living in Korea where they were placed inside a room and were a completely self contained unit except for a hose to connect to an external condensor or exhaust to get rid of hot air. Here is something similar:

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process ... .HA+HPAC9M

Google "windowless portable ac" and you will find plenty more examples. I know you mentioned feeling wasteful about the AC, but the power consumption might not be much more than a powered swamp chiller (which doesn't sound like an option anyway). If you can shut off the frog room then you also wouldn't be wasting electricity cooling the rest of the house.

The eBay category is "Portable, Ductless AC Units". Unfortunately, you will have to find a way to route either air exhaust or hook-up to an external condensor. I think the external condensor might give you the greatest flexibility since the line can be long and is of a smaller diameter. Klimare looks like a good place to start:

http://www.klimaire.com/klimaire/KFWV.html

This might be more than you want to spend, but you can take it with you when you leave.

Good luck,

Marcos
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thoght about those...but don't know where I'd vent it to. I'd have to run a pipe or hose through the living area, and build an adapter to pipe it out the window...If I were up for doing that, I could just rig a fan to a thermostat to vent the heat out the window.

I think the swamp cooler may be a viable idea. Using this chart and the normal room conditions (mid to upper 70's, with humidity from 32 to 45%, It shows the temp dropping at least ten degrees. But is that just the air coming right out of the fan?
I guess what really will determine whether it will work or not is how fast the humidty will go up when the unit is trying to cool. I could see it going either way...small space, easy to cool...small space, easy to humidify (making the unit not work as well)
Another question, during the summer when the ac is on, would a swamp cooler help or hinder the ac's cooling effectiveness?
 

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they will cancel each other out as one requires an open circuit while an A/C requires a closed.

You may have to save face and just go with the original shop light. More focus on the frogs instead of the plants. I know, it really sucks. :(
 

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Dancing frogs said:
I guess what really will determine whether it will work or not is how fast the humidty will go up when the unit is trying to cool. I could see it going either way...small space, easy to cool...small space, easy to humidify (making the unit not work as well)
Another question, during the summer when the ac is on, would a swamp cooler help or hinder the ac's cooling effectiveness?
I think you hit the nail on the head. My hunch is that you would saturate the room with humidity pretty fast and lose your cooling ability. A thermostatic vent through the wall would probably be the cheapest and best solution if it is practical. If you do try a swamp cooler, please let us know the results. It's an interesting idea. One other thought that may be stupid. Have you measured the temps at the floor of the room? I'm just wondering whether you could just vent off air from near the ceiling out to the rest of your apartment to try to equilibrate the air temps throughout. A vent with an exhaust fan near the ceiling and an intake vent near the floor maybe? Just thinking out loud.
 
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Why don't you just run dryer ducting/tubing from your frog room to your closest window. Just cut a piece of plywood out that will insert right into your window and keep air from coming in the sides (so your plants are happy) and cut a small hole in it for the dryer ducting/tubing. Then you can use a little box fan to draw in cold air from the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah that would work great. The problem is I would have to look at the big ugly vent pipe or hose all the time, it would have to be routed through either the living room or bedroom. The apt is a little over thirty feet long, with the windows all on the wall farthest away from the frog room (or closet, if you will!) I have no access to the attic, so I cant route a hose there either.
...And my kingsize bed wont fit in the little room, so trading rooms with the frogs is out!
I think I will end up trying the swamp cooler, I've been curious about them for quite a while.
I think I'll probably scale back my lighting also, (if I add more tanks) there is currently 238 watts of light in there, T-5 HO's and Cf's driven by electronic ballasts. One easy way to do this would be to replace the T-5 HO bulbs with the high effeciency version, the effeciency is about the same or a little better, but the wattage, and output is about half of what the HO's are. That way, I could just wire the new bulbs into the present ballast, so the heat should be the same, I'd just be lighting more shelves with less light.
I'd really like to move to a bigger place, Ideally with a basement, but the price here is great, and It's really nice to not have to pay for heat!
Later,
 
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bbrock said:
Yet another problem with swamp coolers is that they do not work well in humid climates. The whole system is based on the latent heat of vaporization of water which provides the cooling effect when water evaporates. If the air going in to the system is already satruated with moisture, you don't get much evaporation and thus little cooling effect. Swamp coolers work fantastic in arid climates but not in the more humid parts of the world.
Well stated!


Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #15
...Well, the unit arrived thursday, and it definatly seems to help, but only about as well as I thought it would.

The unit is set up to blow the cooled air into the room through the doorway, in place of the plain fan I used to have there. The temps are around 4-5 degrees less than with just a fan, but only until the humidity rises to over about 45-50%, after that, it is maybee a degree or two cooler.
I'm thinking it would help to have a fan to circulate the air better through the apartment, so the humidity wouldn't build up so fast, as the area adjacent to the room is also small, and kinda closed off (gotta love apartment living).
What I don't like about this particular unit:
Electronic controls, if the power were to blink out, the unit will not restart itself, and you would have to rewire it if you wished to run it on an external timer or thermostat. It does have a shut off timer, but is only a count down from start timer, not a start at type timer.

I'm thinking it would be nice to wire in a thermostat or humidistat to the pump on the unit, to keep the humidity down once the threshold of effeciency is reached, and to conserve water. The manual warns against running dry, and the res only holds 2 gallons of water, which would only last a day if the unit runs nonstop.

I'll eventually run actual documented tests with in room and in tank temps as well as adjacent (supply air) temps, (would be real nice to have a few of those data loggers to do this with :wink: ) so y'all can decide if one of these would be worthwhile for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Geez man, long time no post! :wink:

Yeah, the trouble is they still require venting, and I don't think my landlord would appreciate a new hole or two in the ceiling, and like I said earlier, long hozes or pipes to the nearest window are not an option.

In the heat of the summer though, it would be nice to have one of those units in the bedroom, as the dinky ac I have in the main room struggles to keep up cooling the whole apt.

The mantra of this thread...gotta love apartment living!
 
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