The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store


$10 Salamander Air Conditioner

This is a discussion on $10 Salamander Air Conditioner within the General Discussion forums, part of the Vivaria, Enclosures & Product Reviews category; Hi all. This is my first post. I've been a caudate enthusiast my whole life, but haven't been at a ...

General Discussion For general enclosure/vivarium-related discussions.

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By creatorlars

Reply

 

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 20th November 2010   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Nationality:
Posts: 4
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: creatorlars has shown reliable knowledge
Default $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

Hi all. This is my first post. I've been a caudate enthusiast my whole life, but haven't been at a point to be serious about keeping them until recently.

We just got 2 captive bred S.s.salamandra juveniles at a local pet shop (apparently a local breeder, who I need to track down!) Luckily it's not Summer, which is very hot in Texas, but room temperature indoors is still close to 70-72 degrees so I wanted to find a chilling solution. I'd like to build a more permanent enclosure/chilling situation, but this did the job for now!

The cost was an old mini-cooler I had in the garage, a couple pieces of PVC, a tube of caulk, and a pair of mini PC fans I found at a surplus store -- they are powered by a misc 12VDC wallwart I had lying around. I'd seen some shots of setups like this on this forum, thanks for the help!

With the cooler full of ice-packs and the fans on, it takes 10 minutes for the internal temperature of the box to drop to about 58 degrees (15 degrees below room temperature.) This lasts for about 4-5 hours and then the ice packs begin to melt, but it takes a good 9-10 hours for the temperature to rise back up to room temperature. I imagine it would be more efficient with some insulation around the plastic bin, a bigger cooler, bigger fans, etc. but this is doing the job until I come up with something more permanent!
Attached Thumbnails
 Salamander Air Conditioner-salamander-ac1.jpg    Salamander Air Conditioner-salamander-ac4.jpg    Salamander Air Conditioner-salamander-ac2.jpg    Salamander Air Conditioner-salamander-ac3.jpg  
creatorlars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2010   #2 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Otterwoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 5,581
Gallery Images: 58
Comments: 71
Rep: Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11
Default Re: $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

I love it! It seems so easily do-able.
__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions | My Blog
Otterwoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2010   #3 (permalink)
2010 Research Grant Donor
 
michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 3,082
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: michael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgmichael is considered an Authority at Caudata.org
Default Re: $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

Interesting. If you can keep the temperature steady this should work fine. If the temperature swings to much as the ice packs melt it could be hard on the salamanders. Cooling down is great. It is not so great if you have big temperature swings.
michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2010   #4 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Kaysie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 14,467
Gallery Images: 45
Comments: 62
Rep: Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11Kaysie goes to 11
Default Re: $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

If you had enough ice packs that you could rotate them regularly and not have big swings in temperature, which Michael mentioned, this would be an awesome DIY project for terrestrial keepers.
Kaysie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th November 2010   #5 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Nationality:
Posts: 4
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: creatorlars has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

Thanks for the feedback! My initial line of reasoning was that I'd put the icepacks in every evening so that the box would have a cooler night time temperature (dropping from 70 to 60) and then starting to rise slowly back up to 70 by morning, at which time I'd put the ice packs back in the freezer. But from what you guys are saying, it seems like I'm gonna be better off getting more ice packs and cycling them out 2-3 times instead of once throughout the day. The fact that the temperature bottoms out at 58-60 degrees (which is close to ideal, right?) seems good.

Lack of affordable chilling solutions have been holding me back from keeping fire salamanders for years! I'm going to buy some peltier elements and do some experimentation with those next. I'm an electronics designer, so I'd love to have an excuse to program some custom microcontroller hardware to regulate temperature gradients on a perfect clock.
creatorlars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2010   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Nationality:
Posts: 60
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Rhysmachine101 has shown reliable knowledgeRhysmachine101 has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: $10 Salamander Air Conditioner

This is fantastic! well done- and thanks for some inspiration!

Please let us know what you come up with- I think we are all very interested.

Especially let me know if you come up with a micro controller that regulates the climate in an enclosed space- I would love to have a chat with you about it, I'm studying to become an engineer myself so I find this sort of thing fascinating!

Also- about peltier modules- I have been experimenting with them myself recently and they don't come up roses so much.
They are on average only 10% efficient at the current level of the technology and as you can imagine, you can put a whole lot of power into them, but not get a whole lot of cooling power out of them.
I did some calcs' when I was thinking of using them- these aren't the exact figures- I'm going of my bad memory here- I found that if I gave them around 280 watts of power I got about 28watts of cooling power, right? well with this I found I could only cool a very small volume of water (approx 4 L or so) one whole degree, Celsius.
I found a chiller online that is expensive, oh was it expensive! that uses much less power( energy bill) and could cool my aquarium to whatever I set it at.
It was a bit depressing to find I couldn't do a better job DIY than the over priced off-the-shelf versions.

Of course you might have better luck with air-cooling. Please let me know if you do!

Anyway I thought I would give you a heads up on the peltier module thing.

Please keep in touch- you seem interesting!

Rhys.
Rhysmachine101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is this water conditioner safe for my firebelly newt keithp Newt and Salamander Help 8 10th July 2008 02:14
Ice Box Air conditioner garrison General Discussion 0 28th November 2006 21:12
"Aqua Plus" Tap Water Conditioner? tyler General Discussion 4 13th July 2006 07:19
Is it bad to use too much water treatment and conditioner? shane Axolotl General Discussion 5 6th June 2005 12:18
I just bought my newts an air conditioner! ira General Discussion & News from Members 3 4th July 2004 22:13


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:42.