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ICA Chiller - Temp Pull down


Teru

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I just recently purchased a 3.24 12g DX JBJ Nanocube, and I had an ICA chiller installed because my house gets hot as hell during the summer ( some preplanning here).

 

I read a BUNCH of threads on the ICA, but no one really addressed the question that I had, which is :

 

What is the actual degrees that an ICA chiller will cool on a 12g nano?

 

My tank usually hovers around 84 ~ 86 during the summer time, and I want something that will get me down into the high 70's. The only reading thing Ive read says that the ICA pulls down to 40 watts, but I have no idea what that means. What is 40 watts in Farenheit? Is there a mathematical formula to convert this? I realize the entire thing depends upon the amount of water its cooling, so assuming that its a 12 gallon tank, how much can an ICA chill?

 

If its only like 3 ~ 4 degrees, I just might call Chris at nanocustoms and ask him to install a 2nd ICA so that I dont cook my fish.

 

Thank you for your help!

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shao-lin nano

ICA uses a TEC and a big factor on how well it works is your ambient temperature. There were numbers posted of its performance a while back. Try to search for it or ask nanocustoms directly.

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I have an ICA on my 24g DX Cube. My house was around 80 - 82f. My tank ran up to 86f. With the ICA it stays at 80f. This is with the stock lighting.

 

What I did was to install the ICA, turn off all the lights and main pump. I set up the ICA to run 24/7 and let it pull the temp down till the heater came on @ 80f. Then I turned everything back on as normal. I let the heater and ICA work together to maintain tank temp. Don't expect to feel cold water coming out of the ICA.

 

Shao-lin is correct in that ambient room temp is a big factor. If your room is 86f the ICA won't be able to pull the tank down as far as if the room was 80f.

 

A few other points:

 

> I use a Hydor Pico pump for the ICA.

 

> The power supply that comes w/ the ICA is IMO marginal. Soon after I started the ICA I smelled a hot electronics smell and the PS was very hot. I decided to use a PC power supply @ 12vdc.

 

> The air exhausted by the ICA cooling fan is very hot. I think mine was running @ 120f.

 

> You MUST keep the ICA cooling fan on all the time the ICA is running. Otherwise the ICA will overheat and fail.

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I have an ICA on my 24g DX Cube. My house was around 80 - 82f. My tank ran up to 86f. With the ICA it stays at 80f. This is with the stock lighting.

 

What I did was to install the ICA, turn off all the lights and main pump. I set up the ICA to run 24/7 and let it pull the temp down till the heater came on @ 80f. Then I turned everything back on as normal. I let the heater and ICA work together to maintain tank temp. Don't expect to feel cold water coming out of the ICA.

 

Shao-lin is correct in that ambient room temp is a big factor. If your room is 86f the ICA won't be able to pull the tank down as far as if the room was 80f.

 

A few other points:

 

> I use a Hydor Pico pump for the ICA.

 

> The power supply that comes w/ the ICA is IMO marginal. Soon after I started the ICA I smelled a hot electronics smell and the PS was very hot. I decided to use a PC power supply @ 12vdc.

 

> The air exhausted by the ICA cooling fan is very hot. I think mine was running @ 120f.

 

> You MUST keep the ICA cooling fan on all the time the ICA is running. Otherwise the ICA will overheat and fail.

 

 

Thanks to both of you for the quick response and information. I read about the ICA until my eyes literally became bloodshot on these forums, yet didnt catch much about how important the ambient temperature was (I get an F for reading comprehension). I never really paid too much attention to what the ambient temp in my house was during the summer, but I remember it being hot. My only memory of summer was constantly fighting cyano and thinking that either the cyano were going to kill my fish, or the heat would.

 

I know that my apartment doesnt have Central A/C, so that makes my own bedroom really hot...probably mid 80's.... not to mention that I dont have stock lighting and have a few extra light mods now, this is just simply going to exacerbate the problem. The whole reason I sprung about a 100 bucks was thinking that I could keep this thing next to my bed even with the heat... adlfasldjfklsdjf! I was trying to be cheap :( Time and time again, I learn in this hobby that being cheap usually never yields good results (ask me about my HIGH QUALITY (read: POS) aquarium heater i bought for $0.99 from Ebay!).

 

damn, I should have just sprung 400 bucks and just bought the 1/10 HP chiller! Ive made dumb purchases like spending 400 bucks on an Portable AC in my room because I thought it would help my tank (although it was nice for me too... but the super-secret REAL reason I bought it was for my tank. my gf thought i was being thoughtful... haha)

 

Now if the ICA doesnt work, then Im screwed.....and I just added on an additional $100 sunk cost to my $400 chiller Im going to need. :slap:

 

Sooner or later, Im going to get this right..... my only concern now is hoping that my ignorance doesnt exceed my spending ability.

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your smart you caught your mistake and bad habit just in time, skip the ICA, and go with a real chiller, some people get varied temp pull downs with this, so many other factors come to plan, especially with hood design, if you have and open fan then the ica will do little because the hot air from the ica is going back to the tank, if you had a close fan with the splash sheild isolationing the fan from the tank, then you can get by better since the heat stays in the hood only...all in all the way your describing it, just spring for the chiller, its your best bet.

 

-Jon

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your smart you caught your mistake and bad habit just in time, skip the ICA, and go with a real chiller, some people get varied temp pull downs with this, so many other factors come to plan, especially with hood design, if you have and open fan then the ica will do little because the hot air from the ica is going back to the tank, if you had a close fan with the splash sheild isolationing the fan from the tank, then you can get by better since the heat stays in the hood only...all in all the way your describing it, just spring for the chiller, its your best bet.

 

-Jon

The ICA fan replaces one of the stock fans and blows out of the hood. No way for it to get back in the tank.

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... but the super-secret REAL reason I bought it was for my tank. my gf thought i was being thoughtful... haha)

 

LMFAO.....If they only knew right....Shhhhhh your secret is safe with us....lol

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your smart you caught your mistake and bad habit just in time, skip the ICA, and go with a real chiller, some people get varied temp pull downs with this, so many other factors come to plan, especially with hood design, if you have and open fan then the ica will do little because the hot air from the ica is going back to the tank, if you had a close fan with the splash sheild isolationing the fan from the tank, then you can get by better since the heat stays in the hood only...all in all the way your describing it, just spring for the chiller, its your best bet.

 

-Jon

 

 

Too late! Ive already paid for it a few days ago, and I believe it shipped today. Soo... Im not very smart. Ill probably need to buy a chiller later on anyway. Another EXPENSIVE lesson learned.

 

Ive spent close to 1k already, and I dont have a single fish or coral in the tank@!!!!!!! seriously... wtf.

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Great info. I was thinking about getting ICA chiller but with this information, I think I am going to get a real chiller instead.

 

My apartment gets really hot in summer time and my wife got a job so I can't run my airconditioner during day time, my wife will kill me.

 

I think this is what I think I am going to get, ($250 from Nanocustom)

 

titanseries.jpg

 

This is rated for 20g+ so my 12G with 70W MH + 2 24W pc lights will be very happy. Maybe I can take out all the lights and replace it with 150W MH.

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Great info. I was thinking about getting ICA chiller but with this information, I think I am going to get a real chiller instead.

 

My apartment gets really hot in summer time and my wife got a job so I can't run my airconditioner during day time, my wife will kill me.

 

I think this is what I think I am going to get, ($250 from Nanocustom)

 

titanseries.jpg

 

This is rated for 20g+ so my 12G with 70W MH + 2 24W pc lights will be very happy. Maybe I can take out all the lights and replace it with 150W MH.

 

 

Before you buy that, check out one of the comments (or rather, the only comment it has). It says that its not a real chiller, and doesnt run the coolant the real chillers run (its called R513858 or some number after the letter "R"). The comment states that the smallest chiller there works off of the same TEC principle that the ICA chiller works on - of course, thats just a comment, and not necessarily gospel so it could be someone who is clueless just quoting random stuff.

 

I would talk to Chris at nanocustoms and ask him if its truly a chiller or just a really fat ICA to be on the safe side.

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Ive spent close to 1k already, and I dont have a single fish or coral in the tank@!!!!!!! seriously... wtf.

:lol::lol:

 

First rule of reef keeping:

 

NEVER KEEP TRACK OF COSTS!

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shao-lin nano

The Titan 150 uses TEC but it's quite big and it's got a huge fan. I've got one and am satisfied with it. The other Titans in the series use coolant like a "real chiller". With 70W MH & 126W PC in my 24gNC I can keep my temps under 80. I also have fans in my front lid for evap cooling becore the Titan kicks in (eveything is hooked up to a ReefKeeper).

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shao-lin nano

The Titan 150 uses TEC but it's quite big and it's got a huge fan. I've got one and am satisfied with it. The other Titans in the series use coolant like a "real chiller". With 70W MH & 126W PC in my 24gNC I can keep my temps under 80. I also have fans in my front lid for evap cooling becore the Titan kicks in (eveything is hooked up to a ReefKeeper).

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The ICA is a Chill assist device.

 

The main problem with nanocubes is that since they are a closed top environment, all the heat from pumps, lights, and any other accessories dont get a chance to vent overnight, or even during the day.

 

The ICA will move a steady 20-30w from the system any time its on. Although it isnt a "real" chiller, because thermal load conditions may exceed the amount of heat its pulling out, most users have reported good results using it.

 

Randy, one of my southern california customers put the system through a torture test, allowing his ambient room conditions to get to 95F. in that run, he got a peak temp of 84 F. A stock nanocube without the ICA would in theory run about 98-101 F.

 

Bear in mind, Randy has a 70w HQI + 24w Actinic, so this is a big thermal load.

 

If you are in the market for a true chiller, the Titan150 or other similar units should provide adequate performance.

 

Also, note in Randys second trial, his tank never crested 80F.

 

Hope this helps

 

Chris

 

ccjung-graph.jpg

 

 

ccjung9062005.jpg

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i guess it really all depends on the ambient room temp, my room isnt hot or cold, in the day its at 85ish, and at night its at 75ish....and with my lighting, i never go over 80 with the lights on, to be honest my heater kick in quite often, my temp is stable at 78.2 and would go down more if my heater wasnt set to turn on. Mind you that this is with out any cooling devide but the fans on the nano hood.

 

-Jon

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Jon-

 

Thats the power of evaporative cooling. The 2004 (JBJ and Boyu) tanks had the rear fans exposed to the water surface and a splashguard that isnt sealed very well.

 

I surmise that most of your thermal performance gains come at the expense of increased evaporation and lots of salt creep.

 

Back when I first started modding, I had a OG/DF model that I had upgraded the fans on. I was able to get a pull down of about 7-9F below ambient.

 

The new 2005/06 hoods for the 6/12/24 are very well sealed. Its a blessing because now you can get lots of light in the canopy, but a curse because the thermal load of pumps, and other devices cant get out of the tank.

 

I think you are making a comparison based on your current hood, and not with the new, safer line of nanocube canopies.

 

I bet that on days when the relative humidity is very high, your tank will run hot, since the effect of evaporative cooling is diminished significantly.

 

The ICA is a solid state heat pump, and doesnt rely on evaporative cooling to provide the energy transfer, so although ambient temperatures affect the performance of the device, its still going to transfer energy across the device.

 

I love evap cooling, but the topoffs and salt creep eventually drove me crazy. Plus, replacing those fans that get all salted up every 2 months got boring really fast.

 

Regardless, I think time will eventually tell how effective the ICA is. There are a few hundred ICA users out there since the launch of the product in May, and for the most part, they have been happy with the performance, especially given the fact that their systems were running hotter before the ICA was installed.

 

Grant ordered a 72w system, which IMHO doesnt really need an ICA, but to each his own.

 

Hope this helps

 

Chris

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Grant ordered a 72w system, which IMHO doesnt really need an ICA, but to each his own.

 

Hope this helps

 

Chris

 

Chris, I know you were somewhat hesitant regarding me getting an ICA, but believe me, if you were in my apartment during the summertime, you would want to strap an ICA on to your head! Also, the graphs do an excellent job of putting things into perspective for me - its nice to see figures. Im not sure if youre a mod here, but maybe this post should be a sticky?

 

On a separate note:

 

Thanks for hooking me up with the awesome service and cube, and patiently answering some of my inane questions. I've been telling a few people about your site. Especially the people at the LFS... most of them gave up on the Nanocube because of stuff like " lighting sucks, needs a surface skimmer etc etc" most of the problems your site addresses. They were pretty impressed with the fact that there was a custom maker/modder of nano's.

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Thanks Grant.

 

Hopefully youll get your system safely today. Let me know how you like the setup. We try our best to put out a product our owners can be proud of.

 

No, I'm not a mod here. Just another NR Addict like you!

 

 

Chris

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Jon-

 

Thats the power of evaporative cooling. The 2004 (JBJ and Boyu) tanks had the rear fans exposed to the water surface and a splashguard that isnt sealed very well.

 

I surmise that most of your thermal performance gains come at the expense of increased evaporation and lots of salt creep.

 

Back when I first started modding, I had a OG/DF model that I had upgraded the fans on. I was able to get a pull down of about 7-9F below ambient.

 

The new 2005/06 hoods for the 6/12/24 are very well sealed. Its a blessing because now you can get lots of light in the canopy, but a curse because the thermal load of pumps, and other devices cant get out of the tank.

 

I think you are making a comparison based on your current hood, and not with the new, safer line of nanocube canopies.

 

I bet that on days when the relative humidity is very high, your tank will run hot, since the effect of evaporative cooling is diminished significantly.

 

The ICA is a solid state heat pump, and doesnt rely on evaporative cooling to provide the energy transfer, so although ambient temperatures affect the performance of the device, its still going to transfer energy across the device.

 

I love evap cooling, but the topoffs and salt creep eventually drove me crazy. Plus, replacing those fans that get all salted up every 2 months got boring really fast.

 

Regardless, I think time will eventually tell how effective the ICA is. There are a few hundred ICA users out there since the launch of the product in May, and for the most part, they have been happy with the performance, especially given the fact that their systems were running hotter before the ICA was installed.

 

Grant ordered a 72w system, which IMHO doesnt really need an ICA, but to each his own.

 

Hope this helps

 

Chris

 

 

Hey Chris dont get me wrong i have no doubt your product works, and im sure it works rather well. But im simply telling people who have larger temp issues that they shouldnt expect the ica to work like a chiller as they think it will. You should know there are some people out there that just dont do their homework, and may buy the ica thinking its gonna bring their temps 10 degrees down and when it does come jumping down your throat. Even the iceproble, a larger TEC device with direct contact to the water cant replace a chiller.

 

As for my hood, it is the older style hood, and as far as it not being well sealed your right again, but as far as salt crep and evap, my set up really isnt all that bad. I have no noticeable salt creep, and to be honest i thought i would have more evap but my AUTO TOP OFF takes care of that for me. I personally like the design of the older hoods better just because the fan is exposed to alow for evap cooling, as oppose to being covered. But i sincerly didnt mean to offend you or your product.

 

-Jon

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Theres no offense taken Jon. I really admire your work as a modder and would like to share some thoughts/ideas with you some time down the line.

 

Unfortunately tho, things sometimes get misread on this small community forum of ours, and hearsay and analogy get taken as fact, ie the "5mm Aquapod 12s".

 

I usually try to stay out of posting in the forums in nowadays, since nanocustoms has grown alot, and I want true customer feedback to dictate the opinion of nanocustoms and our products.

 

In this case tho, even though I respect your credibility, the ICA is really one of those devices you have to try to really appreciate. For a device that integrates into the canopy, maintains the factory look, and consistently performs its job as an "energy bias" device, its quite nifty.

 

Since I have brought my assistant in, I have been able to focus on design. One thing that is in the pipe is a new Acetal Delrin based waterblock that will be more durable, and allow more direct heat transfer between the water and the TEC. It should feature temperature control and 2 way heat/chill operation.

 

I'm glad to see that your system isnt giving you many salt creep issues. Its most likely related to your religious and consistent top offs - note: Topoffs work! I really like your ATO bracket. Its something you could market at our site if you think you can produce them.

 

Nano - Reeferly,

 

Chris

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good to know chris, seeing your company start from nothing has been real amazing, your company is growing so fast, its good to know we have you to turn to in this niche of the market that is rather small. If you have any ideas or need my opinion im all for it, just shoot me an email or pm me, as for the brackets, well im just too busy with work and life right now...im surprised i even have time for this hobby..lol but modding for this hobby is just irresistable to me....have a good one

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