Monday, September 6, 2010

The Water Chiller

As Dan mentioned, I had the pleasure of draining the water chiller last week. Few have worked with the water chiller and come away clean. The water pump has as much power as a small lawn mower and can move a gallon of water in 2 seconds up 100 feet, which led to a fantastic disaster scene the first time we tested it in the lab.

For the past couple months we've been refilling the water chiller at about 2 gallons per week. The system is closed, so we were sure there was a leak. We were never able to find it though because you can't open the access panel with the exposed 1.5HP finger eating fan running inside.

Once it was open for draining, I toggled the manual bypass valve to try to get some of the last liquid out of the maze of pipes inside, and found this gem:

video
The manual bypass valve has a 1" long 1/16"wide crack running down the length of the body, which vomits a vile mixture of antifreeze and fungus water when toggled.

The other user accessible valve I needed, naturally, is also broken:
This valve shuts off the flow to the water pump, so that you can disconnect the device you're cooling water for. It now only closes to the point of the chiller drooling like an old dog.

4 comments:

  1. Saw the POLARBEAR paper on the ArXiv, it made me wonder what POLARBEAR stood for. Perhaps: POLARization B-mode Experiment in the Atacama Region?

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  4. Thank you so much for this post about Water Chiller. Great experience you have.

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