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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default DIY Evap Aircon Controller for shed

    I am in the process in installing a S/H Breezair EXH Evap Aircon in to my shed. (I know is Autumn now, but it will get hot again eventually and I'll be ready! .lol )
    I accidently bought a 2nd one with a u/s controller in it. All else is ok, so good for spares.

    Been trying to buy a S/H working controller but they are expensive and rare.....I found a repair service and they are not cheap either, although I understand the time and knowledge you are paying for.
    (Still a long term option...)
    New ones are $720.....too spendy for a shed.

    Will try and fix mine, but that's a steep and time consuming learning curve.......Nothing is charred so in with a chance....

    Last option is to possibly build my own using relays, timers and push buttons.
    I've seen others use Arduinos, but I'd have to learn the coding and it seems fragile for this sort of thing. I want robust and simple!
    Would like to mimic the philosophy of the original somewhat, but not hard and fast. I *think* its doable...I found a control circuit simulator and started entering the circuit.
    First part (cooling) seems to work mostly.
    Still planning but will use a cheap 750w VSD to vary motor speed. Would like to use existing connectors so no wiring mods needed between original and my DIY version.
    Will have to mount it close to the roof unit , but not IN it ,if I can help it..... ( a very bad environment of electrics! )

    I guess it will keep me quiet for a few months anyway, even if it doesn't work. I do still have a original controller but I'm sure that will fail one day.....they are getting on to 10 years old now.

    I don't really have a question.....just spit balling really...lol

    Maybe there's a market for something like this...dunno.
    Steve
    ICON Controller.jpegevaporative_air_conditioning_featured.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Show us the guts of it.

    I don't have any first hand experience with it, but knowing roughly how they work has me thinking that there is a water pump, a water reservoir (and probably a float switch), and a fan speed controller.
    Pump may have multiple speeds?
    Float switch would be easy to diagnose with a multimeter.
    Fan speed controller would probably be an off the shelf job at an AC wholesaler...
    If you build from scratch, an IP rated box will keep it all kosher.

    If it all gets too hard, put the call out to some HVAC guys who rip those sort of things out for a ducted install... you may get scrap price for a replacement module.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Revesby - Sydney Australia
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    55
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    760

    Default

    I always worried that a swampy would make a workshop too humid/rusty.


    P.S. One of my neighbours left his hot dip tank on overnight a few weeks back.

    Every machine thoroughly coated with rust. He spent a few hours with the phosphoric today,
    to get enough rust off the camshaft grinder so that he could use it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athelstone, SA 5076
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    4,222

    Default

    Is this the remote controller?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    3,201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelpearson View Post
    I always worried that a swampy would make a workshop too humid/rusty.
    I think it will. I had one in my house in Canberra. Canberra is the perfect place for them- hot and dry as a chip in summer. Even there the floors would be moist and any papers would curl up with the evap cooler running.
    Chris

  6. #6
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Perth
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    7,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sterob View Post
    Last option is to possibly build my own using relays, timers and push buttons.
    I've seen others use Arduinos, but I'd have to learn the coding and it seems fragile for this sort of thing. I want robust and simple!
    Arduinos are a lot more rugged than people think especially if you hard wire the connectors although I've never bothered.

    I have 5 Arduino things running in my shed and while the Arduino side of this works fine it's the sensors that seem to be the problems.

    A CO, VOC, temp/humidity monitor - this ran for 3 years continuously before the cheap CO sensor died (I was surprised it lasted that long).
    I originally installed it to stop asphyxiating myself when I had the gas forge. These days it tells me if I'm using too much meths while machining Al
    I replaced the sensor with another cheapie and it's run for 2 years no problems at all - if this sensor dies I will simply replace it - maybe with a more rugged one.

    The Temp/Humidity monitor on the compressed air line has run continuously since 2019 - no problems, It has 3 temp/humidity sensor on it all work fine. The only one I had probs with was the sensor under pressure until I worked out how to manage that.

    The 4HP dust extractor has a press/temp monitor on it that was installed in 2019 - Pressure side works fine but I still have a motor temp sensor problem while the VFD is running the motor . This been identified as due to noise from the 4HP VFD. If I keep the temp sensor away from the motor it works fine.

    The compressed air line auto venting system for the 3 solenoids that vent water from the compressed air line are driven by a basic Arduino. This ran fine some for about 2 years and then the timing started to go a bit wonky and it sometimes locks up I just push reset to get it going again. Have traced the problem to the separate real time clock module - I'm just to lazy to replace it.

    Dust particle/counter - ran 24/7 since 2017 until in 2020 I left it too close to a source of dust and it sent the sensor haywire, replaced sensor and located it up up out of the way and all good since.

    Also have my coffee machine on an Arduino and VFD. Pressure side worked fine but have had problems with unstable accurate temperature monitoring. Again cause by VFD noise Sorted by brute force programming. This gets turned on every day at around 5am and goes off around 6pm.

    Although I have decades of coding experience most (90%) of my basic coding is cadged from the web.
    If all you want to do is monitor temp and humidity and switch fans on/off and change fan speeds then an Arduino program should not be too complicated.
    I'd offer to help but it will have to be via long distance as I am socially isolating until the Covid thing gets a bit more under control.

    Maybe start by telling us more about what you are trying to achieve.
    As I'm already set up to do this ie have heaps of spare arduino boards and electronic bibs and bobs I can probably construct a basic mock up for you quite quickly.
    I'm happy to fart around with this while you pursue other pathways.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
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    Default

    They are not very complicated at all. The pump runs at constant speed, drawing from the tank (the base of the unit), running water through the pads and down again, collecting in the tank. The water distribution system needs to supply water evenly over the whole pad, so the water can trickle down. A stream of water is inviting carry over, as it's the surface tension of the water on the pads that keeps it being drawn in (as liquid) to the air stream. Too much water and you get 'carry over'. You will know because it is raining inside.The level in the tank is controlled by a float valve. Easy.

    The cooler works by drawing air over the wet surface of the pads. Note that the best you will get is cooling down to the dew point. More airflow is more (greater volume) of cool air, not air at a colder temperature. Too much air volume and cooling efficiency will suffer, as to cool the air water has to evaporate off the pads - if there is not enough water for the volume of air then everything just dries out until it gets to equilibrium.

    Michael.

  8. #8
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    Australind , WA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander_Keen View Post
    Show us the guts of it.

    I don't have any first hand experience with it, but knowing roughly how they work has me thinking that there is a water pump, a water reservoir (and probably a float switch), and a fan speed controller.
    Pump may have multiple speeds?
    Float switch would be easy to diagnose with a multimeter.
    Fan speed controller would probably be an off the shelf job at an AC wholesaler...
    If you build from scratch, an IP rated box will keep it all kosher.

    If it all gets too hard, put the call out to some HVAC guys who rip those sort of things out for a ducted install... you may get scrap price for a replacement module.

    Yes, simple electrical components, but the electronics PCB is very busy. Logic is pretty simple too. I just got a simulated circuit working.
    Start opens the inlet valve and float switch controls that. Timer delay and Circ pumps starts....time delay and blower starts....Push stop and all stops except drain valve opens long enough to empty tank.
    Motor is a 3 phase motor so will use a small VSD. contact to start and stop.....remote pot to vary speed.
    Steve

    PCB.jpg

    Have been trying to find someone who will throw some u/s units at me, but no response so far.....Have to talk to the installers but business owners are not very furthcoming.....still trying.
    When I say I want to tinker with them they ghost me....lol

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    Is this the remote controller?

    Yes...that is the plan. Won't be small and neat but should do the job.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Adelaide
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    Default

    You could always wire up a control panel with toggle switches for all the functions and then bring in the human computer to operate them - the first house I bought had a Bonair swampy installed - it had 3 controls - pump on/off - fan on/off and fan speed, it was that simple. As long as the humidity was low it worked very well and was used every summer for over 25 yrs until we knocked the house over to rebuild, and my mate took the Bonair and installed in his repair shop. Our son has a modern swampy with a fancy automated controller, however he still needs to get up on the roof once a year to clean the tank and check for blocked feed pipes and put the filter pad covers etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by familyguy View Post
    You could always wire up a control panel with toggle switches for all the functions and then bring in the human computer to operate them - the first house I bought had a Bonair swampy installed - it had 3 controls - pump on/off - fan on/off and fan speed, it was that simple. As long as the humidity was low it worked very well and was used every summer for over 25 yrs until we knocked the house over to rebuild, and my mate took the Bonair and installed in his repair shop. Our son has a modern swampy with a fancy automated controller, however he still needs to get up on the roof once a year to clean the tank and check for blocked feed pipes and put the filter pad covers etc.

    Yeah, have seen those. Mine is a little more involved.( not much )
    Need to let water in before the circ pump starts and open drain for a time after Fan stops. Also my motor is not a 2 speed like the old Bonaire's. Mine is a 3 phase motor.
    Original uses chopped DC at varying frequencies ( I think ) to vary speed. I'll used a VSD.

    Steve

  12. #12
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    Default

    You sure its a 3 phase motor. Most Breezair units Ive worked on are single phase except for large commercial ones.

    is this same motor?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksy View Post
    You sure its a 3 phase motor. Most Breezair units I've worked on are single phase except for large commercial ones.

    is this same motor?

    Nope...pretty sure. Will have to prove the concept before I get too deep.

    Breezair Motor.jpg

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterob View Post
    Nope...pretty sure. Will have to prove the concept before I get too deep.
    Could be wrong but I believe they are the Icon direct drive motors and are brushless DC motors.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    Could be wrong but I believe they are the Icon direct drive motors and are brushless DC motors.

    Apologises Sparksie.....I think I have 'oopsed'

    Yes, its a BLDC motor. I read 'star' and thought '3 phase motor'.
    I might be sunk.....

    https://www.monolithicpower.com/en/b...shed-dc-motors

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