What is a chiller?
An aquarium chiller operates on the same principles as a refrigerator or air conditioner. The purpose of the chiller is to lower the water temperature of your tank.
How does a chiller work?
Refrigeration gas, such as Freon, is compressed and run through a condenser. The condenser is a heat exchanger which removes heat from the hot compressed gas and allows it to condense into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant is then sent through an expansion valve, or capillary tube, where the pressure drops–which lowers the boiling point and makes it easy to evaporate. The refrigerant then goes through an evaporator where it can absorb heat. Tank water is pumped into a chamber around the evaporator allowing heat from the water to be transferred to the refrigerant. The loop is completed when the refrigerant goes into the compressor and back through the condenser where the heat is then transferred to the room air. Please note that the heat is simply transferred from the tank to the air so it is important to provide good ventilation for the chiller to operate properly.
Why might I need a chiller?
If you live in a hot climate, a chiller may be a useful tool. Also, large powerheads in the water create heat and certain light bulbs can heat up the water.
In our KIS System, we do NOT use a chiller.
We found a chiller to be unnecessary for our tank. Furthermore, chillers consume electricity, create heat, creates noise, and is relatively expensive. Temperature variation by a few degrees has not proved to be a problem for our system.