One potential solution to keeping herring alive in the summer

Discussion in 'Tuna Talk' started by leaky, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    I've looked into chillers a little here and there, never noticed anything that struck me as simple/practical for a livewell, then ran across these today researching a totally different product..

    1/2 HP Water Chiller · Penguin Chillers

    Basically, draws 4 amps @ 110 volts AC, you run your water through it, cools it down. It's not the sort of thing that is going to work right in an open system, but in a closed system (which is what we do today w/ herring, add ice & run an aerator) it looks real practical, self contained, not too big/heavy..

    Tech support said they always have concerns over the units in boats getting banged around more than designed for, but also it's been done and so far so good. Certainly a risk, until well after my boat is done not going to spring for one, but there's very good chance I'll be trying one out in the future.

    Jon
     
  2. Squider42

    Squider42 Senior Member

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    Spoke to someone about a year ago who was thinking of using this same unit. If I remember he said he was thinking of locating it in the engine room, because exposed to the salt elements it may not last that many years. Problem with that is the unit is air cooled so will not function in a hot environment, has to have plenty of cool airflow. At the time I think the manufacturer said that if he had enough demand he would try and design a raw water cooled unit, which sounds like it would be a great fit for a lot of fisherman, and be able to be located in an engine room, or similar enclosed space.
     
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  3. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    The situation I gave them was 90 degree ambient air temp, 70 degree water, 800 gph pump, 25 gallon tank, he said 50 degree water easily maintained with the 1/2 hp model. My assumption was it's gonna get a little beat by salt over time. Now that I think more, may design an under the deck area for it that could be vented with a small fan.
     
  4. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    Should probably add too, I specified an insulated tank mostly out of the sun, which could make a difference too.
     
  5. CCtuna

    CCtuna Captain

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    My landlord put one in his boat. He has it in the wheelhouse under the daybunk. He hadn’t used it yet when I fished with him in December. Seems like a lot of $$/potential headache for what a few buckets of ice can do in an insulated well but who knows
     
  6. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    Ya the trouble with the ice game is its a constant headache- you go through a lot, about 100 lbs a day and it messes with the water chemistry some (although no doubt it works).

    With a chiller you got the option of heading in for the night and possibly still having baits in the morning even.

    Would sure be nice if they made a compact water cooled marine unit though.
     
  7. tuna_fan

    tuna_fan Captain

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    I did a ton of research on this. the bigger more well equipped boats already have chiller plates hard mounted in their live wells. I wanted something I could pipe into an on deck 50 gallon well. Keep in mind, it is easier to KEEP the water cool vs actually COOL the water. I needs to be in a loop..and the unit should be raw water cooled if possible. At one time I was thinking of using a reverse cycle heat unit which takes the heat out of the raw water (raw water in this case would be the live well water). Then I found a couple of units that are actually made to circulate the water and cool it at each pass through the condenser. raw water cooled. these are all AC powered though...which was fine for me.
    The one I ALMOST bought, was this...it is made for exactly this purpose :

    Delta Star® Water-Cooled Marine Duty Chiller

    They are about $3K. Can be mounted in a closed area - just need to feed it with raw water in/out, and circulating water in/out.
    I still might buy it.
    Make sure you insulate the circulating lines if they go through your engine compartment.
    The tech i got to know thought it would chill 70 degree water down to 50 degree water in about 45-60 min. So, I would fill and start chilling when I left the dock, and toss those little herring right into their nice cold bath right when the water was about right.

    I am now leaning more toward just buying one of these and making it my seat/cutting board as well:

    Bait Tanks That Get Results
     
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  8. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    Which model was 3k? They make them from 1/3 hp to much larger. I'm looking at 25 gallons and it seems on the air cooled versions they think 1/2 HP / 5000 btu is plenty.

    Do you think running a marine AC in heat mode and cycling the livewell water as "warming water" would do it? That is literally a cooling system and very clever!

    Spacing out at work today I was considering if I could take an air cooled chiller and fit it with a water cooled condenser - provided I understand the system right anyway.. but couldn't find a clear picture of how the condensers look/work...

    Something else that would be worth a shot if someone was ready to spend but wanted to vet all options would be to call a place that does custom stuff like ocean breeze. These chillers are not different than common marine AC, just not a typical demand, may be easy for them to customize an existing product to make it work...

    Btw on the ice cooled livewell. Simpler and way cheaper yet would be a snowmobile radiator in an ice chest, cycle your water through it.
     
  9. CCtuna

    CCtuna Captain

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    I’ve used one of those x-treme tanks and was not impressed. It’s basically a glorified kodiak livewell with an arrator and some lights and they’re like $3500. They do make a nice cutting board tho. The “chiller” system on those is literally just an outer shell around the tank that you put ice in.

    Who’s fishing herring anyway I might have caught like 10 this summer lol
     
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  10. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    Whiting are one of those things I can always find a dozen of without having to try too hard. They live real well just sitting on the bottom practically with no aeration but it's all about water temp...

    As far as these units go, there are some cheaper air cooled ones out there too but looks like their 1/2 hp high efficiency unit here runs about $900 with a 3 year warranty. If you gave it a place to live sub deck with a ducted fan, so fresh air is moving through nicely (given they are made to heat exchange in still air doubt anything exotic is required), you'd likely be at about 1k with a reasonable power consumption and off the shelf parts basically. Still seems fairly practical even if they don't take advantage of ocean water for heat exchange.
     
  11. novivin

    novivin Senior Member

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    If your tank is under 50 gallons and very well insulated, one or two of these might do the trick much better.

    IceProbe Thermoelectric Water Cooling Device, Nova Tec Inc

    These have good pull down in closed loop recirculating tanks with excellent insulation. You can limit heating by using slower DC powered pumps to aerate water or use air pump instead.
     
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  12. AW_Holland32

    AW_Holland32 Senior Member

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    Reading this got me thinking a jockey box (like for beer) with a pump cycling water through it would probably achieve what you need and keep the ice pretty well in a closed cooler.
     
  13. CCtuna

    CCtuna Captain

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    Honestly a 5 gallon bucket in your ice vat with a small bubbler will keep a handful of herring alive for hours
     
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  14. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    There are many ways that work involving ice. Have seen someone with a metal aluminum container they keep in their ice vat.. or a cooler with a 12v aerator that I usually reccomend is super practical and easy, 10 minutes and $80 at Walmart and you got a great setup..

    My new livewells are gonna be custom and insulated nicely, with desiged-in aerators, so off the top of the bat a 20 lb bag of ice will do it..

    Where such systems kinda fail is when you go someplace 30+ miles away where such bait is hard to come by and you stock up on the way out and end up wanting to stay put for a couple days, or overnight at the dock, etc... that's when a chiller would be a huge advantage. Then you could really keep your bait for a long time without using up all your ice.
     
  15. tuna_fan

    tuna_fan Captain

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    I found a few companies that use the condenser and seawater to exchange:

    Cool Fish

    Seawater-cooled Chillers - Ocean Breeze Mfd. by Quorum Marine & Electronics, Inc.

    Chillers Water Cooled – Flagship Marine

    I got really close pulling the trigger on one of these...but as mentioned previously by CCtuna, I really had very few herring under the boat this summer, and by the time i did, the water was already cold. So kind of glad I held off.

    I even thought of rigging up a few dropper loops with 5-6 hooks that I could toss some baits on and just send down to 100' to keep em cold and alive til i needed them :) Live chum too...
     
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  16. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    I spoke to ocean breeze today, actually the same guy who helped me size my AC who is involved with building the units (versus the office folks)..

    Ballpark on cost, and keep in mind you want to tell them the titanium coil is not needed (is more $$ and is a requirement for a long kept food item like lobster alive for weeks but not bait for a few days)..

    In the 6k to 12k btu ballpark we were talking $2100 to $2700. For my needs Id probably go with a custom built 3/4 hp 9k btu based on the feedback he gave me, which was 6k btu is enough but the power and cost difference is so small it makes more sense to go a little larger.
     
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  17. tuna_fan

    tuna_fan Captain

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    Awesome - i'd love to know how it works out for you... nothing worse than watching your hard earned bait sink to the bottom of the well and croak... I'm jealous of the guys that have these!
     

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