Expensive Huber/Julabo vs chaining cheaper chillers

Hey guys… awesome community, happy to be a part of it.

We’ve been operating off dry ice slurries for years now, and are over it…

I’ve calculated out our cooling capacity needs for our given volume (BHO, 70/30), and…


but anyways. We need 5.2 kw @-40 for our needs.

Better safe than sorry, so I was thinking 6kw as a I research options.

It seems like a Huber or Julabo unit will run about ~100k(very rough number)

Mydax/crydax units are waitlisted for 4+ months. (50-70k)

I stumbled on West Tune units(Chinese manufacturer), which are awfully affordable. 2.5kw@-40C for sub $10k…

This got me thinking. There are still ample technical issues with the expensive German units. And if we can only afford to buy one, without a backup…Mechanical issues=downtime.

soo, I wanted some thoughts from the community.

1.) Is it possible, and if so effective, to chain chillers together(our system has multiple heat exchangers, so I could possibly run them individually to their own chiller)… But do 3x 2.5kw@-40 chillers equal out to ~1x 7.5kw@-40 chiller?

In the event the above question is remotely feasible, there seems to be some upside to running multiple units.
the first being price… 4x Chinese units is sub 40k. which would allow for a backup onsite…
2nd. In the event one, or even 2 of the Chinese units encountered an issue, we could more than make up for lost cooling power with a dry ice slurry…
3rd. The units are cheap enough(and come with a 1 year warranty through an American service company, that in the event we needed to we could probably troubleshoot and cannibalize units to keep 2-3 units operating at any time.

I mean… again. if 3x 2.5kw@-40 units =1x 7.5 kw… then we could literally buy almost 11 of them for the price of one comparable huber…

I appreciate any/all input.


It is possible but kind of a pain in the ass to bank chillers. If you have multiple heat exchangers, running a designated chiller for each is the easier and more controllable method (assuming the capacities can be split appropriately).

There will probably be some advanced mechanical features on the Huber/Julabo systems (liquid/vapor injection and probably oil control) but as you’ve pointed out sometimes that complexity saves the expensive parts but gives opportunity for other weak points.

One thing I highly recommend you do (in either case but especially the Chinese manufacturer) is get information on the compressor/refrigerant and confirm that the capacity is actually somewhat near what they advertise. I’ve gotten to the point of completely disregarding any non-reputable manufacturers ratings because they pretty much all lie through their teeth. A little number crunch can save you a couple month saga landing you with equipment that does half of what you want.

Lastly, at $100k price tag, I still can’t believe there aren’t more people filling this space for custom/semi custom systems. Not that they’re cheap, but have you tried Mokon?

Edit: did some real quick number crunch and it looks like this design would do what you need but you’d have to add a second low stage compressor in series because of the compression ratio limitation (actually should be around 28 kw at -40 unless I totally fucked my math). If you want an open source/to go to a builder instead. Should cost way less than $10k in parts.


I’ll scope them out right now. Thanks for taking the time to respond amigo.

Yea I’m bewildered also. It seems like a glaring gap in the trendiest industry in the world.


I mean honestly it’s probably just a growing pains thing. We repurpose all this other giant industrial shit for cannabis and that’s the direction things will continue to go, but the reality is that there isn’t really another big industry (ag/oil and gas/specialty chem) that has giant loads at these low temperatures. These Huber units are primarily for laser applications for example. The reason is that there’s usually a way to avoid going to these expensive low temperatures, and that’s the way I’m sure cannabis will go (is going already).

1 Like

Understood. Gonna pull the specs in the west tune model I have in mind and try my hand st the calculations. Then gamble on posting them here and the over under on how long it takes someone to further prove I don’t know wtf I’m talking about!

Feel free to ask if you need help with the math, I will happily assist. Really you just need their swept volume (or some sort of model info on the compressors), the design arrangement (cascade, tandem vs series compressors), and refrigerant and we could put a pretty good guess on the real capacity.


I will definitely take you up on that.

Looking forward to understanding refrigeration systems better…

Gonna do some focused learning before I pester you guys on here any further.

1 Like

fuck west tune, scammed me out of all the glassware that was broken or scratched to shit.

“transporting scratches” lol… rolling around on a dirty shelf for years more like it and straight up dings in the glass like stone on a windshield.

i spend 3300 $ on a complete set, and i DITCHED it all.!!!

Spend your time finding one on a auction site, ebay, so forth!

i got a julabo FW-40 for 300euros that freakin works and looks almost new.

like 12$k when it was new or somethin

You have asked many questions
You have not provided answers to the questions inherent in solving your query

What process do you have in mind with this chiller you seek to name and specify?

How much solvent do you seek to remove energy from if that is the need, and in what time frame do you need said solvent cooled, to what temperature and for how long?

What is your ambient air temperature?

Are there any other parts of your process which transfer heat energy in or out of a process stream?

How much energy in and out of said process stream in a given amount of time and into and out of which medium?


Not beyond about -40 but there are industrial chiller applications at that temp range
The ProChillers M45 series holds -45C with models from 12.2 to 30.2hp. Designed for glycol based heat transfer fluids. Plenty of power to chill multiple components of your extraction system.

I’m hooking one up to an Iron Fist EX80 right now, will report back once she’s running.


I’ve been looking at the same question. It doesn’t seem to me that the companies selling these give any sort of discount for purchasing more kW at a time, so why not just buy smaller and have redundancy?

I think you’ve found the best solution. I would buy one at a time and see how it is


The reason we don’t generally see big discounts for more capacity and the issue I have with something like the ProChillers @SamuraiSam posted is that they all use multiple 5-15hp compressors because that is what’s available. In fact, as the system gets larger, they tend to get more complex because of oiling consideration and capacity control measures. When I talk about big industrial process chilling from other industries, I’m talking about loads in the 500+ Rton range.

1 Like

This unit uses a single compressor

1 Like

Oofff. -40 on a single stage must be miserably hard on the compressor. What’s the refrigerant?



I could be wrong but when I popped off a panel i only saw a single compressor

With a 10C approach and 5C superheat, that’s an evap pressure of about 450 torr. To condense at 38C with 5c subcooling you’re at a discharge pressure of 14731 torr. Or a compression ratio of 32:1. Also running the evaporator at less than atmospheric which is generally poor form. And the vapor density is also really low.


1.) chillers to be used primarily with heat exchanges. looking to recover approximately 250p solvent per hour. BHO system. corken t-291 recovery pump.
2.) ambient air should be in the ~70 range.
3) estimated solvent temp exiting the pump at the high end(hopefully) 100F. trying to get it to -40.

according to my math using the chiller calculator thread we need 5-6kw cooling capacity

anything else I should provide? thanks for your help.

The Huber’s get a bad rap which is a shame because the company is great when it comes to customer service and support and the product is truly second to none.

The issue is that, by nature it is German, like my favorite kind of car, they are over complicated in that it has MANY fail safes built in to protect itself from unsatisfactory conditions both internally and externally. Who wouldn’t want to protect their investment, right? Things turn for worst when operators are receiving errors codes due to small things like ambient air not being suitable, or pump pressure related warnings, etc. So complaints can be had and understandable but not often if setup correctly.

After they’re setup and running they generally don’t have anything to say or complain about and just do their jobs, and they do their jobs very well!

Are they the most cost efficient solution? Its possible that they may not be for your certain expected capacity or aspirations, sometimes people are better off sourcing the components and designing the system themselves, customized for their use applications. Other times, we have clients who need quick, reliable, out of the box solutions backed with dependable support, and we like Huber/Julabo for these aspects. Service technicians with either company onsite within 24 hours, and 24/7 support hotline, backed with great warranties (Huber has 3 years!).

Sorry, I had to get this off my chest, I just really don’t want these guys getting a bad rap, the equipment is truly sophisticated and built very reliably!


Well said. Those systems are really built for applications where the chiller going down will break something much more expensive than the chiller itself. Things like industrial CO2 lasers and such. In our application (cooling solvent), the chiller IS the expensive thing and as a few people have mentioned, redundancy and having a slightly oversized system that doesn’t need to run on the ragged edge 24/7 might be more valuable than all of the diagnostic features of these units come with.


The Semiconductor industry uses large low temp chillers.