Who sells huge cryo chillers that aren't huge disappointments?


Hello Cyclopath

I am happy to give you some guidance >
first of all I need all masses ,
what is your reactor material : glass or stainless ?
What is the approx. weight ?
What is the reactor volume ?
Reactor content is ethanol ,
What is your starting temp ?
What is your goal temp ?
What is your time to goal temp expectation ?
If I have all this information I can calculated the chiller kw you need


Doh! don’t want to ignore those. Vacuum jacketed stainless.
Don’t have a clue atm. but understand that like the solvent they have a heat capacity and will need to come along for the temp drop. call it 200lb at a guess.

Math shown was for 100gal.
It was done for 20C => -20C
but that doesn’t change the energy that needs to be removed, just how hard it is to remove it :wink:

lets start at ambient. and lets assume that we’re in a poorly controlled warehouse in summer…so that actually means 35C.

Because it happens.
It’s also my expected solvent boiling temp in the recovery still :wink:

lets go to -60C. because it’s hard. but looks like it might be the right response.

how fast? I gave a rational for wanting to get from 20 to -20 in a hr over here…suggesting I need to go from +35 to -60 in that time-frame without throwing liqN2 at the problem seems like asking for a BIG chiller…but one hr temp on a 100gal of solvent would match up nicely with 100gal/hr folks would like to see out of their solvent recovery rigs. So lets call it one hr (also allows scaling to 1600gal “over-night”).

Can I convince you to show your work?

If you teach the village how to size their chillers, or at least double check the consultant they hired, there won’t be as many folks like the OP running woefully undersized chillers…


yep , that is exactly right …jacketed reactor material , hoses, and reactor content all have different heat capacities. that’s why we all take them into consideration when calculating heat removal
Then we take a starting temp 20 C and a goal temp -60 C, that’s a delta of 80 K and lets assume we want to reach our goal temp in 1 h…that would require approx. 15 KW of cooling power in 35C ambient I would add another 20% so with 18 KW it should be easily accomplished. For this big sizes air cooled is out of the questions since the heat output is way to high , so that leads to water cooled chillers.
If you allow 2 h of cooling down time chiller size is about half…
We have a great source of case studies and here is one on a 250 Liter ( 65 Gallon ) Stainless Steel reactor.
If you need more help sizing chillers Please contact info@huber-usa.com anytime , we are happy to help
Hope this guidline helps the community to make the right choices


my response above :slight_smile:


Haha, yes, I was going to say, no way a single chiller of that size can cool 105 gallons of alcohol in an hour to that target temp.

People who don’t have knowledge of thermodynamics should not build physics labs. There are plenty of knowledgeable consultants out here that can help avoid these mistakes.


what is really needed is some way to change the physics of ethanol recovery.

which is what the CXE rabbit hole is all about I believe :wink:


you are talking my language SoStupendous


way undersized is not a question of quality


I’m well aware that the Unistat 815’s are nowhere near large enough in capacity to do 105 gallons of ethanol in an hour. The 105 gal/hr figure is what I’d like to be doing short term, and would like to double that in the longer term. I know that means spending more money and buying more equipment. The lack of capacity is only a portion of my complaints about these units.

I’ll note that I was NOT the person who spec’ed out these chillers. I don’t know if it was that person who didn’t (or did wrong) the math to calculate what kW chilling capacity they were going to need, or if they got taken by a salespersons claim without the technical understanding to disprove the sales-speak. I’m just trying to do the best I can as far as production with what I have available to me at the current time. I know full well that some capital expenditure is inevitable if I want to increase my production rate, right now the current rate is not even close to what we need to achieve to make money.

I received a call from Huber this morning and it sounds like they are going to work to get the technical issues with these machines taken care of (pump issue and touchscreen issue). They apologized that nobody had gotten back to me about my inquiry with regards to their Spycontrol software that isn’t working and said they would work on that as well, to the extent that they’re willing to fly out a tech to address all these issues if need be.

They said that for the size of reactors we are running these Unistats are undersized and for the volume of liquid being circulated should have been fitted with an auxiliary expansion tank. I don’t fault Huber for pointing these things out - though I think there’s a good possibility that the dealer who sold our company these knowing full well what our needs are may need additional training to help customers get the right equipment the first time.

I will keep this thread updated as Huber works with us to resolve these problems.


I run three water cooled three phase julabo FPW-91SL’s and have had issue after issue. Have heard good and bad about huber but at the scale you’re talking I would look towards industrial applications…


Hi Derek…
using open bath systems down to -90 is always a challenge…
if you like to contact me I would love to help you .
We have 6 service technicians across the country , so our support is much better then most other competitors


We are using an iced tech chiller right now and I will vouch for it working pretty well. Keeps up with a giant crude extractor using two master vapor pumps right now. Still not quite getting the recovery rates they would tout in the demos but it’s been pretty reliable the last month or two.

The cons: Yes, you have to put it on the roof, and it’s probably not moving once it’s installed. Very difficult to adjust the temperature setting once it’s installed. Basically has one temperature - fucking cold.


Ive been to your operation, your collection pots are those massive cube tanks that feed The King of Rock. 3 huber 815s are simply to small. They are great for holding decently sized vessels at low temps for long time, or keeping up with medium depth condensing. Trying to chill that much solvent that quickly takes a ton of power. I would augement your cooling with liquid co2 in coils or in jacket if said reactors if applicable. Youll need a large co2 tank outside to have enough stock up last a while.
But just dropping dry ice in your ethanol is a joke for anything over benchtop scale. Not only does it cause misting and external ethanol condensation, it will leach acids into your solution and could cause further isomerization down the road which will kill isolate yields and potency reaults.


Yep, and Monday we’re going to sit down with Huber and figure out how to move forward with our operation. We aren’t keeping the massive (375 gal) cube tanks cold with the Hubers (once plant material is separated from alcohol no point in keeping it cold), we’re just trying to keep the 35 gal jacketed reactors cold and they aren’t keeping up with that either.


The King of Rock? :swoon: :heart_eyes:


I have calculated the cooling power for about 100 Gallons of Ethanol from -25 to -45 C
Huge is a relative term.
We have a industrial size Unistat 630W ( Big Big brother of Unistat 815 )
14 KW @ -40 C / 5 KW @ - 60 C…Listprice 176,510
This machine can do this job easy . CO2 is much more complex , and expensive.


The King of Temp :slight_smile:


how did the meeting with Huber go ?


Huber sent out a technician named Michael Nock to our facility on Monday, who I have nothing but positive reviews about. However, he seemed frustrated with some of the other people, and especially management at Huber, and while I can sympathize (having worked the field tech job and having to rep and answer to clients problems on expensive machinery that I had no hand in fucking up and making terrible decisions regarding), I think he should invest in the heaviest Sunday newspaper he can find to beat the brains out of some of the people in his office until they stop doing stupid shit.

With that said:
Our units are drastically undersized. I knew this from some calcs I had run prior to his arrival. I know this is not anyone in the Huber technical department, but I very much doubt that the tech side is incapable of sharing the calculations with the sales side who way overpromised the cooling abilities of the 815’s, even knowing what kind of load our business planned on putting them under. From my talk with Huber (George I think) the week prior, they told me that the 815’s are good for a maximum of 80-100L jacketed reactor (~20-25 gallon). Our plans called for a minimum of 35 and more likely 70 gallon (2x 35 gallon) reactor capacity. We realistically need at least 4x the cooling capacity that the 815’s can offer at -40C and don’t need units that go all the way to -85C like the 815’s do. Unfortunately that means a significant additional amount of money to go to higher power 6-series Unistats like the 620W.

Needless to say a sales guy bothering to do some basic math would have resolved many of these issues before we got them in the field and found that they are nowhere near powerful enough. IMO having worked with sales people that both the engineers and the technicians wanted to kill this is a management problem and not one that can be put on anyone on the technical side.

Other issues I brought up with my initial post:
Huber is sending me a new Pilot One controller for the unit which has thrown touchscreen errors and I will send the one which has continued to error back to them. It would have been better if Michael could have brought one with him but I understand if his corporate overlords won’t do the sane thing and just let him go to job sites with spare parts.

The can’t restart after error thing is frustrating. Michael said that they have to build these to comply with EU regulations which is why I can’t reset an error like E-63 (low pump pressure) without powering down the unit. I understand different regs for different areas, but the smart thing to do would be to allow these things to be flashed to the territory its getting sold in. They already seem to understand this as you can upfit other models to get them to be UL listed. Maybe not enough people have bitched about this “feature”.

Same deal with the lack of auto-restart attempt after alarm, this is probably also due to EU regulations.

Documentation is terrible. Michael agreed with me on this one. A quick start guide that is worth a shit would go a long way if you’re reading this, Huber management.

A corollary to the painfully bad documentation is the broken software. Michael showed me two other ways to data log which the manual doesn’t really delve into, one of which requires the laptop to be attached to the 815 via a USB cable. If the software is broken, either fix it or make it known that there are workarounds that need to be done in order to make datalogging work. This isn’t rocket science, and a disclaimer on the download page of Spycontrol or a Readme.txt file would go a long way towards not pissing off the people using the tools published on Huber’s website to do what the machine + software is advertised to do out of the box.

The lack of price and availability on process thermocouple is between Huber and the dealer we purchased the units through and since have been dealing with. Not sure exactly where the blame lies here. When Michael sent me quotes on other (larger) cooling units he included something about the process thermocouple but no price/availability information.

I think the air burping/level gauge/expansion tank process would be far less frustrating with a larger expansion chamber. Given that these 815’s are drastically undersized for the app we told Huber’s sales guy that we were using them for, this may be less of a design flaw and more of a problem with the person who promised the 815’s suitability for our intended application, and resulting mismatch of cooling equipment with the size of reactors we are using.

Huber has given us some options we are poring over to try and get the most throughput we can. Most of these seem to involve moving to a larger water cooled chiller with a secondary water cooler we can locate outside of the building. Associated cost is much higher, which isn’t the end of the world but would have been a lot easier to deal with the first go around rather than after we’ve found that what we’ve been sold is way too small for the task at hand.

I feel like Huber is making an earnest attempt to right this situation and I very much appreciate that, but at the same time a lot of these things would have been non-issues if their documentation was better and their sales force was trained better.


I didnt want to do this until after you talked to Huber. Im really not wanting to start something here with Huber as well but, Id give Julabo a call. I have been doing a bunch of research on chillers lately. It all seems to be pointing to Julabo. Hubers are lighter,maybe less noisy, maybe a pretty case but julabos are a damn diesel truck. There is a unit that is a few thousand more than that 815 that has three times the cooling power at -80. The pumps are magnetically coupled as opposed to shaft style that your having fun with currently. They self lube as well. I thought that was neat. Alot of the nicer units come with internal pressure gauges so you dont crack lab glass. Several other features I felt could be very useful in the extraction industry. The sales woman was extremely helpful as well. I cant say enough about how helpful see was. Hit me up if you want some more info.