My motivation is that I live in Florida, where the heat (even inside an air conditioned house might not allow for the temperature swings that highland Nepenthes need). Also, I am lazy, and was tired of bringing lots of ice packs out from the freezer each sunset to put in a thermal cooler for my Jamban, and then remembering each morning to get the ice packs out and back into the freezer.
List of things I used:
- a 7 cubic foot chest freezer. I went with this one from Walmart, and I bought it new because I wanted something with a warranty https://www.walmart.com/ip/Arctic-King- ... hbdg=L1100 ~ $200 USD
- a piece of "egg crate" similar to this one https://www.homedepot.com/p/Plaskolite- ... /202025149 ~ $18 USD
- some 1" PVC and couplers (used to raise the egg crate off of the floor of the freezer) - ~ $15 USD
- a yescom 225 LED light - I had a spare red/blue one, but probably would have preferred a white one ~ $25 USD
- some DC fans to keep air circulating (in the enclosed environment, this is very important). I chose these, only because they came with a AC to DC adapter, and some sore of variable speed control. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ ... UTF8&psc=1
- some sort of thermostat controller - You would want one with a day and night temperature, for example one like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CG ... UTF8&psc=1 ~ $65 USD, although in my design, I used some different smart outlets - see section on automation for more info
- a piece of 1/4" or thicker clear acrylic / plexiglass to be used as the new lid. In my case, this measured about 21 1/4" x 32 1/8" with fillet (rounded) corners ~ $70 USD
- some weatherstripping to go between the top surface of the chest freezer, and the piece of plexiglass ~ $10 USD.
Next, I measured and made the PVC stand to raise the bottom of the egg crate. I also measured and cut the egg crate to size using some gloves and a pair of diagonal cutters. I like using egg crate and having it raised because it gives me room for (one of) the fans, provides a place for the water to go, and also brings the plants closer to the top / light source. I went with a design like this, but I am sure there are many different ways I used some tie wraps to hold the egg crate to the PVC. Here it is, looking down into the chest freezer.
Next, I laid the weather stripping around the top of the freezer, so that it made a nice seal between the top of the freezer and the plexiglass. Placed the light on the top of the plexiglass and plugged everything in for a test. I put one of the fans under the egg crate, blowing one way, and another above blowing the other way, like this: At this point you could use a controller like I listed above to set the day and night temperature, plug the freezer into the controller, remember to keep the controller's probe inside the freezer, and be done. But I chose to integrate it into my existing Home Assistant instance. See my previous post on my grow tent automation post370483.html#p370483 for more background.
Read on for part two, the automation of this chest freezer.
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