Sizing chiller for laser

Methods of cooling laser tubes

Sizing chiller for laser

Postby dwessels » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:44 am


I have been using the 5 gal bucket-o-water to cool my laser, but it seems to not be enough for the cutting that I am doing.
I have been running a set of jobs that keep the laser cutting at full power for 1-3 hours (with short breaks to change out the materials) and I have had to go to several buckets that I rotate out to keep it cool.

I was thinking about it, and I have an aquarium chiller lying around that I can use.

The chiller is a 1/10hp that is rated for 280w of heat removal. It also has a thermostat that you can set a target temp.

So the questions I have are:
Is 280w enough heat removal?
What is the best temperature to run the laser at to get the best performance / life out of the tube?
Should I add anything to the water (antifreeze)?

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Re: Sizing chiller for laser

Postby bdring » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:43 pm

The laser is 10%-15% efficient. I would suggest 350W-400W as the max power dissipation. That is continuous full power.
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Re: Sizing chiller for laser

Postby r691175002 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:41 pm

It's not like a ten or twenty degree increase in water temperature is going to make or break the tubes. You can get air cooled co2 lasers so there is no need to spend tonnes of money or effort keeping the water at room temperature.

Sams laser FAQ seems to imply that there is no risk of permanent damage to the tube due to temperature unless it melts. Instead the laser becomes less efficient as the temperature increases. The magnitude of the effect is not stated but I'd imagine its not that bad since I've never noticed any loss of power during long cuts.

If you have the chiller already you can use it. Keep the temperature at or above room temperature so you don't get condensation. You can add antifreeze if you want. I've been using plain distilled water and some people use tap water.
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