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Queen cell carrier building


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For some time I've been making carriers for 28 queen cells using a 6L peltier plate warm/cold box and with a simple 12V temperature controller. Actually the kids were making them for pocket money, but they've out grown it and we're winding it down. There was a thread about all this on the forum and how to do it yourself. Once in discussion about it, it was mooted to be a good idea to use a 24L chilly bin and do the same thing for a ~300 cell carrier. 

 

So I actually bought one of those 24L hot/cold boxes and have finally got around to take a look at this so as it can be put into service. From what I can see the chilly bin includes a 12Vdc circuit that runs everything and the 230V is managed with a separate transformer that outputs 12V. So the peltier plate is using 12V and for 230V there is no need for a transformer like the 6L boxes have because it is actually inbuilt; 230V can go straight in that socket. (so far so good).

 

The tricky bit is that the unit includes two peltier plates instead of one and so this question is to anyone who has already been down this path fitting a controller. From what I can see there is a regular hot/cold peltier plate that does the 'work', and the second peltier plate is actually being driven thermally by the first one and if this gets cold it enough it will actually develop 12V output, which then will limit the voltage going in the first one, essentially cancelling it out. Acting as a limiter.

So, it looks to me that I could splice in my controller on the first peltier plate and that I could just ignore the second one because for QC work it will never be an issue. Playing about with a multimeter there is 12V over the driving peltier plate by 0V over the driven one which I can't easily get up to temperature with this thing apart on the kitchen bench.

 

But I wonder if others have gone before me and done this already, maybe you could correct me if I'm wrong and/or have knowledge about why someone would install two peltiers together and have 0V over the second one at start up?

 

Photo shows the style of box I am talking about and a cheap controller (12V version).

IMG_2275.jpg

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When the late Clyde Mitchell designed the 21 cell carriers, he tried peltier plates, but found there is more variation in temperature, so didn't use one, so perhaps the two are to reduce the range of

That little 18 cell unit I got from you at the Kumeu meeting 3 or so years ago is still going strong. Used it last week. 

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When the late Clyde Mitchell designed the 21 cell carriers, he tried peltier plates, but found there is more variation in temperature, so didn't use one, so perhaps the two are to reduce the range of variation - in saying that, I am only parroting what he said, as I am about as good at things electrical as I am IT. The way ours is setup, with the latest supply of controllers, they are set to control swing in temperature to 0.1 C.

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7 hours ago, Sailabee said:

When the late Clyde Mitchell designed the 21 cell carriers, he tried peltier plates, but found there is more variation in temperature, so didn't use one, so perhaps the two are to reduce the range of variation - in saying that, I am only parroting what he said, as I am about as good at things electrical as I am IT. The way ours is setup, with the latest supply of controllers, they are set to control swing in temperature to 0.1 C.

That little 18 cell unit I got from you at the Kumeu meeting 3 or so years ago is still going strong. Used it last week. 

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Yes, that's the ones @dansar - they were designed to be economical and useful, and none have died yet, and some have been going for 5 years now. I figure that is enough cells for a hobbyist - we often get two or three living in the same area getting cells at the same time to requeen/split, so they work together it one batch of cells.

 

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9 hours ago, dansar said:

That little 18 cell unit I got from you at the Kumeu meeting 3 or so years ago is still going strong. Used it last week. 

 

The number of cells they take is dependent on who made the foam insert, but all the rest is identical to yours Dan.

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20 hours ago, Sailabee said:

When the late Clyde Mitchell designed the 21 cell carriers, he tried peltier plates, but found there is more variation in temperature, so didn't use one, so perhaps the two are to reduce the range of variation - in saying that, I am only parroting what he said, as I am about as good at things electrical as I am IT. The way ours is setup, with the latest supply of controllers, they are set to control swing in temperature to 0.1 C.

thanks for feedback.

I guess I'll just push on and give it a try see what happens.

With regards to the peltier plate 6L 28 cell units, these do vary temperature a lot if you measure and control the heating plate source, but not much at all if you measure air temperature at the cells. Of over 60 units nobody has ever had a problem with cells not emerging. We did have one unit where the peltier plate was a dud, and a couple that people destroyed with 24V or AC. I think going down to 0.1C is something that the bees would consider as over-the-top. It that were a problem with ripe cells you would kill them just opening the hive to remove the cell bar. But the easy way to manage that issue (if one is bothered at all) is simply to have a bag of sand in the bottom of the unit that is saturated in water. The sand avoids any sloshing around and keeps it stable and a perfect fit with no air gaps. The controller in the picture is all sealed up with wires coming out to solider which I like. The small units used controllers that hold the wires with screws. Over time these screws seem to come loose but it is not an option to solder them. They are very small and fiddly to loctite.

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