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The Aeryn module: Palu Air Conditioning

The Aeryn module was designed to allow air to be taken into the paludarium, heated and/or moisturized (mist) before it enters the setup. This is all part of the idea to have “no tech inside” but rather outside for easier access, maintenance and replace with updated versions.

What is Aeryn

Remember the sci-fi series “Farscape”? I originally designed this module named the Aether module. In honor of Farscape I renamed this module to Aeryn 🙂

The Aeryn module is a box-shaped module approximately 60x15x13cm in size, and is inserted into the hood above the paludarium. It lines up with two 12cm holes in the ceiling, where two fans draw in air from the outside. On the end of the module a 40mm pipe leads to the meshed strip on top of the paludarium where the conditioned air gets inserted.

Aeryn section 1: the air intake

The first section of the Aeryn module contains two 120mm fans, RPM regulated (and RPM measured back). These fans are put on top of the module, blowing down into the module. So first the airflow needs to be guided to flow sideways, which is accomplished using a 3D printed guide as shown below:

First section: After the air is pushed in from the top using two 120mm fans, this 3D printed guide directs the air to the left, on to the next sections of the Aeryn module.

Aeryn section 2 : Air heater

The second section of Aeryn is the air heater. First there is a (quick vase mode) 3D printed nozzle to force the air through a large (12x20x7cm) metal heatsink. Under the heatsink there is a 70watt heater element that automatically stays at 70 degrees when powered on:

The second section of Aeryn can heat the air using a large heatsink and a heater pad.

Aeryn section 3: Misting section

The third and last section of the Aeryn module can add mist (moist) to the air forced into the paludarium. There are three 24V mistmakers in a 3D printed holder:

3D-printed holder for three 24V mist maker units. This holder keeps the mist makers in place while allowing water to flow underneath the mist makers as they take in water from the bottom.

These mist makers get placed in a container where I’ll cut out holes for air inlet and exhausts (this is a work in progress). I might split up the mist maker control where I can activate one and/or the other two to more or less regulate the amount of mist.

Second I’ll have an external diaphragm pump able to pump (reverse osmosis) water into this container. There is also an overflow pipe that makes sure the container can never overflow. The overflow ensures the water level inside the container so the mist makers work optimally, and excess water gets inserted into the paludariums aquatic part. I might add a flow sensor to this lead to make the computer detect when there is enough water inside the container (and stop pumping), but I might also “loosely time” this as the overflow will secure the water level inside the container anyway.

This small container will have a lid and holes for air inlet and exhaust, as well as a 6mm hose to fill the container with reverse osmosis water and a 6mm overflow tube to ensure a proper water level for the mist makers.

The way the air leaves Aeryn

The exhaust is still under development; so far I have 3D printed a 40mm exhaust pipe which leaves the module at a 45 degree down angle. This will ultimately lead into a paludarium-wide transparent 50x50mm square tube which in turn will force the conditioned air into the paludarium through the top mesh strip which is 50mm wide:

The paludarium top mesh: a 50mm wide strip through which the conditioned air will be forced inside while keeping animals in 🙂

This concludes the description of the Aeryn module. It should allow me to regulate airflow through the paludarium, heat the air to hopefully direct it at the front window (so it won’t fog up). Finally I can add mist to the air I insert into the paludarium to quickly raise humidity as the sun sets. And combinations of all above; how to exactly regulate this to get to the proper airflow, air temperate and humidity remains to be seen. However, the paludariums “brain” will be capable to control all bits and pieces individually, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough!