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CryoBUG Project

CryoBUG Demo Unit

Timeline
  • 2011: Serious development began with the initial purpose of creating a very small autocascade chiller capable of obtaining temperatures down to and beyond -150 °C
  • 2012: Challenges such as reducing heat exchanger size, simplification of refrigeration design for further size reduction, oil and refrigerant freezing concerns, all played a role in the evolution of this conceptional unit
  • 2013: Further development of the mixed refrigerant charge produced a unit with 'Green' alternatives to the high global warming CFC, HCFC, or HFC refrigerants normally being used in the industry
  • 2014: Projected release of project design for commercial applications has been put on hold due to unresolved reliability issues.
Overview
CryoBUG Demo Unit (Rear View)
Intevac Compatible Cold Head
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

The CryoBUG chiller is an industrial cryogenic autocascade refrigeration system utilizing one compressor, and a mixed refrigerant charge. It is ultra compact, being perhaps the smallest -150 °C autocascade system in existence.

And although it uses a charge mixture composed of flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants, the quantity is so small (< 57 grams), that it poses no more risk then a R600a domestic refrigerator. A common item in Europe and the UK, and soon to be in the US, thanks to recent EPA approval via their SNAP program.

Applications
Hard Disk Manufacture: Used as a Water-Vapor-Cryopump in the vacuum deposition of magnetic media on the surface of hard disk platters.

With water vapor being one of the most difficult contaminates to remove when trying to create a clean vacuum coating environment,  freezing the water was the best solution. Traditionally this has been implemented by using large power hungry centralized chillers servicing multiple cold heads for each individual coating chamber.

CryoBUG promises to revolutionize the industry, by placing a dedicated cryopump where it's needed most, directly next to each cold head.

Imaging Sensor Cooling: Electronic-Multiplying Charge-Coupled-Device (EMCCD) imaging sensors require cooling to minimize the effects of thermally-induced noise called dark current, from overriding the weak signals of the photons being detected.

Thermoelectric or liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling is often applied for this purpose, but the thermoelectric solution barely meets the need, and using LN2 comes with its share of safety issues and costs.

CryoBUG can be employed as the cooler for these types of devices, and due to its small size, be better suited for portable or space constrained applications.


Cold Trap: There are a multitude of cold trapping applications including, but not limited to trapping water vapor in a vacuum system. Many solvents and lubricants, some toxic, and some volatile, could also be trapped by cryogenic cooling of a baffle like the one shown to the left.

Trapping of conformal coatings such as Parylene (moisture protection of electronic components and circuit boards), is an example of using a cold trap to protect the vacuum pumps used in that process.

By utilizing CroBUG's compact design, the baffle and chiller could be integrated as one unit, thereby eliminating couplings, lines, and all the associated problems (wasted cooling, increased power consumption, leaks and subsequent downtime for repairs).


DEMO Unit Technical Specifications
  • Temperature Range: -125 to -155 °C
    CryoBUG Temperature vs Heat Load Chart
    (Click on Image to Enlarge)
  • Maximum Heat Load: 50 Watts (see chart)
  • Cool-Down from 20 °C (with 10 watt load)
    • 22 min: -100 °C
    • 24 min: -110 °C
    • 26 min: -120 °C
    • 30 min: -130 °C
    • 35 min: -140 °C
    • 45 min: -150 °C
  • Weight: 53.5 lbs (24.3 Kg)
  • Dimensions inches (cm)
    • Width: 9 (22.9)
    • Height: 14.5 (36.8)
    • Depth (case only): 15.75 (40)
    • Depth w/Cold Head: 23.13 (58.7)
      Dimensional Drawing
      (Click on Image to Download PDF)
  • Noise Level (1 Meter distance)
    • Start-Up: 55-56 dba
    • Cooled-Down: 53-54 dba
  • Power Requirements
    • AC Voltage: 110-125
    • Hertz: 60
    • RLA: 3.5
    • Watts (0.85 PF): 372
    • Fuse rating: 10 Amps
  • Compressor
    • Type: Rotary Rolling Piston
    • Displacement: 4.8 cc3/rev
    • Oil: PVE
  • Refrigerant
    (Click on Image to Enlarge)
    • Type: Hydrocarbon/Argon Blend
    • Weight: 2.3 oz (65 grams)
    • ODP: 0
    • GWP (100 Yrs): 21
    • HAZMAT Class: 2.1
  • Monitoring/Control
    • Temperature Meter w/Set-Point
    • Local & Remote ON/OFF
    • Remote Status Contacts
    • 3 Point Safety Loop w/Shut-Down
    • LED Fault Status Indicators
    • Compressor Pressure Gauges
  • Options
    • 220 VAC 50-60Hz Power
    • Water Cooling
Link To: CryoBUG vs Polycold's PCC Chiller

The Technical Specifications listed above are for the CryoBUG Demo Unit, which as the name implies was designed to demonstrate this unique refrigeration technology. Technology that may be applied to various applications, and customized in numerous ways. The Demo Unit only shows off one particular application that seemed well suited for this technology.

Mytek Controls is not a manufacturer. We develop specialized low temperature refrigeration system designs for our technology partners.


Acknowledgements

Front Panel Express -- Custom Enclosure Fabrication (a fantastic on-line service with great support)
XtremeSystems Forums -- An inspirational group of people, exploring the leading edge of technology
M&T Systems -- Provided facilities and some materials during CryoBUG's early development process
My Family -- For putting up with my distracted thoughts & strange work hours, with many an 'all nighter'