Refrigerated Dog Bed
My first post on Instructables! Anyhow, we own a 10-month old Great Pyrenees and live in the drought stricken and warm Southern California climate. As summer approaches we have been looking at options to help keep her cool and we haven't had the greatest of luck with cooling beds available on the market, our Coonhound tore up the first one as a 50 lb pup during his first summer.
I was thinking about potentially re-purposing an old mini-fridge coolant system into a cooling bed. My very initial thoughts are as follows:
1. Salvage working mini-fridge
2. Disassemble cooling system
3. Create bed surface using sheet metal (our Pyr won't sleep on the any of the multiple plush beds available to her, only concrete or dirt)
4. Create mount base for bed, ideal scenario would have a force sensitive switch that would only turn on refrigeration unit when dog is on the bed.
5. Thermally attach refrigerator expander coils to the underside of the bed, most likely via solder but could bolt together with thermally conductive paste
6. Rig up an enclosure and support structure for the compressor, heat exchange coils, and electronics.
I imagine the bed surface resembling the weight scales at the vet but with some provisions to attach a padded fabric cover.
Things to be addressed:
1. Ensuring proper temperature regulation...she has a thick durable coat but don't want to over due things. Temperature feedback shouldn't not be too much of a hurdle using an Arduino or using the existing "twisty-turny" nob in the fridge
2. Properly disassembling the salvaged fridge, don't want to unnecessarily release the refrigerant and defeat the whole purpose
3. Make this thing sturdy enough to survive the wear and tear of one and/or probably two 85 lb plus dogs
Is this too far fetched (no pun intended, my dogs aren't retrievers)? Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.