[time-nuts] Wine cooler as temperature chamber

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Mon Oct 13 20:13:14 EDT 2014


If you go crazy with one of these things, you can get it down to 40 F or so. In a cold room, you might get to 30F.

As a test chamber they have a really slow response speed and lousy thermal control. The TEC is running at max most of the time and that does not leave much room for control.


On Oct 13, 2014, at 7:17 PM, ed breya <eb at telight.com> wrote:

> I have this nice little thermoelectric "12-bottle" wine cooler (about one cubic foot inside) that I've fixed twice already, and it just crapped out again. It's always the same thing - bad caps in the switching power supply - they're just too small to take the necessary ripple current. So, I could replace them again and be good for a couple of more years, cram bigger caps in there and maybe have a permanent fix, or decommission it from beverage service and convert it to a chiller cabinet for the lab.
> I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with these things to see how low in temperature they can go. In normal service, the minimum setpoint is 50 deg F, so not all that cold, but I'm sure it can do better than that with a good supply and running full blast. There's about one inch of insulation on all sides, and the door is double-layered glass. There's a circulator fan on each side of the TEC.
> I would put in a bigger supply and new control system, but it wouldn't be worth it if it can't chill much better than original. I don't know yet if the TEC is accessible for possibly upping the size and rating.
> I have experimented with R-12 type mini-friges for this purpose - they can typically reach minus 40 deg running continuously, but will be oil-starved at the high vacuum, low flow conditions there, so may not last long compared to normal service. They're kind of awkward and ugly too - the best would be a nice small, glass-doored wine chiller, with a normal refrigeration system built in, but maybe a TEC type would be OK for some uses.
> Ed
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