[time-nuts] Wine cooler as temperature chamber

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 13 22:09:26 EDT 2014

On 10/13/14, 4:17 PM, ed breya 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.

The TEC probably has a maximum delta T of about 30-40F.

They are usually about 10% efficient, so for every watt you suck out, 
you need to dissipate 11 watts from the hot side.

MELCOR (now part of Laird)
has all the ap notes you might need.

> 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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