Author Topic: Suffering from Cave Sickness  (Read 1520 times)

Offline John@PC

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Re: Suffering from Cave Sickness
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 06:59:32 PM »
Thanks Bob.  In my prior life I designed a "reversible" hot plate using a TEC.  Took me a while to understand the "heat pump" equivalent, and those sinks and fans are necessary for sure or else the module goes kaput!  I was planning to cut a beveled "square" cut out in the side of the box to mount the module, but will wait to get it to do some tests and decide.  I love alpine-type cheeses with large holes and I'm thinking of adding a small "top" compartment to the "box" that would be closer to 70F.   

Will take a couple of weeks to cobble together but I'll share details and construction (cut plan and parts) if it works.  If not I'll link to an add for a cool wine cooler  ::).


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Offline jwalker

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Re: Suffering from Cave Sickness
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 07:09:14 AM »
  Enough to keep drinks cool in a small cooler, but not much more. 

Actually Bob , I used to have a Coleman 12V cooler with the TEC module and a small fan , we used it for camping , it was a large size cooler.

If we didn't open it at least once a day , everything in it would start to freeze , so they may have more capacity than you think.

The fan on that one packed it in after a few years and I couldn't find a replacement , so it got trashed.

The thickness of the insulation would dictate the size of chamber you could keep cool with it , within reason that is.

It seem like an interesting option , but still , by the time you buy the TEC , the wood and the insulation (Good high density foam insulation is very expensive) , a cheap refrigerator may be just as effective.

I'm going to look at some options in our local used appliance store today , as I need to make more cheese this weekend and my cave is FULL !
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline John@PC

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Re: Suffering from Cave Sickness
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2013, 02:08:27 PM »
It seem like an interesting option , but still , by the time you buy the TEC , the wood and the insulation (Good high density foam insulation is very expensive) , a cheap refrigerator may be just as effective.
Yeah, but it wouldn't be as "cool" (and not in the temperature sense) 8).  I happened to have a module assembly I pulled from a dehumidifier last year.  It's a low-power module (wall transformer is rated .6A @ 12v dc.) and it wasn't designed for mounting in a 2" thick box but I thought I would give it a try while waiting for my new module assembly to come in.

Picture below shows the test box modified with the TE cooler.  Butt ugly but only wanted to do a quick test and didn't want to spend a lot of time or money.  Started it up about three hours ago and here are the readings and specs:

- walls: 2" thick R10 extruded polystyrene (door is 1" thick) made from one $16 4x8' sheet
- internal volume: 2.3 cu. ft.
- energy usage: 20 watt
- ambient temp: 84
- inside-box temp: 76

If target temperature is 55F than delta T would need to be almost 30F (less if in a cooler environment) so this system is pumping out only a fourth of the heat that is needed.  However, the TEC module in the assm. I ordered is rated 92 watt (almost 5x what I have now) and also has a circulating fan for the cold side (the one shown doesn't; it's just a bare heat sink).  I still think it has a shot but won't know for a couple of weeks.  Will update then.