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Old 07-27-2014, 05:57 PM   #1
cbird01
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Default Non-refrigerant 6 can fridge for Ferm Chamber?

I am creating a fermentation chamber for my new cidery. I am not requiring lagering, so my target temp is about 55 degrees F for fermentation and aging. I have free materials for the box, which will be 2" of rigid polyiso board (R-14) which I will tape at all corners/seams. I started looking at this fridge which does not use a refrigerant. It also works in warming mode also for the winter, although I do not think I will need it as it will be in an interior closet. I was going to remove the door and have it open to the chamber with the outside of fridge outside the box. Just wondering if this would be sufficient considering the depth of my insulation. The rough dimensions of the box will be 44"x35"x20". The refrigerator says it can cool to 32" below ambient. The warmest my house gets is about 80 deg in this space. I am going to put the fridge on thermostat to turn on and off.

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Old 07-27-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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Get a regular fridge or air conditioner. That isn't designed to cool any significant volume/thermal mass. It also is one of the least efficient ways to cool a space, so you'll pay more to operate it.

Also, its a thermoelectic cooler,so it's going to dump a bunch of heat into the surrounding space. That is just how it works. If you put it in a closet, that closet is going to get warmer than the rest of your house. That will make the unit even less efficient.

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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That little thing won't have enough horse power to cool your cider box.

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Old 07-28-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Ok, since I just needed about 55, I thought I would be ok. The tough thing is that I am making this in the bottom of a closet, still needing the top of the closet for storage, so anything I stick in there, will take up space in the ferm chamber.

The cool thing is that it used to be where the furnace was and a concrete plenum makes up the bottom of the closet. There is a sub slab vent space that used to be for combustion air for the old furnace. Maybe I can buy the smallest refrigerator like the 1.7cf Haier and seal the fridge into the space so the heat of the refrig coil can be sub slab and open the fridge to the space with thermostat control. Have to check the dimensions of the combustion vent to see if that refrig will be too big.

Anyone know if these type of mini-fridge even have coils on the back. I am thinking not, so if it is in my compartment, where does the heat from the refrig dissipate?

EDIT - They recommend 4" air clearance on sides, top and back, so this must be where the heat dissapates, so I don't think I can have it in the chamber or in the vent space.

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Old 07-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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Just found this..can split the coils and vent the hot side down the combustion vent http://tucson.en.craigslist.org/hsh/4585728215.html

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Old 07-29-2014, 04:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbird01 View Post

Anyone know if these type of mini-fridge even have coils on the back.
No coil on the back

Quote:
where does the heat from the refrig dissipate?
Top and both sides

I have a modified one
File Type: jpg Finished_View.jpg (38.0 KB, 42 views)
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:56 PM   #7
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So if I were to use a Mini fridge, it seems like I would have to set the refrig on top and add a duct with a PC fan to draw the cold air from the fridge and dump into chamber. Has anyone ever done this? If I do it this way, can I have the thermostat turn on the refrig and fan and the same time(preferred), or should the refrig just always be on and the thermostat just turns on the PC fan? I assume I would have to have an outlet duct and an inlet duct for the refrig since it is sealed tight. Seems like this is the only way since the walls of the ferm chamber are encased by the closet walls.

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Old 07-29-2014, 03:25 PM   #8
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Have you looked at small chest freezers? That would seem to be the easiest fit.

Or you could build a collar on a taller mini-fridge like :

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/view...85902&start=15

Pumping cold air is a possible plan, but you need 2 way air flow. You can't just pump from the fridge to the chamber, it needs a return.

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Old 07-29-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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Space is the real consideration here since the closet is the only place I have in my house. Due to the other items we still need in the closet, a freezer won't work. Sounds like the pumping of cold air would work as I can easily fit the small 18" x 18" footprint of this $65 fridge. I will just remove the door from the little fridge, add some rigid foam to fit, with one supply duct with a PC fan, and one return duct. I will just get more room, which is key for me since I will need to be doing a lot of aging with cider. I could even use the space in the mini-fridge for cold ciders to drink.

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