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Old 03-17-2009, 03:24 PM   #1
Budzu
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Default using open small fridge to cool small insulated closet?

I have a small crawlspace closet under my stairs which is from 2 feet high to 5 feet high, 3.5 feet deep by 6 feet wide. I had the idea of insulating it all with foam board and throwing in my small fridge with its door open, which is only about 3 feet high (its small but not "mini"). Maybe circulate the cool air with a small fan inside the fridge.

It's occured to me that the back of the fridge generates heat. Its not a problem to have the back end of the fridge sticking out of the insulated portion of the closet so that its not contributing heat to the inside.

Has anyone tried a similar thing? Do you think the fridge will end up over-worked? I would love to use this closet for kegs and lager fermentation. Taps would look beautiful on the door of the closet.

Is this a good idea or should I look at another way of cooling the closet?

Cheers!

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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Experiment with it, and see if that keeps your ambient temperature where you want it. I think a few people have tried something like this, but there is a risk. Overstressing the cooling element in your fridge could make it freeze over.

But hey, if you can find a way to make it work, a closet kegerator would be pretty sweet.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:30 PM   #3
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Never seen a small fridge cool something quite that big. I suppose it might work if the space is insulated really well. Seems like it might put a bit too much stress on the cooling element.

Maybe just butcher a full size fridge? They can easily be had for Free-$50 on Craigslist.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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Maybe just butcher a full size fridge? They can easily be had for Free-$50 on Craigslist.
Now that's a pretty good idea. Wish I had thought of that.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
It's occured to me that the back of the fridge generates heat.
Check your fridge for condenser coil location.
Newer fridges have the condenser in the side and top walls and generate heat.

Cheers,
ClaudiusB
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Another option that has been used is window or wall style A/C units.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:45 PM   #7
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I don't know much about fridge specs.. but here's mine.

Design Pressures: High-side 335 psi Low-side 140 psi
Refrigerant 135a Charge 2.0 oz Amps 1.05
Compressor 230 BTU per hour
Minimum compressor capacity 16 inch

Does this tell us anything about its potential performance?

Thanks for the replies

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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The 230 BTU/h cooling capacity is a bit low = 67 Watt, can work.

What you need to know is the insulation losses for your design, based on material and surface area.
The max ambient temp you will encounter.
The temp delta you require.



Cheers,
ClaudiusB

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Old 03-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #9
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now I'm thinking a better idea would be using my chest freezer, its about 6 or 7 cubic foot. It would fit right under my stairs with a bit of clearance in the closet.

Question: Can a chest freezer operate lying on its side? Face-down, with the compressor and guts now facing up?

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Old 03-17-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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AFAIK all refrigeration units can only properly operate in the position that they were designed to do so. This is why you should let a fridge or freezer stand upright for several days before plugging it in, if it was transported on its side/back for some reason.

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