Originally Posted by Carlscan26
Small piece of advice: put some holes in that plywood over the hot side coils - that heat needs to go somewhere and right now its trapped in a box ...
You'll get better efficiency out of the unit if the hot side can "breath"
I know this may not make sense since in the original fridge it was sandwiches in the foam around the chamber too. But in my experience they're closer to the outer skin which ends up acting like a radiator. The plywood is not going to do that as well as the sheet metal of the original body.
So on this note, I took some measurements of the fridge running in it's pictured state, no mods, just plywood sides. It was running for maybe 2 hours solid, the compressor was hot as heck and the heat dispersion lines were really hot too. Like couldn't hold my hand on them for more than a second, compressor was too hot to touch for half a second.
The temperature in the walls of the unit was maybe 120f or so, maybe more, I couldn't get my probe in very far.
So I modded my front plywood panel, I put on some metal plates on the back of it (salvaged from that wine fridge), ones that had grills on them. Cut some holes in the plywood for those grills to vent through and my temps were down to about 110f on another similar test. Not good enough.
I then mounted two fans on the far right side, near the top, computer fans basically (from the wine fridge) and now my temps in the plywood walls don't go above 85f.
The compressor still gets hot, but not as much, and the lines are not as hot either. In fact, the unit cools faster too, it was a noticeable difference!
I'd like to still add a fan pointed directly at the compressor though.