Wine Cooler

MandyPi

Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off n
Hey Guys,
I have a question. I know it's said that the use of the thermoelectric coolers are better because they don't mess with the humidity, but I'm wondering if it would be a big deal if I had an Avallo System with two canisters providing the humidity? You see, I'd like to get a large wine cooler to store my cigars, but the thermoelectric coolers are too small. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Mandy
 

badhangover

New Member
Lots of people successfully use compressor system wine coolers for makeshift cabinet humidor use. I think I recall they were the first type to gain popularity before the bandwagon shifted to the lesser troublesome (humidity swings) of the thermoelectric models. A small fan (or two or three) usually resolves any humidity variance issues with the compressor models.

Personally, I'm not a fan of active humidification for the average sized residential wine cooler unit - 30'ish bottle or so capacity. But I know of a few guys who have rather large wine coolers (in the 400+ bottle capacity range) and active humidification certainly seems more warranted then. It would take A LOT of beads or other passive humidification to maintain a precise humidity environment of that volume.
 

kent1146

New Member
Hey Guys,
I have a question. I know it's said that the use of the thermoelectric coolers are better because they don't mess with the humidity, but I'm wondering if it would be a big deal if I had an Avallo System with two canisters providing the humidity? You see, I'd like to get a large wine cooler to store my cigars, but the thermoelectric coolers are too small. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Mandy
Well, the drawback of a compressor cooling system is that it messes with humidity. Specifically, it draws humidity out of the air as it cools. It isn't a problem per se, as long as you can find a way to protect against humidity swings (e.g. store cigars in boxes, rather than out in the open), and provide a lot of humidification (e.g. overstock on beads).

I have heard of some people who even go as far as finding a way to recycle the condensation from their compressor units, so that they don't need to keep recharging their humidification devices. If you can find a way to do that, you'll be fine.
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Hey Guys,
I have a question. I know it's said that the use of the thermoelectric coolers are better because they don't mess with the humidity, but I'm wondering if it would be a big deal if I had an Avallo System with two canisters providing the humidity? You see, I'd like to get a large wine cooler to store my cigars, but the thermoelectric coolers are too small. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Mandy
How big of a wine cooler are you talking about?? And it seems like you could always just add more canisters if the RH drops too much after cycling. Also, what's the ambient temp where you're going to put it? If you're trying to get too drastic of a temp change, it might be cooling all day and you'd never recover your RH. JMO as I'm no expert.

Derek
 

MandyPi

Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off n
I'm looking for a 50 to 75 bottle unit, and I will be using an Avallo system with two canisters.
 

chadth

New Member
Well, the drawback of a compressor cooling system is that it messes with humidity. Specifically, it draws humidity out of the air as it cools.
Can you provide some specifics on how this happens with compressor wine fridges? Been looking for some reference material for sometime.

Thanks,
-Chad
 

thevalkrye

uhh huh huh huh...member.
Compressors refrigerators have 2 settings... on and off. It can't cool to a temperature, it just gets as cold as it can. It condenses most of the moisture out of the air, so all that is left is as much water as the air can hold at 28-32 degrees, not 68 degrees. Pulling the rh way lower than a peltier cooler would.

Even if the moisture doesn't leave the container, you have to wait for it to evaporate back into the air, which isn't instantaneous. This causes humidity swings in cigars, which aren't good.

In short, compressor based refrigeration systems *do* pull more moisture out of the air than peltier cooled units.

Even if you can harvest the water that condenses out of the air and put it into beads, they won't instantly bring the humidity from nearly nil.

Does this help? You can also look up "dew point", to help explain why.
 

chadth

New Member
Compressors refrigerators have 2 settings... on and off. It can't cool to a temperature, it just gets as cold as it can. It condenses most of the moisture out of the air, so all that is left is as much water as the air can hold at 28-32 degrees, not 68 degrees. Pulling the rh way lower than a peltier cooler would.

Even if the moisture doesn't leave the container, you have to wait for it to evaporate back into the air, which isn't instantaneous. This causes humidity swings in cigars, which aren't good.

In short, compressor based refrigeration systems *do* pull more moisture out of the air than peltier cooled units.

Even if you can harvest the water that condenses out of the air and put it into beads, they won't instantly bring the humidity from nearly nil.

Does this help? You can also look up "dew point", to help explain why.
So if I understand correctly, fridges with compressors don't come with thermostats, they just go until they reached their max cooling temperature, and don't operate at all like a normal food fridge with compressors? This compressor wine fridge seems to have the ability to set temperature http://stores.channeladvisor.com/My-Green-...?itemid=6560268. I am lost....
 

kent1146

New Member
So if I understand correctly, fridges with compressors don't come with thermostats, they just go until they reached their max cooling temperature, and don't operate at all like a normal food fridge with compressors? This compressor wine fridge seems to have the ability to set temperature http://stores.channeladvisor.com/My-Green-...?itemid=6560268. I am lost....
No, compressor-type refrigerators will cool to a certain temperature. But the air they blast out is as cold as possible.

Think about compressor-type cooling this way:

Let's say that you are in a room that is 100 degrees F. The room has an air conditioner, that is capable of blasting out REALLY cold air at 0F (Brrrrrrr!!!). On one side of a room is a thermostat controlling an air conditioning unit, set to 50F. On the opposite side of the room is the air vent that blasts out the cold air.

When the air conditioner turns on, 0F air will come out of the vent at full blast. Remember, the thermostat is ALL THE WAY on the other side of the room... it will take some time for the cold air to reach the other side, and cool the thermostat to 50F. You'll have parts of the room below 50F (maybe 40F or 30F), especially near the air conditioning vent. The fact that the air conditioner blasts out air as cold as it possibly can be (0F) will make some parts of the air in the room drop below your target temperature of 50F. That also means that those parts of the room below 50F will also contain less humidity. The humidity that SHOULD be there if the air is 50F ends up condensing and collecting.

The fact that the temperature in some parts of the room could go below your target temperature of 50F, and the fact that humidity condenses out of the air in those parts of the room, are why compressor-type wine fridges are not ideal for wineadors.




Now, thermo-electric devices work a different way. They use the Peltier effect, which basically says that you can apply an electrical current to move heat from one place to another. They are desirable for wineadors, because they simply move heat from one place to another (e.g. inside the wineador to outside the wineador), rather than relying a blast of super-cold air to do the job. Because of that, temperatures remain much more stable, temperatures don't drop below the target temperature (50F) regardless of where you are in the "room" that we described, and therefore, you don't lose humidity as part of the cooling process.
 

chadth

New Member
I have never seen a wine cooler or mini-fridge that actually blows air. All of the ones I have seen use channels inside the fridge (just like a radiator) to remove heat.

Mandy,

Does the fridge you are considering have a blower?

-Chad
 

MandyPi

Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off n
I have never seen a wine cooler or mini-fridge that actually blows air. All of the ones I have seen use channels inside the fridge (just like a radiator) to remove heat.

Mandy,

Does the fridge you are considering have a blower?

-Chad
Chad, I have not considered any one unit. I'm just kind of thinking about it.
 

chadth

New Member
I have looked at more schematics, cut-away drawings, and have read more about fridges then any non-fridge or HVAC technician should ever inflict upon them. From what I can tell, no common consumer fridge ships with a blower/air conditioning system. I am probably way out of my league here as I do not have a formal degree in engineering but let’s discuss a few things to level set my understanding and provide people specific components to argue:

1. Compressor refrigerators operate primarily by using coils along the interior surface to remove heat.
2. The more wide spread and numerous the coils are, the more efficient and even the cooling.
3. Ignoring the heating elements for defrost, there is rarely any fans or blowers on larger fridges. If they do exist, it is to assist with moving the air to ensure the temperature is consistent throughout.

4. If a blower existed and was directly linked to the job of cooling air, it would do so by channeling it through a separate cooling compartment. This method would require an air intake as well. There is a higher likelihood of uneven cooling and associated disruption of RH. This design would be less efficient then using coils in the interior walls and likely cost more.
5. Air conditioning units employ the above model as it is the only way to cool/remove heat in the air of buildings, cars, etc where you cannot put coils in the walls (though car manufacturers are now including them in seats).

The only argument I would anticipate is that the compressor units are more efficient at cooling and as such, you would witness a faster drop in temperature then a peltier unit. The faster drop would mean greater fluctuations in RH. Many variables would come into play here though such as the size of the peltier unit, the size of the circulating fan, the density and distribution of the coils used in the compressor unit,etc. According to Wikipedia (yeah I know, don’t lecture) “Thermoelectric junctions are generally only around 5–10% as efficient as the ideal refrigerator (Carnot cycle), compared with 40–60% achieved by conventional compression cycle systems (reverse Rankine systems like a compressor). Due to the relatively low efficiency, thermoelectric cooling is generally only used in environments where the solid state nature (no moving parts, maintenance-free) outweighs pure efficiency.“ The effects of the efficient cooling (RH fluctuations in-line with temperature fluctuations) would most prevalent when the gap between desired temperature and current temperature is large.

However, then you could argue that the air is at a higher RH then it was at the higher temperature as dew forms when the air is saturated (100%) humidity which clearly means the hygrometers we use do not cope well with a rapidly changing environment and provide false readings (it is after all, a $20 testing unit).

I personally would feel comfortable buying either device, especially if my sticks were in boxes to help insulate from temperature and RH fluctuations. I would pair this with the ability to tightly control temperature and stop looking at my hygrometer when the fridge is in flux. At some point I would relax and enjoy a stick :)
 

wescat

New Member
I have looked at more schematics, cut-away drawings, and have read more about fridges then any non-fridge or HVAC technician should ever inflict upon them. From what I can tell, no common consumer fridge ships with a blower/air conditioning system. I am probably way out of my league here as I do not have a formal degree in engineering but let’s discuss a few things to level set my understanding and provide people specific components to argue:

1. Compressor refrigerators operate primarily by using coils along the interior surface to remove heat.
2. The more wide spread and numerous the coils are, the more efficient and even the cooling.
3. Ignoring the heating elements for defrost, there is rarely any fans or blowers on larger fridges. If they do exist, it is to assist with moving the air to ensure the temperature is consistent throughout.

4. If a blower existed and was directly linked to the job of cooling air, it would do so by channeling it through a separate cooling compartment. This method would require an air intake as well. There is a higher likelihood of uneven cooling and associated disruption of RH. This design would be less efficient then using coils in the interior walls and likely cost more.
5. Air conditioning units employ the above model as it is the only way to cool/remove heat in the air of buildings, cars, etc where you cannot put coils in the walls (though car manufacturers are now including them in seats).

The only argument I would anticipate is that the compressor units are more efficient at cooling and as such, you would witness a faster drop in temperature then a peltier unit. The faster drop would mean greater fluctuations in RH. Many variables would come into play here though such as the size of the peltier unit, the size of the circulating fan, the density and distribution of the coils used in the compressor unit,etc. According to Wikipedia (yeah I know, don’t lecture) “Thermoelectric junctions are generally only around 5–10% as efficient as the ideal refrigerator (Carnot cycle), compared with 40–60% achieved by conventional compression cycle systems (reverse Rankine systems like a compressor). Due to the relatively low efficiency, thermoelectric cooling is generally only used in environments where the solid state nature (no moving parts, maintenance-free) outweighs pure efficiency.“ The effects of the efficient cooling (RH fluctuations in-line with temperature fluctuations) would most prevalent when the gap between desired temperature and current temperature is large.

However, then you could argue that the air is at a higher RH then it was at the higher temperature as dew forms when the air is saturated (100%) humidity which clearly means the hygrometers we use do not cope well with a rapidly changing environment and provide false readings (it is after all, a $20 testing unit).

I personally would feel comfortable buying either device, especially if my sticks were in boxes to help insulate from temperature and RH fluctuations. I would pair this with the ability to tightly control temperature and stop looking at my hygrometer when the fridge is in flux. At some point I would relax and enjoy a stick :)
chadth, did you ever build a unit?
 

CMontoya79

Newb Le professional!
New air seems to make large 32ct that are thermo electric. Google fu there also seems to be a thermo electric version of the one you posted
 

diapanos

Banned
Yeah I think I'd be better paying more and getting one this month and another next month or the month after.
 

whylieineedacigar

Yolalatlpwry
diapanos said:
I found some on ebay that are thermoelectric they just don't tell you the brand.
So I guess the decision is 2 mystery brand coolers or 1 name brand
http://www.ebay.com/itm/320787239739
 
Is your mind set on getting a single large one? Or you wouldn't mind having this type of setup:

 
These are mines, 2 NewAir AW-281E. This is an old picture but right now I actually have 3rd one on top. I think it's cool to have them like this because you can have different temperatures and humidity in each of them.
 
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