Temperature controlled wine cellar substitute

temperature-controlled-wine-cellar-substitute

Serious wine enthusiasts keep their bottles in a room built for the task. If you don’t have that kind of space you can still fabricate a similar storage environment. This foam box keeps stored wine at a controlled temperature. It also keeps light off of the precious goods. [Michael] built it himself to use in his apartment and published a description of the build process.

He picked up some foil-coated foam board from the home store. Six sections come together into a box about the size of a mini-fridge; 24″ by 24″. A square hole was cut in the center of the top section. This receives the smaller of two heat sinks mounted to a Peltier cooler. The temperature inside is monitored by a thermistor which [Michael] tore out of an old iPod battery. To give him some visual feedback on the internal temperature he added that yellow and black striped meat thermometer.

Since this is for long-term storage, we’d bet the system is rather efficient. As long as the door isn’t frequently opened the temperature change should be quite slow thanks to the insulation and the cool liquid in wine bottles.

11 thoughts on “Temperature controlled wine cellar substitute

  1. This thing will not be very efficient, it’s using a peltier rather than a compressor, and i don’t think that foam board is much better than the insulation in a regular wine refrigerator…

  2. I like it. It’s a nice little box. Plus, foam insulation is cheap. You only really need foil on the inside for avoiding moisture issues. If this is not adequate more can be added.

  3. would it not be cheaper / more enrgy efficient to get one of those “box” freezers with the lid on the topside and rig the thermostat (or change it to peltier if it needs to be silent) ?
    You can get them for almost nothing when stores replace them…

  4. I’ll take your bet. Peltiers are one of the least efficient methods of heat transfer.

    Not to mention his own admission on the power wasted by his circuit design.

  5. I have done some construction with peltiers, they pretty much have to run all the time to keep cool. When power is lost they rapidly equalize the temperature on the inside and outside. This can be helped some by insulating the cold side from the actual fridge and using a fan to circulate the air through the cold side and into the fridge.

    Still, peltiers aren’t very efficient, over several years it would probably pay to just get a real wine fridge, or just a regular fridge and improve the temperature regulation.

    1. It all depends what you use it for and what the temperature difference needs to be really, and as seems the case here how much room you want it to take.

      That thing about the temperature equalization is an interesting note by the way, makes sense too, but perhaps you could just have a flap that closes over the peltier when it is off instead.

  6. Actually this is really cool. Yes it is probably not the most efficient but it is cheap to make and was probably fun. as well.
    Hacking a mini fridge? Now that is a good idea as well. Get a good temperature sensor and a small PIC or AVR or an TI MPS to read some buttons and run a display or led

  7. I’ve been considering this very solution for my fermenters. Good to see that it works, and to confirm the downsides to using a peltier.
    A decently-sized minifridge will be the answer, i think.

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