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Accessory Discussion / Reviews>Thermoelectric Humidor Cooling - and Vinotemp guts
parafumar 10:03 AM 11-22-2008
Posted this on the other site, not sure if everyone is still checking both, so here it is for the archives on CA.

OK all, as some of you know I tackled a project to add a TEC (thermoelectric cooler) to my humidor.

Test one was to completely gut and bash a Vinotemp and install the internals to see what the result was.

Basically, it all worked but the setup was too small. I toyed with the idea of changing the actual cooler, but did not pursue as I found another option.

Here is a picture of the Vinotemp guts (I reccomend demolition of the plastic / foam with a hammer while you trace the wires. If you use a blade, you will undoubtedly cut wires, as I did ). What you are looking at is: the cooler is the bottom left - single fan is the cold side, dual fan is the hot side. Power board is just above that - the little board to the right is the LED board, which also serves as a wiring junction - and then you see the front panel that I have mounted to a piece of spanish cedar - just a prototype but I wanted to ensure I could make the panel look good before I sawed a hole in the humi. Oh yes, the blue wire to the bottom right is the temp probe, and it is in the foam toward the top left of the internal grille in the vino.


Test Two is the setup that I am going with - I found a Supercool 24V setup that was much larger. Here is an overall picture (note, wiring is 'temporary' - very temporary - for purposes of bench testing...


Got it all running. there are some internal temp probes that I did not use (the 'extra' wires you can see). Here is a picture with an IR thermometer showing the cold side temp:


Here is one showing the hot side temp:


Here is the 'face' of it - inside, cold side. (Along with a picture of an Anejo 50 that met its end a couple weekends ago (was a gift) when I took these):


And, here it is installed. I do not have it running just yet as I need to figure out what I will use as a thermostat. I had to add some studs to the back to handle the extra weight, then used a silicone type (odor free, weather proof) sealant on the exterior edges. As for the thermostat, there are a couple options that I have found, just none that I am ready satisfied with just yet:

md4958 10:09 AM 11-22-2008
nicely done
gettysburgfreak 10:09 AM 11-22-2008
thats awesome, nice set up
ucla695 10:14 AM 11-22-2008
Wow, that's quite a project to take on. :-) I'm afraid I would end up electrocuting myself or burning my place down. :-) Did you add some insulation to your humi to help maintain the temp?
parafumar 10:16 AM 11-22-2008
Thanks for the comments.

Only thing I forgot is that I need to add a condensation catcher for when I get this one running. Plan is to use a plastic catcher - I have several ideas but not sure what to go with til I turn it on for an extended period of time to see where the condensation 'blows.' Ultimately though, I plan to run it thru a silicone tube and funnel back into my moist-n-aire.

ETA: Did not add insulation (that is why the vino TEC was too small). This one blows air 20 degrees colder than my target of 68 so it can get the temp right. Only problem is, no insulation means it would need to run longer... and the fans on here are LOUD. They were for an industrial application.

I plan to experiment with quieter (less CFM) fans, and see how much higher the 'hot' exhaust temp gets.
bobarian 11:21 AM 11-22-2008
Very nice setup and pics. How much bigger is the cabinet than a standard Vino. It looks like 2 units would take care of the cooling with the standard fans. Did you go to bigger or smaller fans?

Has anyone priced or sourced Peltier units?
parafumar 01:51 PM 11-22-2008
the cabinet is as large as 4 VT28 units, and has no insulation. The vino is thoroughly insulated, so that also helps.
BORIStheBLADE 04:47 PM 11-22-2008
Nice clean work, and looks good. Whats the temp in the house when its warm?
shilala 05:22 PM 11-22-2008
I've wondered how well this would work out.
Make sure you report back to us. I don't think the wood will sweat, but I wonder if the glass will, especially when the humidity is high.
It's looking awesome!!!
parafumar 07:00 PM 11-22-2008
will let you know - not sure if it will 'sweat' or not - we shall see...

Now you know why I needed so many beads...
dunng 08:16 PM 11-22-2008
Very nice! I've been very temped to to something like this for my cabinet... I already have the Set-and-Forget unit that I would just have to connect to the chiller. :-)
Nimbus 09:42 PM 11-22-2008
Your cabinet is coming along very nicely.

With all the knowledge and how-to guides on this website it makes me want to attempt one of these projects in the future. Trial and error, but mostly errors on my part.

Please keep us posted on your progress and outcome. :-)
groogs 11:07 PM 11-22-2008
That looks very nice, I am very interested to see how it works in the long run.
parafumar 09:31 AM 11-28-2008
Humidity has stabilized nicely, so it seems my effort to get it airtight again has worked.

I plan to power it up and just let it run for an hour or so this weekend to see where the condensate 'goes' so that I can work on the collector.
ChasDen 08:53 PM 12-01-2008
Updates ????

LMK where you got the new unit.

I have visions of a a large cabinet this winter :-) :-)

phidelt076 02:25 PM 12-02-2008
Awesome job!

I would like to know where you bought that unti as well. I have gone back and forth on building a cabinet to replace my vino. My hangup has been the cooling of it since I'm in Texas.

I would love to see the finished project once you get the condensation plan finalized.