Anyone use a thermoelectic cooler to cool a small fermentation chamber? It seems like it would be an easy way to cool without any hoses, frozen bottles or a/c units hooked up to the cabinet. I figure the way to adjust the temperature would be to cycle or regulate the cooling fan drawing heat away from the heat sink.
I have a peltier-based fridge in my office, holds my lunch and a couple of soda cans. Quiet, and works like a champ.
It should work fine in theory, but I’m not sure if they have enough capacity for a cooling a big fermenter, that is putting off it’s own heat. I’m not crazy about the thought of messing with the fan on the heatsink. That’s basically regulating via dropping your efficiency. It’s kinda like opening a window if you think the AC is making the house too cold. You would just want to power-down the whole circuit.
I use a peltier assembly to regulate my fermentation chamber, which is a big styrofoam box I built. It works really well for me, but I use it almost exclusively for heating, not cooling. The box is in an uninsulated outside shed, and I rarely brew when the outside temperature is above 60F. Temperature is achived by having a programmable controller adjusting current to the peltier, which is what you need for this if you want to be at all accurate and you don’t want to overwork the system.
You can easily use something like this for cooling, as long as the peltier has enough power to handle both the heat generated by the yeast and the heat that leaks in through the walls of the chamber, which is likely greater unless the walls are thick.
I built a fermentation cabinet out of 3/4" plywood used silicone to seal the seams then added 1" foam insulation board and foil taped the seams. The only thing I need to work on is the door seal. How do you have the cooler attached to the Styrofoam?
I cut a hole through the four inch thick styrofoam I used, and added a four inch block of alluminum between the peltier and the heat sink that is outside the box. The peltier and another heat sink are inside the box, and I have a fan rigged to cool the outside heatsink and another fan to distribute heat on the inside.
Not an easy way to build a fermentation chamber - much easier to just use a freezer with an external controller, but I built mine out of an old prototype from one of my day job projects, and I figured it has a real “cool factor” for that reason.