Many years ago, I purchased a wine cooler on clearance at the local grocery store. I soon found why it was on clearance: it's default set temperature was in the 30s (Fahrenheit) and it didn't remember the set temperature after a power loss.

Wine cooler

So the wine cooler sat for many years, unused. Until now.

I don't drink wine, but I brew beer. In brewing, yeast like certain temperatures - mid-60s to low 70s for ales, and mid-50s for lagers.  While I normally brew ales, every so often I like a nice lager (few things beat a nice Marzen in the fall, or a nice Bock in the spring).

Top side of controller board

Bottom of controller board. Note the blank line between the high and low voltage sides of the the supply.

After taking apart the cooler, I realized it's basically a switching 120V - 12V power supply with a controller for a negative temperature coefficient temperature sensor.  Without anything connected to the NTC pin, nothing happens. However, if I short the NTC pin to ground, it turns on the chiller. As seen below in the headache-inducing video, the device works.

This is the first part - the second part will be a controller. And at some point, I'll have to figure out if I can actually use this to keep 5 gallons of beer cold.


Update: removed the smaller (cold side) heat sink to get the part number.  It is a TEC1-12706.

At a hot side temperature of 25ºC:
Qmax (Watts) 50
Delta Tmax (ºC) 66
Imax (Amps) 6.4
Vmax (Volts) 14.4
Module Resistance (Ohms) 1.98

Category: Electronics

About the Author

Andrew is the owner of this blog and enjoys computer programming, building things, and photography. He's a pretty busy guy, which explains why updates to this blog are so infrequent.

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