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  1.  
    Our kitchen design, somewhat stupidly, built a side by side fridge-freezer into a bank of kitchen units (which go floor to ceiling).

    I've put a vent into a plinth but I want to add some temperature controlled extraction to pull out excess heat from the top/side of the cabinet when needed.

    I was thinking about something like a computer fan but would need a thermostant and a power supply. Can anyone suggest what to use and how to put it together?
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017
     
    Have you checked that the back panel of the unit is actually not installed - there may be an air gap, from floor to ceiling...

    gg
  2.  
    We installed the kitchen!

    The kitchen units run floor to ceiling - it's an enclosed space behind. Tall unit to either side of the F/F, cupboard bridging over the top. Ceiling above, wall to the left, end panel to the right.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017 edited
     
    OK, hope this will help...

    "I recommend that you check the owner's manual or installation guide for your refrigerator. It may be (...) that there is no problem with this, but the manuals will tell you exactly what clearance is needed. "

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=678971

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017 edited
     
    Bridging cupboards are normally reduced depth front-back, like wall cupboards, but mounted flush with the front of the base units. Is yours?

    Cupboards don't normally go all the way to the ceiling, because the space is difficult to access. Do yours?

    Is the fridge-freezer a built-in unit or a freestanding unit that has been built-in?

    If you can put a vent at the bottom of the F-F at floor level and another above it, near the ceiling, I expect you'll get sufficient airflow by convection.

    Centrifugal fan units designed for 'blow fan' heaters or plinth heaters are available. They are mains-powered so don't need a power supply, and may have a thermostat that could be repurposed or else just buy any mains-rated thermostat with a suitable temperature range.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017
     
    Most tall appliance housings don't have a back panel, for exactly the purpose you describe, can't you remove yours?
    I'm fitting two at the moment both oven housings, floor to ceiling units, drawers beneath, lift flaps over, no backs to the openings where the ovens go. Furthermore the back panels where they do exist are commonly set in from the housing sides up to 60mm to allow ventilation.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017
     
    Posted By: owlmanFurthermore the back panels where they do exist are commonly set in from the housing sides up to 60mm to allow ventilation


    Precisely, this was what I was referring to...

    gg
  3.  
    From the top of the FF to the underside of the bridging unit only a cm or so is required - so check specs. Mine is sealed above the FF - ie the service void at the back behind the bridge unit doesn't go anywhere but a quick check of the specs showed all I needed was 20mm (give or take I don't recall) - I did fit stops behind the FF to ensure it wasn't pushed to far back (and the further back it goes the prettier it is, so this was important). Also the vios behind the tower units is closed to the FF space - so all about maintaining the FF specs - convection does all the rest (but hoover it out a couple of times a year too!!!!!)
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2017
     
    I have a similar problem. Although there is some gap, the gap available for the fridge is too small really. I have thought about an esp8266 based relay with a couple of computer case fans attached. Just not got around to doing anything. The fridge has a temperature display and when it goes above 4 I simply put it onto super cool.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: borpinI have a similar problem. Although there is some gap, the gap available for the fridge is too small really. I have thought about an esp8266 based relay with a couple of computer case fans attached. Just not got around to doing anything. The fridge has a temperature display and when it goes above 4 I simply put it onto super cool.

    Why does it go above 4°C? I'd have thought it would work as hard as it needed to in order to keep to the set point?

    But same questions about the unit above your fridge that I asked Simon. Chopping some holes in the back of a unit and then putting a new 'false' back in is not too difficult.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: djhWhy does it go above 4°C? I'd have thought it would work as hard as it needed to in order to keep to the set point?
    The 'super cool' feature I think puts the compressor into a higher cooling mode. Under normal load, at steady state, the temperature is inclined to creep above the 4 deg set point.

    I really do need to fit the Sonoff Pow I have and see what the impact is and how long the compressor is running. All this is not helped by the internal fan not working either.

    The obvious thought is to replace. But a. I like the fridge (it has drawers for the lower half) and b. finding a fridge of the right dimensions is remarkably difficult. You'd have thought upright fridges were standard size - you'd be wrong.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: borpinYou'd have thought upright fridges were standard size - you'd be wrong.

    Yes, the height has always been a bit of a lottery, but when I looked recently I saw that the width was becoming fairly random as well. Seems crazy to me.
  4.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite>
    But same questions about the unit above your fridge that I asked Simon. Chopping some holes in the back of a unit and then putting a new 'false' back in is not too difficult.</blockquote>

    Because as I've explained its not about chopping holes in the back of a unit. It's in a gap between units but the space behind is effectively sealed.
    Photo attached might help

    I don't think convection is doing enough so want to give it a bit of help by putting a hole in the side of the space. The suggestion above of PC fans is what I was thinking of but haven't identified the parts i need for fan/suitable power supply/temp sensor and was wondering if anyone had done anything similar
      IMG_7227.JPG
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017 edited
     
    I would guess that if you took out the piece of trim under the bridging unit, that would allow enough convection airflow. That's about the same size as the gap for airflow under the bottom of the fridge, which is how it is designed to work.

    Alternatively, allowing airflow up into the grey boxed-in space above might well work, especially if a grill were inserted in the front.

    PS nice looking kitchen. :bigsmile:
  5.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite>Alternatively, allowing airflow up into the grey boxed-in space above might well work, especially if a grill were inserted in the front.

    PS nice looking kitchen.</blockquote>

    The dropped piece above is actually white can't vent through that for various reasons (position of airtighting/contains MVHR pipes and insulation.

    Kitchen is from Schuller - door fronts are matt grey glass. It wasn't cheap but it the glass was cheaper than their high gloss stuff surprisingly.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017
     
    Posted By: Simon StillThe dropped piece above is actually white can't vent through that for various reason


    Maybe you can't actually vent through it, but could you route a duct through it ?

    To a nice grille mounted in line with that nice recessed handle on the bridging unit...

    gg
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2017
     
    You can get all in one temperature controlled PC fans which just tick over when things are cool and then spool up with the temperature gets above a certain point. I have two in my server cupboard which come set to spin up over 38 degrees C. They come with thermister beads on leads which can be placed where you want to monitor temperature.

    You could fit a pair of these somewhere and place the thermisters on the condenser coil or just in the air space. In low mode they only use a watt or less.

    These are the ones I have. Cheap enough to get a pair and play around.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Arctic-F12-TC-120mm-PC-Case-Cooling-Fan-Temperature-Controlled-Silent-Quiet-/182546621369?hash=item2a80a063b9:g:A6UAAOSwd4tTx5ln
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2017
     
    Posted By: djhI would guess that if you took out the piece of trim under the bridging unit, that would allow enough convection airflow. That's about the same size as the gap for airflow under the bottom of the fridge, which is how it is designed to work.

    You could replace the trim with a piece of black steel mesh if the idea of a hole does not appeal.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2017
     
    Posted By: TimberYou can get all in one temperature controlled PC fans which just tick over when things are cool and then spool up with the temperature gets above a certain point.
    Ah top man. What is voltage required. 5V? Description did not seem to say.
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2017
     
    They are 12v.

    Something like this

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12-V-Volt-DC-Transformer-Power-Supply-adaptor-1-Amp-with-connector-block-1A-12V-/112436726148?epid=1888501849&hash=item1a2dc04984:g:OBgAAOSwGvhT7coI

    would do. Looks like to comes with a screw terminal adapter, so cut the plugs off the fans and wire them into the screw terminals.

    You might even have a suitable power supply knocking around in that draw of random tat that most people have. Old power supplies for routers etc or anything that gives 12v and at least 0.5 amps would be suitable. Just chop off the plugs and wire them up. You will probably need to mess around with thermistor placement, but as I start I would look at cable tying them to the condenser coil. If they run too fast too often you could suspend them around the coil so they are not in direct contact but measuring the air temp.

    I have two of these in my computer cupboard which is a wooden sideboard type unit. They are set to extract air out of the unit at the back. One thermistor is placed in the vent of my sons's games console and the other is placed in the exhaust air flow from my server. Most of the time they sit in idle mode just ticking over and are silent. Only when things get hot do they spin up and start shifting air. You can just about hear them at full speed, but I would imagine behind your fridge and inside a unit they would still probably be inaudible, or at least be masked by compressor hum from the fridge.
  6.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite>You could replace the trim with a piece of black steel mesh if the idea of a hole does not appeal.</blockquote>

    Thanks - that's a really good idea. I fear we may have done too good a job installing the trim but mesh there would be a smart improvement.


    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Timber</cite>You can get all in one temperature controlled PC fans which just tick over when things are cool and then spool up with the temperature gets above a certain point.</blockquote>

    Was exactly what I'd been thinking about - thanks. Might be larger than the space I've got behind the cabinet but suppose I could even mount one onto a length of ducting with a reducer.

    Two good options. Thanks all.
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2017 edited
     
    There looks to be about 2 inches between the top of the fridge and the underside of the cabinet above it.. More than enough for convection cooling. If you've installed trim ther to black it out, just remove it, paint the wall behind he fridge with black, so it's just a black hole, and then move on with life; you're never going to stand in front of the fridge on tiptoes, gazing at the top of it and thinking about how you can see the kitchen wall, any more than you're going to lie on the floor and admire the state of the tiles behind the rear fridge feet

    If yoi do think that one day a 6ft 8 friend will visit and be fascinated by the space, take your trim out, buzz 10mm off it and refit it recessed a small amount
  7.  
    Agree, on a modern energy efficient fridge, extra ventilation gans shouldn't be necessary.
  8.  
    Posted By: cjardThere looks to be about 2 inches between the top of the fridge and the underside of the cabinet above it.. More than enough for convection cooling. If you've installed trim ther to black it out, just remove it, paint the wall behind he fridge with black, so it's just a black hole, and then move on with life; you're never going to stand in front of the fridge on tiptoes, gazing at the top of it and thinking about how you can see the kitchen wall,


    The reason we fitted the trim was because it didn't look good before - its very visible from across the room sitting at the table. Painting black behind might help. I like the idea of replacing with mesh.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJul 10th 2017
     
    You could also try Cinefoil, you would need to fabricate it up into something perforated, or use it in strips à la persienne (venetian), on a suitable lightweight frame (plaster corner bead etc...)

    It is very workable.

    Buyable online.

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/rosco_cinefoil_mattschwarz_61x762_cm.htm

    gg
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