Today many smaller wine coolers feature thermoelectric cooling instead of using a traditional compressor and refrigerant. Thermoelectric technology operates on a principle of physics discovered by a French scientist, Jean Peltier, in the nineteenth century. He found that when electricity flows through two metal semiconductors which are connected, one end is heated and the other cooled depending on the direction of the flow of the electric current. A thermoelectric wine cooler contains a cooling node consisting of a ceramic tile that has electrical current that passes through it. As the electrical current is passed through the cooling node the outside of the tile will heat up and the other side (the side facing into the cooler) will cool down. The cooled heat is what keeps the refrigeration systems cold like refrigerators. With the thermoelectric wine coolers the refrigerator system has no moving parts, fluids, chlorofluorocarbons or other chemicals or gases, making them eco-friendly. A thermoelectric wine cooler will contain small fans inside the unit which help to evenly distribute the cool temperatures that are created by the node throughout the interior of the unit.
Because it has no compressor, thermoelectric coolers will produce fewer vibrations which in turn will equal fewer disturbances of the sediments in the wine bottles. Please remember, thermoelectric wine coolers are not completely silent as the internal fans needed to distribute the cold air within the cooler do produce some noise but they are usually quieter than compressor driven models. Thermoelectric coolers also consume less energy than compressor units, so they cost less to operate. Thermoelectric wine coolers are typically smaller in size than compressor based coolers and will range in size to accommodate from eight, twelve, sixteen and eighteen wine bottles. It is important to follow the manual when deciding where to place your thermoelectric wine cooler as the room temperature has a bearing on the temperature within your wine chiller. Room temperature must not be higher than 77 degrees F or lower than 50 degrees F so do not place it near a heat source or a drafty area such as a window. It is also not suitable for a basement or deck area due to temperature fluctuations. However, if placed in a constant temperature setting they actually have more exact temperature control and less fluctuations than other wine coolers. Thermoelectric wine coolers have the high reliability rating of lasting up to twenty years if it is installed correctly and taken care of properly.
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