The ACUPWR Papers

Using ACUPWR’s ADC and AUC Voltage Transformers with Wine Coolers

If you’re passionate about wine and food, you probably have a cooling device specially for wine. Maybe you’re a wine enthusiast who keeps a few dozen bottles on hand to pair with particular food, or you might be a serious collector and trader with a basement cellar containing hundreds of bottles and who often visits vineyards throughout the world and attends tastings regularly. If you move throughout the world and bring a wine cooler with you, this article will be of interest to you.

Wine coolers—refrigeration devices made specifically for wine—are available in many different sizes, with a vast array of features and, generally, two different cooling mechanisms: Thermo-electric and Compressor types.

Thermo-electic wine coolers use two electrical conductors to create a heat flux and, consequently, cool air. This electrical action, known as the Peltier effect, generates cool- and medium-temperature air ideal for low-demand purposes, such as beverage coolers. The fact that thermo-electric coolers never actually get truly cold (no lower than 36-degrees) make them great for smaller wine coolers. Larger and more expensive wine coolers, including most commercial types, often rely on a compressor similar to what’s found in refrigerators and freezers. Brands such as Avanti, Vinotemp, U-Line, EdgeStar, and Summit are big suppliers to the food and wine industry and make exceptional wine coolers.

Wine coolers consume different wattages based on their size and refrigeration type. Thermo-electric models, including larger models nearing 10 cubic feet, generally get the job done in under 500 watts. Larger models use compressors, and compressors have motors. Their wattage requirements will therefore be greater—usually upwards of 750 watts.

If you’re relocating to a different part of the world and plan to bring your wine cooler, particularly a model that uses a compressor, you will need a special voltage transformer that also provides a solution for AC frequency. The voltage/frequency standards vary from country to country. It’s 110-120 volts and 60 Hz in the USA and Canada, while 220-240 volts and 50 Hz is the standard throughout most of the world. One factoid that ACUPWR likes to point out is that you should never use an American or Canadian refrigerator or freezer at 50 Hz (and of course never use 110-120-volt appliance in an outlet delivering 220-240 volts). Using the appliance at a lower or higher AC frequency will result in the motor turning faster or slower. The appliance won’t work that well and the motor will burn out. Such is the case even for wine coolers.

ACUPWR’s ADC and AUC models--step down, for using American and Canadian wine coolers overseas and step up for using overseas models in America and Canada, respectively—are refrigerator models that provide a solution to  the AC frequency issue so the motor works at the equivalent RPMs as it would at the AC frequency is rated for: problem solved! Bring that wine cooler wherever you’re moving and don’t worry about the frequency--ACUPWR helps keep the wine flowing.

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