Most types of refrigerating appliances are rated according to an established test procedure and their energy use is regulated by the US Department of energy. These products are generally built around a vapor compression system that is used to maintain a cold internal temperature. Recently, several small products have emerged which are built around a thermoelectric cooling module, an alternate technology with a vastly different method of operation. This study examines whether the current test method for refrigerating appliances can be used to rate units that employ thermoelectric cooling modules. Three units were examined in this study and each one was incapable of achieving the required conditions, indicating that the test is not applicable. An alternate rating method was explored, which measures the appliances energy consumption while it operates in a cooler environment than that prescribed in the test. Results are presented that show this adjustment to the test method does allow the products to operate in a manner that makes it possible to characterize their performance.
Citation: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7963
NIST Pub Series: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR)
Pub Type: NIST PubsReport Number:
thermoelectric wine chiller, thermoelectric refrigerator, energy consumption