I just finished building a drying cupboard this morning, and so far it seems to be working pretty well. I searched for a while to find a small dehumidifier, to save space, money and energy, since a normal 8 litre one is way overkill for the size of my cupboard.
For a long time the only type I could find that was the size I wanted was basically a box of desiccant with a fan on it, which you plug in to dry out every time it becomes saturated. Something about having to charge it for 10 hours every couple of batches of stars just put me off these. I did eventually find a miniature dehumidifier, but it cost ?90.00.
However, after a while, I came across a "Peltier" module, which I'd never heard of before. What is it? A thermocouple in reverse. Run a current through it, one end gets hot, the other gets cold. A Peltier dehumidifier is free of any compressor or refrigerant, and is therefore much smaller and cheaper than a conventional one. The one I got is rated at 65 Watts, removes 380ml per day, and would fit comfortably in a shoe box. Cost: ?40.00. Perfect.
My drying cabinet is about 45x45x50cm. Since I usually make stars in <500g batches, this is plenty big enough. The dehumidifier itself keeps this sized cupboard warm without any need for light bulbs or other additional heating. I suspect that Peltier dehumidifiers are somewhat less energy efficient than regular ones (ie convert a greater percentage of the supplied energy directly to heat, rather than using it to dry the air) which would explain why they are not more commonly used, but in the case of a drying cupboard, where heating is desired anyway, this is not a problem.
I've had it running this afternoon with a few comets in it, which seem to be making very good progress towards dryness, but I haven't really had the chance to fully evaluate whether or not it works yet. Seems to though...
PhoenixMember Since 27 Dec 2003
Offline Last Active Aug 14 2008 10:12 AM
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