I received my BrewSpark a couple weeks ago and I am about to embark on my first fridge build!
I picked up an Electrolux ERE3500(from 2005, I think) yesterday. Its a tall, nice looking fridge with space for 2 25L fermentors.
However, Looking at some diagrams I found online I’m starting to think that the fridge might be a bit more advanced than what I can handle. I dont have much experience with electronics and hardware. but I have a decent understanding of software.
The short answer is you can really use just about any fridge. your fridge does have a lot of temperature related electronics. You’re going to be setting them to the lowest setting and then never touching them again. What you’re interested in is on the cold diagram, specifically item number 21.
That (item 21 or the compressors) is the main thing you’re going to control. If you’re not sure of the electronics to wire up the SSR you could easily have an electrician (refrigerator repairman) do it in about 5 minutes. Offer to pay in beers! But really it’s a quick job and a reasonable person wouldn’t charge you much, especially if they didn’t have to come far to do it. You are basically using the SSR to interrupt the power to the compressor.
I’d recommend getting the Brewpi working first so that you know the SSR is switching, then call the electrician. Or do it yourself. Ask around, there might be someone at work or in the community who has the electrical skills too.
Check out how the guys did theirs, especially the “Method 3” at the bottom. That’s basically what you are looking to do.
Thanks a lot for your reply. That was really helpful!
If you dont mind I have a couple follow up questions.
When you say set them “to the lowest setting”, does that mean set the fridge temperature to its “highest”?
Also, how do i ensure that the original fridge electronics dont interfere with the brewPI? Can i potentially rip out the old electronics?
How exactly can i test that the bewPi is working before connecting it the fridge? Can i just connect the SSRs to the brew pi, together with the temp sensors, start a brew, and verify that the SSR is switching?
Again thanks for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it!
The SSR basically acts as a switch. You’ll be breaking and connecting one wire (usually the hot) of the AC. Take an old two wire extension cord. Cut one of the two wires and connect the SSR where you just cut. The you can plug a fan or string of Christmas lights or a blender making margaritas…if your Brewpi switches the AC on and off you’re golden.
It’s easier to bench test the system before you install it in your fridge. Don’t worry about all your fancy electronics. You’re taking control of the most important thing, the compressor. If it doesn’t get power your fridge doesn’t get cold. No matter how much fancy electronics you have.