Calabasas Home Wine Cellar’s Superior Refrigeration System Installed with Least Disruption by Cooling Professionals
Here’s a transcript of a video series on a project completed by our partners, M&M Cellar Systems, who completed a refrigeration cooling system project in Calabasas, California. This stunning wine room required a special method of installing split cooling system, using a line set to prevent the use of ducting. To do so would have made the project far more evasive than they would have preferred.
Part 1 – Outside the Wine Cellar System
So we’re here in Calabasas where we finished a home wine cellar where we installed a wine refrigeration system.
A recent customer finished a wine cellar, and what we’ve done here is we set them up with a wine refrigeration unit that we refer to as a split system. It consists of two components: an interior component with the evaporator coil; an exterior component—a condensing unit.
Choosing Appropriate Wine Cooling Unit
The wine cellar cooling unit that we chose here is an RM System Series 4600. This [refrigeration system], in particular; you don’t see it anywhere in sight, and the reason for that is because it is recessed into the ceiling.
You’ll notice that a grill hides the refrigeration system that goes from here to about here (Places his hands at the top of the glass spanning a couple of feet). The way it is designed, the cooling unit is recessed into the ceiling with louvered finish grills so that we get the most air being pushed into this wine cellar space.
How We Setup the Wine Refrigeration System Line Set
When the wine cellar space was completely open—in other words, no dry wall, just down to the bare framing—we were able to take our line set, and bring it into the space where the wine cooling unit was going to go (the evaporator coil) and run it across to the exterior wall.
Installing Home Wine Cellar Line Set Via Surface-Mount
There is room behind this wall here. There is crown molding like what we have here on the inside of that room.
So when we installed the cooling unit, the crown molding was removed, so that we don’t have to open up any of the wall or ceiling in the next room. Over that we have to go across outside. The crown molding was removed and the wine cooling refrigeration line set was simply surface-mounted
Advantage of Surface-Mounting: Minimal Disruptions
(Oh, I see. That made it much less disruption.)
Correct. Less disruption to the household.
(So the line set is pretty small as compared to, say, ducting. If it was ducted like an HVAC system then you had to have a huge space.)
Choosing Right the Line Set Is the Key to an Efficient Wine Refrigeration System
Correct. Normally, typically for a wine cellar line set, you know, I want to say inch and a half to two-inch hole diameter is what’s needed, unless you want a bigger cooling system, or cover bigger distances where we have to increase the line set size.
The most for a two-inch hole typically runs it. So, behind this crown molding we have about three inches available; so it made it very, very easy to be able to hide it.
The end result—you don’t see any of the line set
Part 2 — Outside the Home
So, we’re now outside by the condenser location. And as you guys can see, we took the condensing unit and placed it outside next to the HVAC condensing unit. This is where we had to come out with our line set. So we had it come out on the side of the home. These are your refrigeration lines, what I refer to as a line set. This is just a cover to hide the refrigeration line set. So it gives you more of a better aesthetics, you know, rather than seeing a black pipe come down your wall.
The Two Copper Lines
(There are two pipes. One is copper and one is black and insulated. So, what is the difference?)
They are actually both copper lines. Your liquid line, which is the hot line, is not going to require insulation. The suction line is going to require insulation because it is so cold that it can sweat in your walls. And to prevent any moisture build up or loss of coolness, the suction line is always insulated.
(Which way round is it? One is incoming and one is outgoing. Which is which?)
The Liquid Line
So outgoing is always your liquid line, which is the non-insulate line.
(So when you say outgoing, that is the one that is going in to the wine cellar. So, it is going out of the condensing unit into the wine cellar?)
Into the evaporator coil.
(Into the evaporator coil. And then the other one?)
The Suction Line
That would be the suction line, which is the insulated line, coming back to the compressor and the condensing unit.
How Warmth is Removed from Wine Cellar
(If the black one is the one that is coming from the wine cellar, wouldn’t that be warmed because it is absorbed the warmth from the wine cellar? Or am I not thinking about it right?)
No, because what you want to do is when you feed liquid into the evaporator coil, you want to boil it off kind of like water does naturally.
(Alright, so it is going in warm.)
It is going in warm. It is being sprayed into the evaporator coil. There is a device in the expansion valve, sprays in the liquid refrigerant, so that it is able to now boil off almost instantly with the difference of the air temperature moving across the evaporator coil. So, in that instance, the refrigerant goes from a liquid to a vapor stage. So, vapor comes back on that insulator.
(It is that process of going to a vapor that causes it to get cold, which then absorbs the heat in the room?)
Correct. Once it turns to a vapor, refrigerant is now cold. So that’s not what cools your wine cellar. It is actually in that stage where it evaporates. So in other words, when it turns into a vapor that you’re picking up the heat. You’re removing. The refrigerant is absorbing the heat that is being picked up while the air is moving across the evaporator coil.
(So then when it comes out the black line, it is then cold?)
Correct. Now, after it has been through the evaporator coil, it comes back out. Now it is cold because it has lost its heat. It is picked up now. It has gone to a different stage, which is now the vapor stage, which is now where the refrigerant is really cold. So because it is cold, we have to insulate the line, so that, mainly, we don’t have any water condensing on the line and then causing all the problems. One of the problems being water in your walls. You don’t want that. So that is why the suction line is always insulated—always in any system. Even with your air conditioning system.
The Condensing Unit
(With this outside condensing unit, there is a fan on there that will come on similar to the condensing unit for the HVAC system around you, yeah?)
Right. You don’t see right now because the components are in here. Basically this unit is assigned so that it picks up air at the front of the unit and it blows out. So we’re pushing the air or the warm air out of here. And there is a fan that helps us do that.
(It’s a neat little box compared to a regular AC unit.)
The unit itself is physically in here, which is why the lines come in there. And this is just a box to protect the condensing unit from outside elements like rain, debris, what-have-you, because unlike an air conditioning unit, refrigeration and condensing units are, like in this case, designed for interior spaces. So if you’re going to place it outdoors, you want to be able to protect it. And so we added this cover because we knew it’s going to be out here.