Updated on April 18, 2022
I always love to drink chilled Coke. But when I go for a outing, no more any chance to get the chilled Coke.So I seriously wanted to have a portable mini refrigerator, so that I can carry, wherever I go.
I have gone through few videos on YouTube and Instructables to know how to make a Refrigerator. After some research, I made one for myself.The outcome is really awesome.
7 Steps to Build a Mini Fridge
Step 1: Materials
-500x400x3mm White PVC sheet – £5.98 – Ebay UK (you can actually use a 400×400 sheet, but I would recommend getting a slightly bigger piece incase you make a mistake and so you can sand each piece)
-White Plastic 3 inch cupboard door handle – £1.29 – Ebay UK
-Small Brass hinges – FREE – found in garage
-Small magnetic sheet – £0.69 – Hobbycraft (any thin magnets will do, but I wouldnt recommend the neodymium ones or you probably wont be able to open the door!)
-Small amount of scrap steel – FREE – I found an old sheet of steel in my garage and cut off some 2cmx1cm strips, and let them soak in white spirit and alcohol to clean them. Anything steel works, you could even cut up an empty coke can if you need to. Make sure it is real steel though and not stainless, because it isn’t very magnetic and only contains about 2% iron. Real steel contains about 99% iron which is why it is so magnetic. Iron and nickel are also magnetic so they will work too, but may be harder to find and harder to cut.
-Soft touch 6mm knob – £0.55 – Maplin (optional, recommended if you have a potentiometer for better grip and professional finish. I didn’t buy one in the end)
-91.2W 40x40mm Peltier cooling unit – £3.37 – Ebay UK
-Akasa chipset cooling kit – £6.96 – Ebay UK (you can also get them for £10 in maplin. All you need is an active chipset heatsink and a small flat passive chipset heatsink. MY heatsinks were actually recycled and the fan was bought for £2.50 on ebay)
-Sub-miniature lever microswitch – £1.29 – Maplin (optional, for door light. Make sure it is a 3 pin one of a push to break one. This was recycled from an old project)
-5mm 12V white LED – £1.29 – Maplin (optional, for door light. You can also use a lower voltage LED if you have a resistor. I actually got mine on ebay for the same price.)
-Miniature Potentiometer 10K – £0.80 – Maplin (optional, but recommended to control temperature. Any large value potentiometer will do really, it just needs to be able to increase/decrease resistance for the peltier unit. I didn’t buy one in the end.)
-Single hole 2.1mm DV power jack – £1.69 – Maplin (or any other DC power jack to match your power supply)
-12V DC power supply – This is not included in the parts/price list since I used a recycled computer power supply. You can use anything as long as it is over about 5V and under 12V. The peltier unit uses 7.6A of power, so remember wattage of peltier unit ÷ power supply voltage = Peltier cell amperage. If it is anything lower than 7.6A (which is probably is) Then the peltier unit won’t be running as cool as possible, and this is ok, since we are making a fridge, not a freezer, but make sure it isn’t too low. I will show you how to convert an old computer power supply (or new one, it probably works out cheaper)
-Wire – This also isn’t on the price list because it is too cheap to measure and all good electronics hobbyists should have plenty of it
-Small amount of double sided tape and thermal compound, or thermal tape – not included on the price list since the amount you will use is unmeasurably small. You just need a teeny squirt of compound and a few strips of tape.
-Hacksaw, coping saw, or wood saw (or if you have one, a jigsaw or band saw)
-Drill (preferably a pillar drill, but a handheld drill will work just as well)
-Files (kind of optional but not if you want smooth edges. Alternatively you can use sandpaper)
-Hot glue gun (to stick it together, you could use a drill and screws or araldite/epoxy)
-Ruler, measuring tape, or large vernier caliper to measure the plastic
Step 2: The Power Supply
Step 3: Cutting the PVC
Step 4: The Peltier Unit
Step 5: Paint the Acrylic Sheets
First, peel up the protective cover from the acrylic.I have transparent acrylic sheets in my stock, but I wanted to make it white.So I spray painted the sheets to make white except the front door and compartments.
This step is optional as the choice of the color is depends on you. If you want to make similar to mine, you can buy the white acrylic sheets.
Safety Warning :
Prefer to paint the sheets outside or in a well ventilated space.Never forget to wear the nose mask.
Step 6: Making Holes for Air Flow
To dissipate the heat from the hot side heat sink of the cooler unit have two 12V fans. As the entire unit will be kept inside the enclosure, we have to make provision for air flow.
Marked the fans size on the two side walls.The outline is square shape,use a drafter compass to make a inscribed circle.Then make holes at all around.
Step 7: Glue the Cooler Unit
Take the slotted sheet and glue the Cooler plastic radiator.
Apply sufficient glue all around to make perfect sealing.This is really important, otherwise the hot air ingress through the side joints.
Step 8: Mounting the Separator
Keep any of the side wall on the table as shown in the picture.
Then place the cooling unit, measure its entire length. Mark a line for separation between hot and cold side.
Apply hot glue along the line and place the separator sheet.
To hold the sheet perpendicular,take support of a solid rectangular object.I used a 12V lead acid battery.
Step 7: Fitting the Door and Adding Finishing Touches
Hi, I am Alee Marton I am in the industry of kitchen products for almost 7 years. I have tested more than 20000 different gadgets used in kitchen for ease of work. I am here to share my experience and help you select the best product for your kitchen.