SUCCESS STORIES: Repair thermoelectric cooler

vermonty

Joined Jul 20, 2019
1
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread! I fixed a 16 bottle wine enthusiast wine cooler that I almost threw out before finding this thread.

The cooler was not working, though the temp display on the front and buttons seemed to work fine. The common theme I saw in this thread was to replace all the electrolytic caps first before doing any more troubleshooting. After replacing the caps it still wasn't working, then I realized a fuse that was covered by heatshrink was blown. After replacing the fuse it fired right back up!
 

Senpai

Joined Jul 13, 2019
1
I know this is an old post, but it needs to be shared to anyone who needs help. There is so much info on these poorly made boards and i was able to fix mine. Mine is a FX-101 10.5v board. Pretty sure C8 Cap was the issue. To be safe i re placed C8, CA1, and C206. But all works great. Thank you all so much. I've learned a lot from here.
 

Sbak

Joined Jun 17, 2019
3
Just an update on my Wine Enthusiast repair. I had to go to plan B after the circuit board started to come apart. I replaced all the caps and it worked, for about 5 minutes, then it stopped. I checked around the board and realized that some of pads on the board were loose. So, I started trying to repair those. I finally gave it up, knowing that this is only a power supply, I decided to replace it using a ATX PC power supply. I didn't have any old ones lying around so I went to the local Good Will Store that is dedicated to computers. I picked up a new, in the box EVEA 500 watt Bronze unit for $15.00. I sorted out the wiring and since this whole thing sits under a metal rack I just mounted the new ATX on top then mounted a thermostat ( Amazon about $8.00 ) on the front of the ATX.
 

skywurz

Joined Sep 2, 2019
1
So i thought i would join the party as this post came up when i was googling and was helpful. It was a warm day and we moved our fridge and when powering it back on the LED display flickered and the buzzer just chirped rhythmically. I pulled the unit apart and found it was a FX-101 board. After troubleshooting i verified the PSU on the board was shot. Instead of mucking about with caps or anything else i decided is swap in a 12v 7A power brick i happen to have. I cut the AC wire and soldered it to the + - onto the FX-101 then cut off the plug and soldered the DC + - to it so that the cable would have a clean entry and exit to the unit and i could keep the brick away from the heat of the unit. I powered up and everything is back in order. I have ordered a 12v 10A brick that i will swap out because i dont like the temp the 7A is running at even though it should be above the spec of the original psu.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
24,236
So i thought i would join the party as this post came up when i was googling and was helpful. It was a warm day and we moved our fridge and when powering it back on the LED display flickered and the buzzer just chirped rhythmically. I pulled the unit apart and found it was a FX-101 board. After troubleshooting i verified the PSU on the board was shot. Instead of mucking about with caps or anything else i decided is swap in a 12v 7A power brick i happen to have. I cut the AC wire and soldered it to the + - onto the FX-101 then cut off the plug and soldered the DC + - to it so that the cable would have a clean entry and exit to the unit and i could keep the brick away from the heat of the unit. I powered up and everything is back in order. I have ordered a 12v 10A brick that i will swap out because i dont like the temp the 7A is running at even though it should be above the spec of the original psu.
Welcome to AAC!

Thanks for telling us your success story on fixing your cooler.

For potential new posters to this thread, unless your situation is a success story, please do not post to this thread. Start a new ticket (i.e. thread) if you are having a problem or question with a similar cooler.
 
Success Story!!!

Thanks for all the helpful advice here. My fix was quite complicated and involved a number of different components which I'll list out.

This is what I started out with; a NewAir AW-321ED dual-zone wine cooler. This unit has two controller boards, one for each zone, and four thermoelectric cooler units, two for each zone.

IMG_5069.JPG

The cooler wasn't working at all so I started at the controller boards after confirming that I was getting ~110v from the mains to the boards themselves.

IMG_5072.JPG IMG_5071.JPG
You can see on the massive amount of charring where the heat-sinks were. Looks like the transistors are toast.=

Off to DigiKey I go... Here is the cart if you need the parts in one place.

IMG_5111.JPG

After replacing *all* the caps, fuses, transistors, and a diode, she fired right up... Then blew the 2.5A 250V fuse! Doh.

Following some other threads on this site I determined that it was most likely the rectifier dioder that was broken so off to Amazon for a replacement. Once installed she fired up and stayed up!

...however one of the cooling units wasn't happy so I ordered new peltier units and installed them. PROBLEM FIXED!

The last thing on my list was the fans - they were 80mm and super noisy, not to mention old and bound to fail. I found four new 120mm silent fans and screwed them directly into the cooler fins.

This unit is now completely silent when running. I can't distinguish if it's on or off even in the dead of night and is holding 55 degrees like a champ.

You can see here the old 80mm fan on the left, and the new 120mm fan on the right.
IMG_5198.JPG
IMG_5200.JPG

IMG_5259.JPG

Thanks again for all the info on this fix!
 

JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,560
Welcome to AAC!

My recently fixed unit is virtually the same as yours. Thanks for posting the parts cart and sources for others. Great feedback!

FWIW, these units are meant to be free standing. Ours was built in and ran very hot in back as the fans drew warm air in from the upper part of the enclosed cabinet - mainly just recirculating hot air. We found a NordicWare aluminum baking pan that fit over the 4 fans and made it into a duct by cutting slots in two corners on one of the short sides. The resulting tab was bent flat to make a 3 sided duct. Aluminum tape secures the duct to the back panel and now the fans draw cooler air from the bottom area of the cabinet, exhausting the warm air around the top. Made a huge difference.

RearPanel.jpg CutPan.jpg Installed.jpg
 
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hueypic

Joined Sep 12, 2017
9
I just happened to drop by again. Looking back at my posts, it was 2 years ago that I made my repair by swapping out the 47uF C8...
Hard to believe its been that long, but its still running....

Sorry for the "me too" post, but at least its a success story...
 
Mine runs after a cap change but its over cooling now - just wont stop. Does anyone have any ideas - its not turning off when it reaches the set temp.
 

K6216

Joined Jul 23, 2017
17
Mine runs after a cap change but its over cooling now - just wont stop. Does anyone have any ideas - its not turning off when it reaches the set temp.
Review the way earlier posts on how the dual comparator circuit works. One comparator controls depth of cooling and the other keeps the TEC from freezing over (defroster). Your front panel sensor could be defective.
 
I have some feed back regarding my board! After removing many parts, my fuse was still blowing until...I found out that the 2 out of the 4 diodes at the really beggining of the board, after the yellow capacitor and the coil, are bad! This seems to be a good explanation for the short.
I'll replace them next week, and hopefully, the fridge will be back in working state after ... at least two years I think!
+1

My cooler with FX102 controller blew a fuse last week. Looking for an easy fix I tried replacing the fuse and no luck. After reading early parts of this thread I ordered replacements for the electrolytic caps, 13005 transistors, and the schottky. Replaced them all, no luck. Didn't feel like hunting it down any further and was close to buying a replacement cooler (luckily the one I wanted wasn't in stock!), but decided to have one last look at the rest of the thread and found Goudla's post and thought this sounded right. Sure enough I tested the bridge rectifier diodes and found two bad (D16 & D17 I think from memory). Whilst I didn't have any 1N4007's on hand I had a couple of 1N4004's that have done the trick - cooler back up and running! Thanks for everyone's input in this thread - a really comprehensive guide to the various failure points in these controllers.
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,481
Hi,

I had a TV long time ago blew the fuse. Found just one bad diode in the rsctifier bridge. Replaced it and everything was fine. I was surprised just one diode blew not two..
 
Success! Whynter CHC-251S Stainless Steel 400-Cigar Cooler 2.5cu Ft

So firstly, thanks so much to the folks who have contributed schismatics, carts, and know-how relating to all sorts of thermo-electric cooler control boards, you've made me successful too! I wanted to add my story because I don't have a cooler matching any of the pages, however, 5haggy & his Portuguese link were spot on in page 2! Credit on the PDF go to both of those guys, i just made it a single sheet with parts identified.

One thing to note for everyone; When I powered the repaired board up the first time, no connectors other than 120 were on, I didn't want to fry the display, fans, or TEC if I failed. Turns out, the board needs a load otherwise it makes a pretty sound resembling power arcing. Freaked out, I unplugged the board, checked for arcing, didn't see any, so I put it back in and got the sound again. I unplugged it, plugged in all 3 fans, and the sound was significantly quieter. Go for broke, everything plugged up, silent! I did not replace my Schottky nor power transistors so if anyone has input as to what the noise was, I'd appreciate the info. My guess is that it's my large DC cap since the sound died down as if the cap was discharging. Could it be the diode?

Onto the repair: Symptoms were as follows, she's dead, no smoke, no smell, no noise, just one day, nothing worked. For the longest time I've had this on a decent UPS with line interaction/simulated sine wave and it was not for the health of the electronics but simply because i hated the cooler going to full cold every time the power hiccuped! Alas, i too fell victim to the capacitor plague (thanks for the wiki link KJ6AED) but didn't know all my electrolyte leaked out of the bottom of my two large power caps until after I clipped the board out of the fridge. From the pictures of my board, other than the back, you can't see any of the fluid residue and the only thing I was able to see was some faint heat discoloration on the PCB near the DC choke and diode heat sink.

So following the lead of everyone else, I made my mouser order and upped the life of the caps to Nichicon 12k/10k hr and another 20% on the power where available. On the IC front, I grabbed WeEn PHD13005's with 75w dissipation, & the diode I upped to a 2x20A but replaced only caps due to the lack of visible failure on the chips. I'll keep them on-hand in the event they too pop. Any reason why I cannot use the 2x20 diode rather than the 2x10 originally on the plan? A diode is a diode and as long as they share the same TO-220-3 package, common cathode, & height for heat sink mounting hole...right?

Parts list:
2x 647-UCY2E121MHD1TN 120uF 250VDC 12,000hr
4x 647-ULD2A4R7MDD1TD 4.7uF 100VDC 10,000hr
3x 647-ULD1H010MDD1TD 1uF 50VDC 10,000hr
2x 647-ULD1H220MDD1TD 22uF 50VDC 10,000hr
4x 647-ULD1E470MDD1TD 47uF 25VDC 10,000hr
1x 647-UBT1E102MHD1TO 1000uF 25VDC 10,000hr
2x 771-PHD13005127 NPN BJT TO-220AB-3 400V 4A 75W
1x 511-STPS40L45CT Schottky TO-220-3 2x20A
Total: $23.19 shipped, just $13.43 for parts.
 

Attachments

Got mine working again after replacing all of the electrolytic capacitors.
Thanks to everyone who put in the time and research to solve this repair.
My wine cooler was a Christmas gift from my son, so it had some sentimental value to me;
I wanted to keep it running as opposed to just pitching it and replacing it.
Thanks again.
 
@N_Jay
Was it C8 on the schematic? That may be a recurring theme. Maybe C8 is the main failure point. My C8 had ESR=80. But many others were several ohms which is too high.
My Haier dual-zone would not run with the Peltier connected, like many others have reported.
Had seen C8 mentioned by at least 3 people, so removed C8 first and it measured 22uF. S/b 47.
Popped in a replacement and the unit fired up normally. Keeping my fingers crossed for now...
 
I just happened to drop by again. Looking back at my posts, it was 2 years ago that I made my repair by swapping out the 47uF C8...
Hard to believe its been that long, but its still running....

Sorry for the "me too" post, but at least its a success story...
Yep, C8 was all my Haier dual-zone needed to get running. Your 2 years is encouraging!
 

gpez

Joined Jan 19, 2020
1
SUCCESS !

TL;DR: Replaced C8 (47uF, 25v) and C10 (2200uF, 16v) on the FX-101 boards for a Wine Enthusiast 24 bottle dual zone cooler that was not working at all, works great now.

I have a Wine Enthusiast 24 bottle dual zone cooler bought in 2013. It's always been a little "wonky" in that the temperature settings on the front would randomly set themselves and beep in the process. Just recently the entire front display stopped working and was incredibly dim - no response to any button presses. The back had a clicking noise and it stopped cooling entirely, neither zone worked.

I opened it up thinking the front panel was bad and found that the 5v power in to the panel was reading 2.4v. Hooking up 5v to it powered it right up so I moved up the chain and opened the back. There are 2x FX-101 boards and both were behaving differently. The bottom zone ("B") board simply did not work at all and was making the clicking noise. The top board ("T") LED lights were dimly lit and I found that disconnecting the TEC fired up the fans and boards, then the TEC could be reconnected and it worked fine. Others have surmised that this is because the power draw from the TEC prevents the board from fully starting up, seemed the be the case for me. The "B" board seemed totally hosed and no amount of disconnecting and reconnecting components seemed to help. I found that one of the top transistors on the "B" board was much hotter than the others and I suspected it was blown. I took circuits in college (software developer here) and while I have a basic+ understanding of circuits I've never desoldered anything so initially I wasn't interested in trying to replace any component but rather opted to look to replace the whole board. Apparently they are no longer being made and I could only find ones in Brazil with no option to ship to the US. So I took the plunge and decided to do a cap replacement. Can't make it any worse than totally broken, right?

This thread was super helpful with the diagrams, schematics, and suggestions. Being inexperienced and not having a capacitor meter I decided to only replace C8 and C10 to start. I replaced C10 on the "T" board first, still exhibited the same behavior. Then replaced C8 and it fired right up without any TEC disconnect/reconnect dance. SUCCESS!

Moving on to the "B" board I still suspected one of the transistors was bad but replaced C8 and C10 simultaneously. It fired right up! SUCCESS!

Fridge is now running like new, cooling as expected, and the front panel is bright & responsive. Thanks to everyone who posted here with information and help - even someone with little experience (me) had success :)
 

mbed

Joined Mar 9, 2020
1
Greetings! I have just joined this forum and love it. I would like to ask a question...trying to see if my cooler [Emerson FR966T] will work. Can the temperature display not show the temperature if the rest of the unit is working as it should? mine is black but it seems like it mildly runs but can't be sure what the setpoint is without a readout...many thanks in advance!
 
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