Wine cellar in Phoenix?

  • Thread starter Michaeldaum
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Michaeldaum

Main Question or Discussion Point

Is there any point in trying to have an in ground wine cellar in Phoenix without a cooling machine? Is the ground temp just to high?
 

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berkeman
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Welcome to the PF. :smile:

What is the ground temperature versus depth there (I don't know without Googling). What temperature do you want to maintain in your cellar? (I can't guess without Googling)

What research have you done on this so far? Knowing that would help us a lot in replying. Thanks.
 
Baluncore
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To answer the question you will need to evaluate what possible passive cooling systems can be integrated into the construction.

Keep the sun off the surface, so you have a surface at the air temperature. The temperature below the surface will be the average air temperature, with less variation as you go deeper. But if you go to ridiculous depths you will encounter the Earth's “geothermal gradient” increasing at about 1°F per 60 feet downwards.

It is easy to maintain the average external air temperature in a building. Passive cooling below that average is possible. During dry hot months you might use some evaporative cooling, which costs water. You could cover the cellar with a layer of vertical tubes, open at the top, that fill with cool air at night, venting heat which biasing the average cellar roof temperature downwards. Insulate the walls.

If you need an active cooling system, it may only need to operate during the day, operated on solar power. Take warm air from the vault of the cellar where it will accumulates, introduce cool air at the base. Store the wine in the cooler air close to the floor.
 
gleem
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The ground water temperature in the Pheonix area is 77 deg.F, not cool..

groundwater-temperature.png
 
Baluncore
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The ground water temperature in the Pheonix area is 77 deg.F, not cool..
Then the average ground water should not be used to directly cool a wine cellar.
I agree it is hot, but that does not mean you must give up on the challenge.

We should not be looking for reasons why it will be difficult, but for techniques that can help achieve the target. Every little bit counts. Every time a cellar is built, all known passive cooling techniques are available. Evaluating possible methods of passive cooling, even if insufficient alone to do the job, may help in the optimum solution. If not it will certainly help in reducing the operating cost of an active system.

A tin shed with a gap around the base and a vent hole in the roof, when placed in a hot desert, is more comfortable than a sunshade alone. That is because it is cooled by the strong passive convection that develops. Coupling that with evaporative cooling and some insulation will go a long way to providing the cooling needed. Intelligent control of air circulation can be used to optimise the cooling. I am not suggesting you store wine in a tin shed, above ground, but that you consider every possible way of optimising passive cooling systems.

A well insulated cellar only needs significant cooling once after the door is opened. Access should be down a steep stairway, not through a door in a wall that allows cold air to escape when the door is opened. The minimum ventilation required to satisfy the regulations and maintain a safe atmosphere can be through a counter-flow heat exchanger.
 
gleem
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One question are basements common in Phoenix?
 

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