Starting on the Wine Cellar

We have a lot on our list and, although it should be a low priority, our Wine Cellar is high on our list.

The Wine Cellar is important because it is integrated with our geothermal heat exchange.  Essentially, we will be creating a tank of hot water and a tank of cold water.  The hot water will be used to heat our domestic hot water and to heat our house.  The cold water will be used to cool our house.  When we are in ‘cooling mode’ we will take the waste hot water and dump it into our swimming pool.  When we are in ‘heating mode’ we will take the waste cold water and dump it into our Wine Cellar.

Integrating our system requires that we consider each of the elements in order to complete the design.  So, spending some valuable time at this point in the project on our Wine Cellar is prudent since it will help us complete the geothermal design and implementation (construction).

Of course, the layout and design of the Wine Cellar must be functional and pleasing to the eye.  We’ve done plenty of research on wine cellars, including our visit to St. Maarten last year.  Bryan visited K&L Wine Mechants in Redwood City several times to review the construction details of their racks.  He took a number of photos during his visit to their branch on December 12, 2010.

Wine Cellar Design Alternatives

We need to finalize the ceiling height and cooling panel design components so we can establish our design and definitive cooling panel layout.

The big question that we needed to answer were related to the size of the aluminum panel that would take the BTUs from the wine bottles and move that energy to the heat exchange unit (where it would go to wherever there was a heating call).

This answer requires exact dimensions and cooling load requirements.

Mocking Up the Wine Cellar Racks

We spent several days ensuring that our wine racks would be consistent and symmetrical.  We took the dimensions of our ‘space’ and sent that information to several wine rack manufacturers and they provided us with layouts and dimensions of what they could do.  At the same time, we do have Al and Nep to work on fabricating and installing the wine cellar.

After analyzing the Wine Cellar, we decided that we would only use Redwood and stainless steel inside the Wine Cellar.  There will be no finishes inside the Wine Cellar – all the wood and surfaces will be natural and not coated with any stains, paints, etc.

Our decision criteria for the unfinished materials include durability and the resistance to corrosion. Although we will be controlling the humidity of the air inside the house, the Wine Cellar will definitely be more humid than the rest of the house.  With the increased humidity, the air will also be much cooler (57°F) so we will be very close to the dew point with the humid air (if the air is too dry then the corks will shrink).

Given our situation with tight spacing and our desire to fill the space completely, we have to assemble the various components of the wine racks inside the Wine Cellar.  Although it may seem trivial, it is not (go figure!).

It felt good to get the first mock up of our wine rack completed and located in the appropriate position inside our Wine Cellar.

Now we can complete the design of the cooling panels in the ceiling.

Cheers!

Starting with the concrete 'box', located under the garage. The 2x4 sleepers on the floor will be used to attach the racks to the foundation and to raise the hardwood floor off the concrete.

Starting with the concrete ‘box’, located under the garage.  The 2×4 sleepers on the floor will be used to attach the racks to the foundation and to raise the hardwood floor off the concrete.

The mock up of the North wine rack is in place. In the mock up, we built a rack to hold one 750 ml and 1.5 l bottles in the smallest location to verity the fit.

The mock up of the North wine rack is in place. In the mock up, we built a rack to hold one 750 ml and 1.5 l bottles in the smallest location to verity the fit.

This wine rack will be very tall (105 inches from finished floor to the top of the rack) and is designed to hold 820 750 ml bottles and 16 1.5 l bottles.

This wine rack will be very tall (105 inches from finished floor to the top of the rack) and is designed to hold 820 750 ml bottles and 16 1.5 l bottles.

The profile of the North rack, which is a mirror image of the South rack, is one bottle deep at the top and two bottles deep at the base. There will be two rows of display bottles that will be at an angle. The counter will be granite.

The profile of the North rack, which is a mirror image of the South rack, is one bottle deep at the top and two bottles deep at the base. There will be two rows of display bottles that will be at an angle. The counter top will be granite.

The North (and South) racks are taller than the dropped ceiling and will be two inches below the aluminum cooling panels.The ceiling will be dropped by six inches so it can be insulated. Overall, the finished ceiling will be 9-1/2 inches lower than the bottom of the hollow core concrete panels shown in this photo.

The North (and South) racks are taller than the dropped ceiling and will be two inches below the aluminum cooling panels.The ceiling will be dropped by six inches so it can be insulated. Overall, the finished ceiling will be 9-1/2 inches lower than the bottom of the hollow core concrete panels shown in this photo.

The bottom of the North rack, showing the space that ill extend across all three racks (North, center and South). The hardwood flooring and redwood ceiling in this area will match the flooring and ceiling in the Wine Dining. However, there will be six inches of crushed rock around each of the racks and the walkway between the racks will be perpendicular to the hardwood flooring that continues from the Wine Dining.

The bottom of the North rack, showing the space that ill extend across all three racks (North, center and South). The hardwood flooring and redwood ceiling in this area will match the flooring and ceiling in the Wine Dining. However, there will be six inches of crushed rock around each of the racks and the walkway between the racks will be perpendicular to the hardwood flooring that continues from the Wine Dining.  Reed Kingston recommended (strongly) that we include sufficient space to walk from the North aisle to the South aisle without moving the sliding glass doors (does this look ok Reed?).

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