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Wine Cellar Ventilation

29/11/2023 Stefka Yosifova Boykina

Passive ventilation or active ventilation? Depending on your wine cellar type, we have the solution to suit your needs – from the simplest sensor to on-demand ventilation.

Wine Cellar Ventilation
No oenophile wants their wine to spoil before they even had a chance to take a sip. When it comes to storing and maturing your wine, you don't take any chances, do you? Whether you have a small, precious collection of exquisite wines or an array of wine bottles waiting to be enjoyed, the importance of maintaining optimal conditions cannot be overstated. 

Proper storage techniques play a crucial role in creating the ideal climate for your precious vintages. Even laymen know that wine cellars need to be cool, but what else is necessary to prevent spoilage, preserve flavours and guarantee best wine quality. Let us uncork the secrets to creating the perfect environment for your wine! 

Everything that comes in threes is perfect!

We all know that temperature is the top concern when it comes to storing beverages, but the ideal conditions for wine storage depend greatly on relative humidity and ambient light levels as well. Ideally, your wine storage area is damp but not too damp, cold but not too cold and last but not least relatively dark. Why?

Lack of moisture can dry out the cork, and too much moisture can cause mould. If stored too cold, your wine can freeze, if stored too warm, the ageing process is accidentally sped up. Light can damage wine flavours, and even the best of wines can go bad in half a week; however, wine cellars are typically dark places with limited sunlight. Since this characteristic is the prerequisite for turning a space into a wine cellar and does not need to be taken into consideration when ventilating an oenotheque.

To maintain proper airflow in wine cellars and thus control temperature and humidity, we passively or actively ventilate such facilities.

Passive ventilation
Passive ventilation relies on natural airflow through vents or openings in the wine cellar. This can include vents in the cellar walls or ceilings that allow air to circulate freely. 
In general, passive ventilation is suitable for smaller wine cellars or those located in naturally cool and well-ventilated areas. Typically, these structures are old buildings that possess their own unique history, charm, and sentimental significance. Despite the absence of advanced HVAC systems, it remains crucial to monitor the temperature and humidity levels regularly, even when relying on passive cooling methods. Employing temperature and humidity sensing devices can help verify that conditions remain within the appropriate range for storing wine.
RWTHM wall sensor in a wine cellar
RWTHM-2 has been developed with these specific uses in mind. The device not only accurately measures the ambient relative humidity and temperature, but it also includes an additional temperature-sensing element placed on an aluminium plate at the device's rear, allowing for wall temperature measurement. This innovative feature helps prevent the growth of mildew and mould in the facility.

What is more, the RWTHM-2 calculates the dew point, i.e. the temperature at which water vapour in the air begins to condense. It is an important parameter to consider for controlling humidity levels. When warm and moist air comes into contact with a surface or air that is at or below its dew point temperature, condensation occurs. This condensation can lead to issues such as moisture damage or mould growth. Excessive humidity can lead to wine label damage or growth of wine spoilage yeasts. By considering the dew point and implementing appropriate humidity control measures, HVAC systems can protect the cellar from moisture-related issues, and ensure optimal wine storage conditions. 

As standards, all Sentera temperature and humidity room sensors feature LEDs to indicate the levels of the measured parameters in order to provide notifications at a glance. What is more, all of them calculate dew point temperature. So, all you may need in order to monitor passively the parameters of your cellar is a combined temperature and relative humidity sensor. Based on its measurements and their visual notifications, you control the conditions manually

Active ventilation
For larger wine cellars or dedicated wine storage spaces, investing in a specialised wine cellar ventilation system is highly recommended. These systems are designed to provide precise temperature control and humidity management, ensuring ideal conditions for long-term wine storage.

An active ventilation system can consist of all these components:
▪ Exhaust fans: Exhaust fans are commonly used to remove stale air from the wine cellar. These fans are installed near the top of the cellar to expel warm air and promote air circulation. Exhaust fans are connected to a temperature and humidity sensor and are activated when certain conditions are met.
Supply fans: Supply fans are used to introduce fresh air into the wine cellar. They work in conjunction with exhaust fans to create a balanced airflow. Supply fans are often equipped with air filters to remove impurities and ensure clean air enters the cellar.
Combination ventilation systems: Combination systems incorporate both exhaust fans and supply fans to create a balanced airflow. These systems provide controlled ventilation by expelling stale air while simultaneously introducing fresh air into the cellar. Combination systems can be automated to adjust fan speed based on temperature and humidity levels.
Ducted ventilation: Ducted ventilation systems use ductwork to distribute air throughout the wine cellar. This allows for more precise control of airflow and can be beneficial for larger or irregularly shaped cellars. Ducted ventilation systems can include both exhaust and supply fans to maintain optimal conditions.

And, we have a control solution for all of them!

What is your fan type? 

Sensors in wine cellar fr EC fan speed controlDepending on the fan motor type, an array of automated or manual controls can be offered.Sensors with AC fan and fan speed controller
EC fan: By integrating an intelligent temperature and humidity sensor with a single output, you can directly regulate the operation of an EC fan based on real-time sensor data. This allows for precise control and optimization of the fan performance according to the measured parameter - temperature and humidity. The smart sensor changes its output automatically based on the measured values and thus regulates the fan based on the demand
AC fan: By using an intelligent temperature and relative humidity sensor with a single output and an electronic fan speed controller with an analogue input, you can easily control your fan on-demand.   

The array of sensors for temperature and humidity comprises different enclosures and mounting options – duct sensors, indoor sensors and even sensors suitable for outdoors or harsh environments. Moreover, in all of the cases you have demand-based ventilation, eliminating the need of human interference.  

For more solutions, you can either refer to the Solutions tab on our website or contact your Sentera team
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