Introduction: Genius Natural Beer Cooler With Wow Effect Controled With Shelly Smart Device

About: I'm a professional electrician and a electronic engineer. 30 years experience of designing and software development of automated woodworking machines I'm interrested to apply smart home devices in the normal …

This a natural beer cooler made from some drain pipes. The beer will be cooled underneath the earth and with an electrical driven lifting device the beer comes up if you want some. The lifting device is driven be a simple roller shutter motor which winds up a rope like you do it at a hoist.
The wow effect is that this genius beer cooler will be controled by a shelly wifi switch which can be controled by siri or alexa voice commands. Just say :"Siri (or alexa) bring beer" and the lifting device moves up and serve the beer.
For better presentation there is also a LED light included, so at night beer glows in an amber colour

But caution:
This will increase the beer consumption on each garden party dramatically

Step 1: Parts Needed

This is the list of parts you need

  • 1 drain pipe with 300mm diameter (KG DN300) roughly 1700mm long
  • 1 drain pipe with 250mm diameter (KG DN250) roughly 1600mm long
  • 1 drain pipe with 125mm diameter (KG DN125), roughly 600mm long
  • 2 drain pipe caps (one with 300mm and one with 250mm diameter)
  • 1 shelly 2.5. wifi switch for the roller shutter motor
  • 1 shelly 1 wifi switch for the LED light
  • 1 roller shutter motor with roughly 35Nm torque
  • 1 led band with 230V power supply roughly 2-3m length
  • 1 junction box IP65 for the electrical equipment
  • 3 rope rolls (roughly 10mm diameter)
  • 8 rolls for the pipe guidance (each 20mm diameter)
  • 4m nylon rope 8mm diameter
  • black spray paint (or any other color you want)
  • 4 wooden or plastic disks roughly 243mm diameter (to carry the beer mounted inside the 250mm pipe)
  • some screws and iron bands for mounting the parts and the pipes

Step 2: Working Principle

The picture shows you the functional principle:
The inner pipe will be guided by 4 rolls mounted on top of the outer pipe and 4 rolls mounted at bottom of the inner pipe
There‘s furthermore a rope that was fixed mounted on top of the outer pipe, going down to the boom of the inner pipe along the rope guidance rolls and hen back to top along a 3rd rope guidance roll to a roller shutter motor who winds up to rope to pull the inner pipe upward like a hoist
Simple solution, resistive against water and dust and dirt and service friendly:
In case of a malfunction you can just pull up the inner pipe manually
He bottom of the inner and outer pipe and also of the pipe with the drive are open so if it becomes humid inside, water can drop down and seep away, so he complete device will became dry every time

Step 3: Prepare the Tubes

1. divide the inner pipe into 4 equal sections and cut the gaps with a jigsaw with a blade for plastic with low speed of the saw to prevent melting of the pipes
Size depends on the bottles you want to store. It should be ensured that about 250-300mm of the inner pipe remains in the outer pipe if it’s fully lifted to get a stable situation in top position of the lift
2. see the drawing of the guidance and sign the positions of the rolls on the pipes. Aware that the rolls at outer pipe are not located opposite to the gaps of the inner pipe
4. mount the rolls at the signed position
5. mount the 3 rolls for rope guidance as shown in th functional principle drawing. The last picture shows the rope and the 2 rolls at bottom of inner pipe in lifted top position
6. for each layer mount 3 times a 5mm screw with 40mm length in the inner tube to put the wooden or plastic disk on it to get a layer to store the bottles
Pay attention that the screws do collide with the rollers at the top of the outer pipe while the lift is moving up

Step 4: Prepare and Mount the Lifting Drive

We need a pipe of 200mm diameter and with a length of about 100mm longer than the roller shutter motor. This is the housing cover for the lifting drive

The standard drive shaft of a roller shutter drive has 60mm diameter, but with this 60mm one rotation of the drive has only 184mm lifting distance which means it takes to long time till the lift has reach topmost position. Therefore we mount a drainpipe with 125 mm diameter and a length that is a few centimeters shorter than the motor at the drive shaft to increase the diameter of the driveshaft to 120mm which means we have now 392mm lifting distance in one rotation. This is a fast enough to reach the top position in a few seconds
So we mount a drain pipe with 125mm diameter on the iron drive shaft just with a few scews an some wooden distance to center the pipe on the drive shaft (you see it in the video)

Depending of the motor you have to adjust the top and bottom position manually at the motor or do it with the shelly. I‘ve done it at the motor with the included 2 limit adjustment screws
Then mount the pipe with the lifting motor and the bearing at the outer pipe with some iron band
After that is time for a first test shown in the last video
As you see I fixed the rope at the outer pipe just with a knot (simple cheap and effective)
Now it’s time to paint the system in the color you want

Step 5: Prepare LED Light Band

As shown the led band is just glued at the inner pipe directly beside of the gaps from top to bottom.

So you will get an indirect illumination to the beer bottles which let them shine amber
Also you see the roller guidance mounted at the outer pipe

Step 6: Assemble Caps and Installing in Earth

Finally assemble the caps at the top of inner pipe with some iron band or angle and put the cap at the motor unit
Dig a hole about 1700mm with an excavator spade and lay the cable to junction box

Step 7: Wiring, Shelly Wlan Switch Installation

The wiring diagram shows the electrical installation. All (except the main switch) is mounted in the junction box.
It is highly recommended to use a main switch (or a plug) where you can switch off the complete system, it is also useful to reset the shelly’s if there was some errors in configuration.
The picture shows a shelly 2 for the led lights, because of I didn’t.t have had a shelly 1 in my stock while I build the project. It will work with shelly 2 or 1 but shelly 1 is cheaper, so wiring diagram shows installation with shelly 1

Because of this is an area where we handle with 230V high voltage you have to switch off power in your house while doing the installation.

230V high power is extremly dangerous. If you not sure what and how to do let these things done by an professional electrician. Otherwise it could be risky for your life and if the work is not made common to your local installation rules and requirements, it could be, that you loose your house insurance in case of a fire caused by a wrong or failure installation.

Step 8: Configuration of the Shelly’s

In the Video you see the configuration of the shelly’s:
Shelly 2.5 is configured to roller shutter mode
Because of manually adjusted limit switches in the roller shutter motor I switch off the open and close state 30 seconds after start automatically. This ensures that the lift moved completely to topmost and to bottommost position
I could use a scene to switch light and lifting device together, but I didn‘t use it. I‘ve done this by Alexa and Siri who switch the 2 devices together.
Make a final test before you fill up the hole with topsoil

Step 9: Configuration of Alexa

I use 2 routines in alexa: one to lift up the beer called „Alexa, hol mal Bier“ and one to move down the lift called „Alexa bring Bier weg“
The first one switch the shelly 2.5 up an switch on the led light
The second one switch the shelly .5 down and switch off the led light

Step 10: Configuration of Siri

For make siri able to controls the beer lift I use siri shortcuts
One shortcut called „Hol Bier Siri“ moved the lift up and switch the light on
One shortcut called „Bring Bier weg, Siri“ moved the lift down and switch the light off
In this shortcuts i use the REST API functions of the shelly's with the local IP address of the shelly’s in my WiFi network

Step 11: Conclusion, Finally Beer Preparation and Invite Your Friends

You can now control the natural beer cooler with a shelly wifi smart device by voice comands from alexa, siri and of course also with google home assistant. But unfortuatly i didn't own a google home assistant, so i can't show in this article, but shelly will work with google home assistant for sure.

A good improvement could be an electrical active cooler, like a peltier element. This could be controled automatically also with a shelly switch and with the shelly temperature sensor H&T. But for sure, to get active cooling peltier elements with the required power it will increase cost dramatic

Finally prepare the lift with the beer and move it down underneath the earth
Then invite your friends and ask Siri or Alexa to bring you beer
And then you get the real wow effect while the beer comes up
With the project you will get the real maker king in your community
Have fun and cheers