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Old 03-05-2008, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Peltier Cooler/Heater!

I recently acquired a thermoelectric mini fridge. As a fridge, it doesn't work so very well - it will get down to ~50 degrees with an ambient temperature of 70.

So, I took it apart. You know the saying: "If it ain't broke - fix it until it is." So I now have a peltier effect cool/heater. I put my meat thermometer on the cold side with the fan off - and it gets down to freezing (probably a bit below). On the hot side, with a big sink and fan - it seems to be ~85 at it's warmest point (this sink is about half a square foot and an inch deep).

Ideas on where to use? It's 110 service.... It literally almost killed me a few days ago when I touched a transistor sink that was part of the rectifier circuit while holding a plate that was grounded (I got knocked out for a few seconds)

No, it would NOT make a good car a/c substitute I'm thinking of ultimate laptop cooling pad - maybe... Unless a better idea comes along

Images




Yes, that's a ground wire going to the hot sink... I couldn't figure out where to put it, but the original installation had the sink and ground connected to the chassis so I figure that might be a good place? The circuit board was isolated from the chassis on plastic stand offs.

Ideas Welcome

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Old 03-05-2008, 05:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I had a 12v DC version of one of those. It died, and one half of the Peltier unit is living its second life as the heatsink for the motor controller in the ForkenSwift.




But one thing I was thinking... Mount it in a wall or window in the winter and run it "backwards" to generate electricity.

(Of course that assumes you get winter.)
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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PS - what brand? Kool-a-tron?
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Those work better for heating then for cooling, as they aren't very efficient, and that wasted energy is of course turned in to heat.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tabletop drink cooler/food warmer?
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lots of people put these on their CPUs and overclock them. They consume a LOT of power.

I worked on a peltier effect materials project. We were using them to generate electricity. It does work, if you like microvolts If you get enough of them together you can slap them on your engine block and throw away your alternator. A ridiculously expensive alernator.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxchain View Post
If you get enough of them together you can slap them on your engine block and throw away your alternator. A ridiculously expensive alternator.
Ha! One of the senior design projects at my university is a thermoelectric radiator They're just modifying an off the shelf radiator to accept the chips - the goal is 1.5kW IIRC. It's pretty cool, I usually pay attention to their presentations

Quote:
But one thing I was thinking... Mount it in a wall or window in the winter and run it "backwards" to generate electricity.
It's 71 degrees outside No use as a thermocouple

Brand is unknown - I don't want to take off the cold sink as the screws are glued in and I figure it's best to leave that alone if I want to use it at it's current performance/state

Oh, the thing - fans and all is 4 7/8" thick - 5" including the stock cool sink grille.

Quote:
Those work better for heating then for cooling, as they aren't very efficient, and that wasted energy is of course turned in to heat.
Yep... Typically, I don't need any heat due to my location... But, I guess it would work as a rather inefficient dehumidifier...
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
Ha! One of the senior design projects at my university is a thermoelectric radiator They're just modifying an off the shelf radiator to accept the chips - the goal is 1.5kW IIRC. It's pretty cool, I usually pay attention to their presentations
Wait are you generating or cooling? Doing one hurts performance of the other since they scale with delta T

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
Brand is unknown - I don't want to take off the cold sink as the screws are glued in and I figure it's best to leave that alone if I want to use it at it's current performance/state
Don't. The material is brittle and IIRC is aligned. P-N junctions, yadda yadda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
Yep... Typically, I don't need any heat due to my location... But, I guess it would work as a rather inefficient dehumidifier...
If you could rig up something to remove the moisture...
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxchain View Post
Wait are you generating or cooling? Doing one hurts performance of the other since they scale with delta T

I'm not doing it Another team is... But they are generating power. Radiators are over sized anyway

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