[Max Weisel] recently created a Peltier-based cooling/heating system that fits into a backpack. The system uses two Peltier units, each running at 91.2 watts, with computer heat sinks mounted on one side of the unit to dissipate the excessive amounts of heat generated. While he was originally trying to build a cooling backpack, the use of the Peltier units meant that the cool side would become warm when the direction of current was switched, meaning that the backpack could become a heating backpack with the flip of a switch. In order to power the two Peltier units, he uses two 12v motorcycle batteries, weighing in at around 5 pounds each. While this backpack might be a little heavy for your back, it looks promising for anyone who needs to keep things cool (or warm) on the go.
Hacked Gadgets pointed out this great peltier based beverage cooler. It has a pulse width modulation based controller driving a 12V 80W peltier. Alan also pointed out Hack-A-Day reader Chris Garrison’s peltier beer cooler from last summer. The Defcon cooling contest from last year also featured a peltier based cooler.
[UPDATE: Afrotech's Snapple Cooler or How to enhance your beverage with iron oxide. Thanks liam]
Here’s a good 4th of July project: Chris Garrison sent in his portable peltier based beer cooler. He saw a cheap peltier junction for sale and decided to build a mini-fridge. It holds 14 cans and is portable enough to place wherever needed. He does comment that his power supply isn’t quite up to snuff, but it does a passable job for only spending $35 on the project.
i found this link in my inbox, courtesy of j. peterson. we’ve posted a peltier beverage cooler before, but i think this one deserves mention as well. it hasn’t had the finishing touches, so it’s not as pretty yet. however, this one does come with a digital temperature readout. more importantly, it’s big. you could countersink a couple of these babies into your dining room table and start living the 21st century good life, as imagined way back in the mid-1900s.
just think, your home of the future, complete with soda-cooling, plate-heating countertops and a kitchen computer.
using rechargeable batteries, a 1u cpu-fan, a 118w peltier cooler, a cold-plate and some pretty hacked up pc parts, you too can make a beer cooler and keep that brew in the sun. not that you’d really go outside that much if your hobby was hacking up pcs to make coolers, i haven’t been outside in weeks.
People living in remote areas of Mongolia do not have access to electricity or gas, and rely on traditional wood stoves for their homes, which are used almost all the time. Many use solar panels to generate some electricity for small tools, but unfortunately there are often times when it is cloudy for days on end. [Chingun Has] saw this problem and created his own clever solution — a small thermoelectric USB charger.
[Chingun's] device features an array of peltier plates inside of an aluminum shroud. The device is designed to sit on top of a stove, or to be strapped onto a stove pipe. When there is a large enough temperature differential between the two sides of a peltier plate, a charge is induced. He’s using a small fan to help cool the other side of the peltier plates. A small control box houses a voltage regulator circuit that provides 5V over USB.
The cool thing about this project is that it is partially the result of [Tony Kim], an MIT professor who traveled to Mongolia to teach students an edX circuits course about a year ago. [Chingun] was one of his students, and this is a great example of a solution to a real-world problem.
An excellent video after the break gives a complete explanation of the project, as detailed by [Chingun] himself — it’s well worth the watch!
There are a few devices that work tirelessly to protect our lives. We’re talking about smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Increasingly these either need to be hardwired into the home, or have a sealed battery which is good for ten years (in the case of smoke detectors). [Gelmi] recently had to change the battery in his Carbon Monoxide detector — which happens very rarely — and he it got him to thinking. If the batteries need to be changed so rarely, how hard would it be to harvest energy to power the device?
Our first thought was that he’d use inductance like those spy birds which perch on power lines. But instead he went for the heat lost from using the hot water spigot. Above you can see his test rig which attached a Peltier device to the faucet in his bathroom. Whenever you turn on the hot water the faucet also heats up. The differential between faucet temperature and ambient room temperature generates a small amount of power. This is a suitable source, but only if he could also cut the amount of power needed by the detector. This adventure takes him down the rabbit hole, learning about how the sensors work and designing for reliability at the lowest consumption level possible.
The faucet application might seem peculiar. But if you use a natural gas water heater you want a carbon monoxide detector near it. Attach the Peltier to the outflow and every time any hot water tap in the house is opened your system will get a bit of a recharge.