Peltier-based Cooling/heating Backpack

[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.

16 thoughts on “Peltier-based Cooling/heating Backpack

  1. rasz,
    I stick my head in the sink and cool my head and forearm with cold water after each 20 minutes of intensive workout; it really lowered my core temp and get myself ready for the next round of 20 minutes. I don’t think I need that vacuum contraption if I have a sink and cold tap water nearby.

  2. Make magazine had a Peltier / Seebeck (sp?) that generated 5 volts from a candle. Back packers should have a heat pipe to draw heat from a campfire to the junction and generate 5 volts to charge usb port chargeable items (flashlights, cell phones, OMG ipods) The heat pipe is needed so you dont put your device in the fire (one side has to be cold). It could be a piece of copper, or a sealed copper tube with antifreeze and water, that boils the water in the fire and condenses it on the junction, where it runs back toward the fire.

  3. I think that running cool water over heavy blood flow points is just as effective, a lot cheaper, and a lot less to carry. If you want something like this on the go, Sharper Image has had those ‘neck cooler’ things for as long as I can remember that work well. Or you can run cool water over your wrists or neck.

  4. Darn if only someone could invent a simple evaporative cooling system that is automatic and gains in efficiency more as you use it.

    Hmm, I will call it skin, looks like I was equipped from the factory with a cutting edge version :P

  5. Cooling my back doesn’t seem that enticing. However, rigging one of these into a camel-back would be a great way to take cold bee… um… soda with you everywhere.

    Seriously though, my buddy competes in 40+ mile desert races every other weekend and his camel back is a life saver. Hooking some peltiers up to the stator on the bike (with a quick release mechanism for falls) would be a great way to stay in cool water for the hour or so he’s on the bike. Its just a matter of sinking the hot side in a way that won’t hurt if you eat crap on your back.

  6. This could be good for military or mountaineer training where you need fifty pounds of weight anyway; so, instead of a weighted vest, why not a cooling unit?

    But I think a muffin fan with a 9v would be overall rather more effective anywhere that the humidity is not too bad.

    Or chemical cooling. With two big motorcycle batteries it’s essentially chemical cooling anyway.

  7. I just experienced a Peltier device for the first time (by touching) – it is simply incredible!!!! It gets incredibly cold in less than 5 seconds. What an incredible invention!

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