It’s a hot summer and it’s not getting colder running my pc all day long.
So i decided to do something about the heat inside my room:
Read more after the break!

At first I have to explain what a peltier-element does:
If you hook it up to a battery, one side will cool and the other site will get hot.


I placed the element in between two passive coolers one knows from your pc:



Its important not to use any metal pieces to hold the coolers together due to metal’s heat conducting ability.
The following animation shows the construction of the whole system:

Now there’s a schematic for you:

This is what it looks like when its closed:

I added an internal power supply and some tubes conducting away the cold and warm air.

 Its pretty power consuming, but see for yourself (operating voltage 18V):

Its totally worth it! Cold air into my room and hot air going outside! Due to pc fans not very noisy – summer heat defeated!


http://www.doityourselfgadgets.com

114 thoughts on “Airconditioning for the cheap

  1. hi frnd.. good work..
    i hav made a dehumidifier myself using the peltier jn.
    i doubt how much efficient it would be..
    no other details about the condensate water, working hour cooling of the hot-side heat sink..??!!

  2. With few adjustments this one might be very useful for cooling a small 3x4m room. Awesome idea man! Where can I find peltier plate like the one you showed us?

  3. Anonymous you could get one from a newer used PC I made the whole thing and realised that my old PC did not have a peltier element xD

    new are quite expensive so make sure you got it before you start

    Also your power supply will produce a lot of heat so make sure it's not in the same room or hang it out the window like a badass

  4. I've seen some larger, rectangular Peltier elements. One thing you need to do with these is insulate around the edges of the Peltier. Water condensing on the cold side heat sink has to be kept out of the Peltier.

    A better arrangement would be a solid partition in the box with a hole the size of the Peltier. Make gaskets for both sides from closed cell foam sheet like craft foam. Put one heat sink on either side of the partition, with the Peltier clamped between. White heat sink grease or Arctic Silver will improve the performance a lot.

    For the hot side airflow, build a duct to direct airflow across the heat sink and use an exhaust fan to pull air through and blow it out the window. You want the exhaust no smaller than the inlet, preferably larger than the inlet because air expands as it's warmed. More airflow on the hot side improves the efficiency.

    For the cold side the inlet and outlet can be the same size or just have the fan blowing on it – as long as you have it mounted so all the air from the fan blows across the heat sink.

    I've "hotted up" several Peltier mini fridges. They're usually pretty poorly made with the heat sinks having poor contact with the Peltier. A common type has an aluminum tub as the cold sink. That's so thin the four screws holding the cooling parts together warps the tub. I use a dolly (a smooth chunk of steel used in auto body repair) and body hammer to carefully flatten that area.

    Next step is to make a reinforcement plate of thicker aluminum to go on the inside of the tub so it'll be held flat against the Peltier. I use a glass bead blaster on that plate to increase its surface area then it gets heat sink grease between it and the tub.

    The surface of the hot side sink against the Peltier is often very rough. I either file it or smooth it with my milling machine, depending on how bad it is. The rest of it gets bead blasted.

    I haven't done tests to see how much effect the bead blasting does, but more surface area on a heat sink or radiator generally equals better performance. I bead blast computer CPU heat sinks too. A shiny surface is terrible for heat radiation but ideal for conduction against the Peltier with *just enough* heat sink compound to fill in the tiny gaps. Too much of the goo will drastically cut heat conduction.

    I don't sand blast them because that makes the surface too rough to where dust and fuzz would stick better. Glass bead blasting gives a "smoothly roughened" surface that dust will move across easier.

    Re-assembly is done with heat sink grease on both sides of the Peltier. I'll also usually replace the crappy, noisy radial fan and brushed motor with a brushless fan from a dead ATX power supply.

    The typical result is going from a mini fridge that'll barely keep a 6-pack cool to one that'll keep a box of ice cream cold enough to keep it from melting during a 75 mile drive. Now *that* is cool-n-quiet!

  5. Great post and pics. As I'm getting older I'm really starting to appreciate air conditioning a lot more than I used to. As solar panel prices are going down it's feasible that you could actually have a off grid AC unit, cool stuff. I live in the Bucktown – Wicker Park area in Chicago where it get's extremely hot in June and July and the past few years we've been getting more and more power outages. This would be an excellent product for when there are power outages like that.
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  7. nice gadget i'll try to build one too.

    how effizient does it work and how cool is the leafing air.
    Could you tell wich kind of peltier you used (size, voltage …)

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  16. They're usually pretty poorly made with the heat sinks having poor contact with the Peltier. A common type has an aluminum tub as the cold sink. That's so thin the four screws holding the cooling parts together warps the tub. I use a dolly (a smooth chunk of steel used in auto body repair) and body hammer to carefully flatten that area. design solutions inc

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