Using TEC chips and heatsinks for personal cooling - heating collars or pads

I've been toying with using TEC chips (facinating devices that are cheap - applying voltage make one side hot - the other cold, Inversely, appling any existing temprature differential to the sinks PRODUCES POWER). They are used most commonly by consumers in auto beverage coolers and heaters.

It  started when a car ran me down on my bike, and I was wearing a neck brace for months. I thought about how misserable I'd be if it were summertime. I also thought of those poor people that always wore them...

Anyway, there's a thousand different easy ways to do this - I took fluid-filled plastic sections of a beverage cooler and attached them to a belt, which hangs around my neck. applied the heat  sink of the TEC and there you go - just wrap it in something. Now if I were on a motorcycle in summer and stopped in traffic, the cool collar would be a lifesaver, as well as a myriad of other apps.

I cannot figure out the best (inexpensive) way to control this. It's easy enough to turn on and off - you can hardly forget it! But if I allow the chip to get too much wattage it will get too hot and self-destruct. Also, if I limit the wattage correctly, it would just need adjusting, and could be left on most of the time.

The idea here is there are many ways to do this but they are too expensive... I want everyone to be able to afford it. If you use a Pot or resistor, the excess goes to heat and ruins battery life, and other controllers of DC current are expensive.

Any help? I am almost 60 and have earned the nickname Misc. Expert among my family and friends, and I must say I'm very impressed with what y'all do here in this newsletter - Congrats!

You have to have active current control. Yes, it costs, but its probably not as expensive as the rest of your system.
miscexpert (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
the chips and heatsinks are about $12 - most every thing else can be gotten at thrift shops, etc. If put into small scall production, parts could be held +- $20
mikeasaurus5 years ago
Moved to Forums>Tech