Introduction: Better Thermoelectric Cooler/ Heater

How to get better cooling / heating with a $20 on sale Travel cooler / Warmer from Walgreens
And remember to easily view all the steps add ?ALLSTEPS in your adders bar at the end.

Step 1: Open It Up

Take the side panel of that covers the fan/heat sink. 4 Screws

Step 2: Get the Size of Fan

Measure the size of the fan (this one is 92mm)

Step 3: Go Shopping

Look online or your local computer store for a hi airflow fan but remember the more air flow the louder it will be. ball bearing fans are louder but the lubricant in them degrades vary slow (long life). Sleeve bearing fans are quieter but the lubricant in them degrades faster then a ball bearing fan.

And if you don't want to have to mod the side panel don't get a fan that is thicker then the one it has
I found a fan at newegg with over 100cfm (cubic feet per minute) that it moves but it is at 56 dBa (decibel)

Step 4: New Fan Installation

Installing the new fan. Remove old fan by unscrewing the screws.
Now for the wiring (i don't no how to solder so i just used wire tape)

Cut and strip old fan wires (leave like 1 in on old fan if u want to use it again)
Then cut the wire on the new fan Connect the red to red and the black to black tape with wire tape.

Screw the new fan to the heat sink.

Step 5: Close and Test

Cut the side panel if you need to for the thicker fan.
Screw the side panel back on and fit all the wiring in side.

Plug in and test

Now it should cool down a lot faster and with more air flow it will have to be cleaned from time to time.

Step 6: Other Ideas

Increase the voltage to the thermoelectric thing.
Add a fan speed control.
Put a internal fan to move the inside air.
Cut/Drill more holes in the side panel.

Comments

author
Mjtrinihobby (author)2015-12-25

Very cool mod. I did this about 6 years back and it did work. Peltier cooling is woefully slow compared to compressors. However it's much lighter and very tough. Great instructable!

author
Alexii4 (author)2008-12-31

I'm making one of these coolers from scratch and need a simple piece of advice. I have a refrigerator box 2" thick, so I have to put a 2" thick aluminum block through it and mount the peltier plate to one end and heatsinks on both. My question is whereI mount the peltier plate. Do I mount it inside the box and send the heat through the box to the outside or do I mount the plate on the outside of the box (naturally on the aluminum block between it and a heatsink) and send the cold into the box from the outside. HELLLLLP! Thanks everyone.. if possible.. email me tha answer (alexii4@yahoo) ~m

author
TECHMASTERJOE (author)Alexii42010-03-11

on the inside you can use a 120mm CPU  cooler on the out side and Right stuff foam to seal it all in but on the inside you will need a heat sink and small fan use clear silicon to seal around it if it's a wet box don't use a fan just put a copper plate DON'T RUN A peltier with out a sink of some type on both sides

author

i have a big cooler it's about 2ft x 2ft x 5ft i made in to one i use a pair of 127watt peltiers and 2 copper plates 3"x 8"x 1/8" and a pair of old zelman cpu fans on the out side thermal epoxied to the hot plate  and a small 80mm cpu fan on the cold plate
from room temp in the 80+deg to low 40deg in about 10mins i have a tem controlled using PWM driver 12-18v in and 32khz PWM +booster can push 20 amps at up to 18volts even if the input is 12volts

i built a lot of LED controllers and the same rules apply to peltiers 
just eat a lot more

author
yandster (author)2009-02-21

We're going to build a dog house and I would like to be able to control the temp in there. In OK the summers get hot and humid, and there are a few freezes in the winter. A lot of the options out there made specifically for pets/pet houses are expensive. Do you think this would work to heat/cool a medium sized dog house in the elements?

author
finfan7 (author)yandster2009-04-24

It wouldn't work very well without a door. And as long as there is a good door and the floor is off the ground it will stay warm enough for most dogs in the winter. For summer you just remove the door and add a fan if it's too hot. Best summer method is a porch, either on the house or the dog house so that the dog can lay in the shade without being stuck in a hot enclosed space.

author
killerjackalope (author)2008-07-21

I'm not sure how well this really would work, it might a wee bit but the TE unit still isn't pulling the heat away faster... Also it's a 92MM fan not CM 92CM is nearly a metre...

author

In the I will look into up-ing the power to it maybe

author

Hmm Within it's limits it might help a huge amount...

author
mikedoth (author)2008-07-21

This uses a peltier right?