Chillanator

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Introduction: Chillanator

Introducing the Chillanator, it uses a Peltier chip I purchased from deal extreme.
If you have ever set watching TV or reading and looked over to see your drink is all "warm'" well no more with Chillanator.
The total cost of this project was about 10.00 dollars US.

The Peltier chip was 7.00
The fan was one dollar and the LEDs just a few
Bucks.

Step 1: Order the Stuff

Unless you want to pay out the nose I suggest you shop around, I have seen people say they have spent as much as 30.00 bucks for one.

I chose to make my own heat sink from scrap copper and brass.

If you are astute you may have noticed the Peltier mounted to 1/2 inch copper, this is not required or important, a friend offered a chunk and go thought I'd give it a try.

I plan to make a new instructable using two chips and will discuss heat removal then.
The fan was from electronic gold mine it's a 12 v squirrel cage design, I think this is far more efficient than a muffin fan because it blows air at a higher rate of flow

Step 2: Build a Box

I chose some left over Ash plywood, it seemed the easiest to lay out the base plate first, 1/2 inch birch ply was my choice, I suggest what you have in the scrap bin is probably the best choice.
To make the leg cut outs I screwed the two sides to a scrap of ply wood and drilled a hole using the center seam as a guide

Step 3: Some Time Savers

When I was building the box I set some spare prices of wood under the floor plate this helped me determine the correct vent height as well as the best place to locate the switch, and on light.
Since I discovered an old switch that required more than a round hole I hung the box over a clamped piece of ply wood this prevents tearout and allows you to put pressure on the bit with out breaking the box.
I recommend building your box a little larger than you think is required because stuff almost never fit to perfection

Step 4: Make a Logo

I just bought an engraver so I thought a cool logo would be nice, I got the idea from Edge lit acrylic sign from this site.
Sorry I can't post a link I'm working on an I Pad.
Just do a search here and the process is explained quite well, to cut costs I ripped a salvaged overhead fan blade made of clear plastic, if you decide to have a trophy shop cut your design don't polish the edges until it's been lettered, smooth edges slip out of the engraver.

Step 5: The Power Supply

Peltier chips are power hogs, I am using a 12 volt 8 amp video monitor transformer and it's warm after an hour, not hot but warm, I was going to list the power requirements but when I went to measure the current through the Peltier chip it pegged my swing meter.
Judging by the temperature of the transformer it's safe to assume it's pulling near capacity of it.

Step 6: Final Thoughts

This is a fun project, when you first connect voltage to a Peltier it seem like the potential is great, but getting the heat away and figuring out how to use it effectively is more of a challenge than you would think.
I strongly suggest buying several chips at one time, this reduces the fear of "breaking" your only one, plus after you experiment with your first one you'll want to use your new found knowledge to make a better project.
I used JB Weld to secure the chip to the heat sinks, some brass powder was mixed in to help conductivity.

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32 Comments

Hey I tried to set this up, but I can't get the cooler to effectively transfer the cold from the pelteir element to the drink. Any advice?

try using heat transfer compound the type used on microprocessors.

A second option is to use JB weld pressed between the chip and your base with very firm clamping pressure until it sets.

Also make sure your voltage and current are sufficient Peltier chips are real power pigs and will draw down a small power supply.

The element gets cool and stays cold. I have a heat sink and fan in the hit side and around 6 amps of power flowing into it. I just can't get the drink to cool down! the element even gets condensation on it! Any advice?

that's awesome dude!

Can you post specific size for the box layout

you can even stack Peltier coolers for a slight coldness improvement, (assuming you have the ability to deal with the increased hotside waste heat!)

I reckon you'd have to increase the number of coolers exponentially with each layer if you stack them. All that waste heat from the first cooler has to be "pumped" away, so it might take something like 8 coolers (in parallel) for the second stage to keep up with the first stage. (Unless I'm overlooking something or just deeply confused, again.) If so, efficiency is not only out the window, but halfway to Mars. However, doubling the temperature drop should help chill drinks faster, and keep them cooler when the ambient temperature is high.

You hit the nail on the head. Peltier chips were used for a short time to cool over clocked micro processors, fell out of favor rather quickly
One reason may have been that when they get to hot, ( as in a stacked configuration or over clocked MP.) they simply quit working, I have not read the technical data on them, but from casual observation they do seem to lock up when saturated with high temps.
Consider the power consumption of 9 chips all at once, 8 cooling 1 at about 3.5 amps each 12vdc

Without the inherent space limitations in a professionally engineered device needing to be as tiny as possible, it is better to arrange peltiers in parallel (thermally regardless of how they are wired) across a hot plate rather than stacked in series.

This reduces the maximum temperature they reach besides also doubling the thermal junction area to the heatsink which lowers temperature further.