Step 2: Get Some Peltier Cells Online

Peltier cells utilize semiconductor technology much like standard solar cells. Two polarized semiconductors convert heat flow into electrical current. Naturally, the greater the heat gradient, the more current is produced. A set of 10 peltier cells can be purchased for $70. Surprisingly, this price is cheaper (since I last checked in 2007) per watt produced than solar cells. Peltier cells are often used in heating and cooling applications because when current is passed through a peltier cell, one side becomes hot, and the other side becomes cold.

It is highly recommended that a cooling element (heat sink) is placed in the opposite side of the peltier cell (the side not touching the Fusion Jr.). This allows for a greater cooling gradient. In some cases, fans or even ice can be used as a coolant to allow for a gradient. Don't let the peltier cells get too hot or they will melt though! 

Placing the cells just right for them to get a maximum heat gradient is optimal. Use aluminum tape to attach the cells.

If you do not wish to use peltier cells, other technology can be used as well such as small steam engines or stirling engines. Both can produce enough power to charge batteries or small appliances.
This is one of the most interesting, well thought out/researched and actually help full Instructable I have seen in a long time. One can see that you know a lot about the subject, and this is something I would like to try on a somewhat bigger scale.<br>I am in the process in creating a &ldquo;eco practical&rdquo; off the grid game ranch in South Africa, and this is part of a solution to two of my biggest problems. <br>#1 getting rid of the guests and my garbage.<br>#2 generating electricity.<br> Any other Ideas from the good citizens of Instructables are welcome.<br>Thanks.<br>
I have as a concept a solar powered idea that I'm going to be utilizing with these Peltier - as a proof of concept - One the one side - copper sheet with the hot side attached, on the cooling side a copper sheet with cooling fins, a mister system and fans ... In Arizona (very similar climate to Australia 40+ centigrade temperatures) - It could easily push 200+ degrees on the copper plate hot side and cool with misting and fans down to make it the 68 degree temperature differentiation that would provide the max amount of wattage from the devices... an array of 30 of these (90-138.6watt versions) can be found cheap and would push anywhere from 2 to 4 Kwh of electricity on a good day.... modify to attach to a gasifier for times of cooler weather or cloudy days and you could easily generate enough electricity to power a house (in az running the a/c at 75 degrees).... That's my thoughts as to how to make these more efficient without using ice... <br>To the author: Can you specify what your temperature differences are and the output of your peltier devices at the temperature differences so we can get better estimates on what we can expect to see in a real life application? <br>
There is another solution for converting heat directly to electricity you may have not considered. It uses a principle called the &quot;ceibek&quot; (I may be misspelling it) effect. How this works is you can take almost any dissimilar metals in direct contact with each other and subject one half to a higher temperature than the other and a current will be produced. One good example is to take a steel or iron bolt and tightly wrap copper wire around about 2/3 of the bolt then place the 1/3 bare portion of bolt or rod on a hot surface. Even a few degrees differential will produce current. I can't remember the math involved to calculate expected output based on temperature differential and mated surface area between the two metals. Some experiments would tell you what two metals give the best results. This method is still popular in countries where cabins too far from the grid combined with weather patterns not suitable for either wind or solar power such as the mountains of Switzerland. If I can find the paperwork I have on it, I will scan the pages and post them somewhere, when I first heard about it in 1996 I sent a query out on a news group and got a reply asking for a mailing address. Without thinking I replied with my address and forgot about it. About 6 weeks later I got a very thick manila legal sized envelope from a university in Belgium. When I opened it I found about 100 pages of formulas, research results, metallurgical test results, current real world uses, etc. A little simple bit of testing showed me it worked and if I remember correctly the research paper said up to 17 or 18 percent efficiency had been realized in a lab setting with real world applications around 11 or 12 percent efficient being typical. Hope this helps folks. regards, Dave
<p>You mean Seebeck - which is exactly the inverse (but basically the same thing) of the Peltier. Look them both up on Wikipedia.</p>
<p>I've also used this method to power a small coil of ferromagnetic material which just barely interfered with the reading on my magnetic compass around which the coil was wrapped. Pretty fascinating, especially since I was using my braces and an antique spoon to do so. Maybe I should put it onto YouTube... </p>
<p>Hello, It's spelled Seebeck after</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Johann_Seebeck" rel="nofollow">Thomas Johann Seebeck</a></p>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect<br><br>This page explains the process as well as the formulas.<br>It is known as the &quot;seebeck&quot; effects.
Thanks dhill16 and FuzzeeDee, this is all Very interesting and helpful
I was thinking in the same line, for on my farm it can reach up to 40 Deg Celsius (104 Fahrenheit or 313 Kelvin) in the day time.<br>As we all know refrigeration, cooking and water heating for showers are the main consumers. So this is what I am concentrating on.<br><br>Shower water is easy with solar heating system (maybe need gas for supplement)<br><br>Cooking is possible with solar devises but not all practical and not usable &ldquo;indoors&rdquo; so gas will have to do (For now).<br><br>Refrigeration, now this is what I want to concentrate on here. Solar panels with a battery system will work but batteries are hi maintenance and the right batteries are &ldquo;hi cost&rdquo;.<br> <br>So this is my Idea and would like to know any comment from you guys where one may make it more efficient. This is still in Idea form so don&rsquo;t judge me to loudly LOL<br>Two copper plates separated with spacers for water to flow between and painted black on the outside mounted on the roof. Water pipes running (as short as possible and insulated) down to my fridge (standard with all working parts removed). Mount Peltier cells inside the fridge with &ldquo;warm side&rdquo; protruding to the outside. <br> The &ldquo;hot side&rdquo; of the Peltier&rsquo;s will be heated by the hot water from the roof, creating a current to run #1 a fan inside the fridge and #2 a small circulation pump to circulate the water.<br>The problem is to get the fridge cold in the first place to start the action. The fridge being an insulated and mainly closed unit could be started with ice or frozen anything. This should get the cycle going. Maybe even have an additional Cold water system running inside the fridge.<br>Now that I actually sit and type this from my thoughts it is sounding a bit like perpetual motion, even the fact that the sun is providing energy.<br><br>Maybe have Peltier cells on the copper plate powering Pelrier cells in the fridge, to replace the water piping system and using a water system to cool the Peltier cells on the roof and in the fridge.<br><br>Maybe even have an additional Cold water system running inside the fridge.<br>Let me know what you guys are thinking, remember its only an Idea and from here We can work.<br>
Well...fridges draw MEGA power...pelziers don' t put enough to light an LED out.
The problem with using peltiers with the fridge is that you are still dumping heat from the sun into the fridge, after they have passed through the peltier<br>In fact you are mostly dumping sun heat into the fridge outright after a small amount of heat has been converted into electricity by the peltiers<br><br>You need a definite place for the heat coming out of the peltiers to go, somehow getting it into the ground would be a good place to start
<p>Your sentence structure here made me LOL:</p><p>&quot;#1 getting rid of the guests and my garbage.&quot;</p><p>It reads like you want to use this to get rid of the guests, and also your garbage. That struck me as pretty dang funny. Thanks for the laugh. :)</p>
HI Johann, please have a look at Henry Moray 'a sea of energy' on the net as well as Tesla...man if it can work on a big enough scale...power for free!!<br>Actually I invite anyone to have a look and see if this can be done for real...just where I am in Zim it's a real bind to get the stuff in!
<p>(Robert Eckdale is my Grandfather's name, not mine. Just so we're clear. He deserves the Credit for that quote. Just so we're clear - just so we're clear.) </p>
<p>Awesome! This will definitely help me with my self-sufficient mobile home project! I am by no means a greenie, which makes me appreciate actual sciences such as this. (Don't get me wrong, I completely respect that livelihood, I just don't respect people that use pseudo sciences such as &quot;Global Warming&quot; and &quot;Greenhouse Gas&quot; as a way to make money (Ahem Al Gore). I do however believe in preserving the natural world through disposing of wastes efficiently and effectively; I am an Alaskan after all. </p><p>But as you said that even some Plastics are useable with this Reactor along with other forms of garbage, I completely have to agree that this method of creating energy is the best I've heard of. Powering a Cabin with this science would/will solve a lot of problems plaguing us up here. No more Gasoline Generators, etc. Just chop down some firewood and throw that annoying brush into this Generator, I can power my essential electric components. </p><p>You have brought Light into the Darkness my Friend. I mean that literally, too! Up North in Barrow, the sun doesn't rise for about 65 days! Sorry Einstein, Solar Power doesn't work well up there. (For those who don't know, Einstein theorized Photovoltaic Materials decades before anyone even thought of generating power with them. Don't worry, Einstein is laughing with me.) This science could be the next great step toward a perfectly efficient cycle of: Power to Manufacturer, Manufacturer to Household, Household to Garbage, Garbage to Power. Everything was very well researched, presented with great and almost perfect linguistic format, and overall a new revolution in the use of garbage and generation of power! Keep it up, and maybe someday, we'll see your name and face on every major power company of the future. I'd pay you, but I've only got fish. I don't think the Bank will put Fish onto my PayPal Account, so I'll just spread the word as best possible in order to make this a reality. It'll take a long time, but if more people know, then even if the percentage of people knowing such information remains the same, the Amount of people who know this is what is going to count. So hold onto it, never let it go. Continue to learn as much as you can. As my Grandfather told me, </p><p>&quot;We know nothing compared to the vast sea of Knowledge out there, but what little we can learn will count toward our future.&quot;</p><p>-Robert Eckdale, </p><p>Loved and Missed</p>
<p>I made one. yay.</p>
<p>Pretty cool project.</p>
I would love to see someone do a &quot; Solar Steam Trubine&quot; using a Fresnel lens. I think it could be really amazing, and I think you might be the guy to do it.
I was looking into using fresnel lenses, but I don't have much money, and one of the downsides of fresnel lenses is that their performance deteriorates (since it is made of plastic, and plastic + sun = bad). But I will do some experimentation in the future
Originally light houses used GLASS Fresnel lenses and these type were far more efficient than modern cheap plastic ones. I don't remember what temperatures they could withstand but it should be about the same as leaded glass so there should be no issue with your proposed use. Hope this info is useful.
Glass can take VERY high amounts of heat. I think it melts at 20,000 F.
<p>20000 degrees Fahrenheit would easily melt through any material known to man.. and if you use powdered glass it will heat up and melt much faster</p>
<p>Typo, I meant 2k. XD</p>
Umm, no. You can melt it in a campfire. Camofires don't get that hot. Glass, high temp glass, melts at between 2000 and 3000 degrees f.
<p>old large reflected tv wil have type of screens that your looking for</p>
Those big rear projection tvs have Fresnel lenses if you weren't aware...
Hello there! There is actually an instructable on how to make your own glass fresnel lense from an old tv. I can't recall it's adress atm but try looking it up. :p
The CO2 emmisions from this device are nominal and not a threat at all to the atmosphere! <br> <br>CO2 is food for plants, trees, etc and in turn they produce oxygen. <br> <br>The problem with CO2 is Humans! We don't like to replant trees after we clear our rain forests for lumber, money money money .... <br> <br>Green House affect is a naturally occurring phenomina. Did you know that since the Green Intiative started, the Earth's tempature has dropped almost 1.5 degrees globally. Hmm, why is that? <br> <br>Keep up the creative work and any time you can be free from the tyranical utility conglomerates, you should take it! <br> <br> <br>Spelling Disclaimer: I am really sorry if I mis-spelled any words or misused gramar rules in this statement, it was not intended to be graded nor a submission as home work assignment, so back off, LoL! <br> <br>
<p>yu speld gramar rongg</p>
&quot;The problem with CO2 is Humans&quot;. Exactly. People try to make a problem out of something that isn't actually a problem, and make all kinds of decisions and take all kinds of politically and monetarily expensive measures, all based on a fundamentally flawed and false premise. <br> <br>As a matter of fact, there are far more trees in the United States now than there were at the time of this country's founding, as we no longer use wood as fuel. <br> <br>As for why the temperature changed, make sure that you don't fall for &quot;post hoc, ergo propter hoc:, or in other words, correlation doesn't prove causation. Or in still other words, could it be that - even inaccuracies or inconsistencies in temperature measurement methodologies and inconsistencies - that global temperatures can and do change all by themselves, as they clearly did long before homo sapiens sapiens was even on the scene, let alone industrialized. <br> <br>Objective data prove that the waring trend ended in 1998.
Just because someone argues a point with a logical fallacy, does not automatically make their point any less right: argumentum ad logicam. <br> <br>While there are more trees in the country than there were 100 years ago, I would love some citations to back up your claim of more since the founding, that still does not mean that we don't contribute to the changing climate. <br> <br>There is &quot;post hoc, ergo propter hoc&quot;, and then there's ignoring an evidentiary argument because it draws upon cause-and-effect. It could also be said, in those same regards, that my typing on a computer keyboard doesn't type because, sometimes, the screen changes on it's own, and i shouldn't be assuming my typing has anything to do with it. <br> <br>Please display your &quot;objective&quot; data. As NASA, while possibly being &quot;Biased&quot;, has put out it's own graph that shows the temperature was still rising at the same rate in 2001: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=ha07110b (see fig. 1a)
No but it makes their argument invalid and therefore their point unsupported.
<p> So, a rather simple question: is there any way to filter the smoke this produces? I'm starting to build a more complex version of the fusion Jr, with solar and wind power input, but I'd like to filter the smoke this puts out too. Any ideas?</p>
<p>You can use several sheets of Carbon fiber, or you can use high density cotton. I also know that you can use a 5 strand weave Kevlar for high surface area smoke filtration. Also you could use water to bubble the smoke through several times to remove the smoke.</p>
<p>Another method of transferring heat from the Fusion Jr. would be to integrate copper tubing coils to heat water. The heated water can be sent to another heat exchanger in an insulated storage tank or re-purposed water heater. The heated water of the storage tank can then be piped into a house that has circulating hot water as the heat source. The original natural gas/propane or coal fired boiler would then be used as a back-up to the Fusion Jr arrangement.</p>
<p>Could you use a stirling engine instead of peltier tiles? I hear those are more efficient.</p>
just a thought on the inverter comment about the wave forms. most sensitive electronics run off DC, even though plugged into AC outlet. through the conversion from AC to DC the power runs through a rectifier (series of diodes to block portions of wave form) which in turn nullifies wave form importance correct? look on you r electronics power supply (plug or label) and chances are you will see 120 vac 60hz in, and #vdc out. a lot of smaller electronics convert right at the 120 AC outlet. Now one thing that can be sensitive is an AC motor. am I correct on this?
I can never find the Peltier Cells.
<p>there u go copy an search.</p><p>http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html?gclid=COi_25bb-rsCFcQDOgod9zcAzQ</p>
<p><a href="http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html?gclid=COi_25bb-rsCFcQDOgod9zcAzQ" rel="nofollow">http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html?...</a></p><p>theres a better link.</p>
Hello Spylock Try google searching Peltier and drop the cells. there are many on ebay in USA and Australia , Canada and UK as for other places not sure. <br>But if you are handy enough to make this project then you are handy enough to know what devices you can get peltiers from. <br>Car Fridges &quot; not the big ones&quot; normaly 43L ect, USB Fridge &lt;&lt; yeah i know crazy right? <br>How ever this maybe a low voltage 5 volt version or less, Wine Fridges also have them i hope this helps your search, oh rare but some old cpu coolers used to have them, but very RARE.
I a plumber,among other things,and the places Ive checked have been the radio shack type stores.I also do some heating,and was wondering if I might find one at the supply house,to tell you the truth,I had never even heard of em until I found this site a few years back,but they look like alot of fun,and soon as Im able to find them,the fun will begin.Thanks for the reply.
<p><a href="http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html?gclid=COi_25bb-rsCFcQDOgod9zcAzQ" rel="nofollow">http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html?...</a></p><p>there u go.</p>
Is that a DeLorean? Yes, it is...:) Use the Fusion Junior to power this:<br> http://learn.adafruit.com/delorean-time-circuit<br> If you did you would get a follow from me...wink
Have you ever thought of using your stove as the heat source of stirling engine?
i do not know where i read this as i am all over the net but it was an article about Back to the Future let downs, as things that have not happened in there version of the future. <br>i seen they posted that there is no MR Fusion, and a remembered a very complex version of your project running a car on this site, and now your simple version, Great work, as this is a simple project to get the basics, i look forward to tinkering. <br>PPL stop reading my mind about using peltiers to generate electricty LOL.
What tools did you need for the job? How did you make the holes, and what did you use to keep the parts together?
Wonderful instructable! I was wondering what operating temperatures your peltier cells are rated for. After browsing some sources online I have found some with maximum temps of ~200 deg C and some that are rated to ~120 deg C. Just wondering if I need to go the extra mile for the hi-temp variants. <br> <br>Thanks!
Great idea! I'm not so interested in the gasifier tech, as who wants to feed a fire all day just to watch 30min of TV... But what has got me intrigued is the use of peltier cells. Why aren't we using these on our water heater chimnies and furnace components... waisted energy reclaimed.

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Bio: IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS CALL ME AT 8059157065 Hello I'm Mad Scientist Trevor Nestor. If you like my instructables see my youtube channel! http ... More »
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