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Step 4: Frame Creation

The first thing I did before making my frame is I cut a baseplate from foam that surrounds the Peltier and goes on the bottom of the heatsink. Measure the size of your peltier, and cut a hole in a piece of foam as big as the bottom of your heatsink. Make sure to cut holes for any wires or anything to come out!

I had to attach the baseplate with rubber bands, which works fine for me. I recommend, if you can, using any mounting hardware that is usable. Just make sure the bands don't go over where the light will be focused! The baseplate is important because it's really hard to mount the peltier/heatsink anywhere without it. Glue/tape just doesn't stick to heatsinks... It also makes it so you can put a reflective box around the Peltier. We'll talk about this once we've made our frame and figured out our focal point.

Now you will want to make a frame/enclosure for everything. In the pictures you can see what I did, feel free to improvise. There are many ways to make one. You could make a box, or a foldable stand, or do what I did, which is sort of a combination. The strategy is the same for all of them. Figure out the rough range of measurements between the peltier cell and the lense for the focal point, because you will want the peltier-lense distance to be adjustable.

Don't measure the focal point where the light is at the smallest point, that will just burn off the paint. Flip around the lense until you are pointing the side at your "measuring surface" (I used a napkin so it wouldn't burn) that creates a square sized spot, and measure it where the spot is a bit smaller than the total size of the Peltier - remember, there are two points where the spot is the size of the Peltier. Use the farther one or the reflective shroud will actually block light!

Once you have figured out the focal-point range, cut your frame. Mine has a slit that you can move a foam panel back and forth on, to adjust the focal length. The light-collecting assembly sits on this. See the photos for more details.

One thing to remember when making your frame/enclosure etc. is that heat management is EVERYTHING, because this generates using heat. If somehow the heatsink is getting heat that is not through the peltier (maybe light is falling onto it) then you will be losing a lot of power.
 
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