Introduction: Peltier Fan / Phone Charger

Picture of Peltier Fan / Phone Charger

Jean Charles Athanase Peltier a 30 year old watch dealer that decides to turn physicist. His experiments lead to the technology used in this project. Worth a good Wiki read.

As a fellow 30 yr old tinker man I decided to give it a shot. Had been wanting to create air flow on top of my Rocket Mass Heater as lots of the heat rises straight up from the barrel top. As a youngin I had seen a few Peltier Fans produced for just this reason.

Very much so am I wanting this to be very aesthetically pleasing as the Rocket Mass Heater is the center of the living space.

I always keep heat sinks from past PC builds and upgrades. So that was a bulk of what I needed.

Purchased for this project.

An electric motor from radio shack the only one they had on the shelves. Rated for 1.5 voltsish

The fan blade was given to me from an RC store.

40mm X 40mm Peltier claimed to produce up to 12volts (ebay)

Mini PFM Control Step Up Booster.

From then on it was a barrage of making things fit.

Step 1: Gather All of Your Parts

Picture of Gather All of Your Parts

I did a series of stacking the heat sinks and peltier device. To visualize where and how my fan motor would be mounted.

After some measuring I realized that if I sacrificed one of my OOAK Forge slingshot frames it would work perfectly.

Step 2: Attaching the Fan Motor

Picture of Attaching the Fan Motor

I chopped the frame at a length that the fan would be centered in the upper heatsink.

Then cut the frame where the large hole is that fits the fan. This was done so that I could smash that sliced area closed to create a clamping action on the motor.

Using a chisel to pry the opening open and slide the motor into the hole. To my slight surprise it worked really well.

Three holes were tapped into the lower heatsink. Two in the front for the slingshot frame to fasten to the sink. One in the center back for a spring that will come into play later.

Once ready to attach the frame I placed two standoffs in between the frame and the sink to help dissipate heat from the fan motor.

Step 3: Attaching the Upper Heat Sink to the Lower

Picture of Attaching the Upper Heat Sink to the Lower

My intent was to use a similar spring bar that is used to sometimes hold CPU heat sinks onto the CPU.

I found a metal scrap piece that sorta of fit. Then proceeded to sand and file until it hooked into the slingshot frames existing hole. The back end left ever so slightly lifted.

A hole was drilled in the back for a spring to fit through. I customized an existing spring to hook onto the rear screw and onto the spring bar. That was a rather painful experience and was totally bananas.

Once all was said and done it worked again surprisingly well.

Step 4: Solder All the Things

Picture of Solder All the Things

Solder the Peltier Device to the Fan Motor.

After testing I went back and added leads for testing other devices. Such as the Mini PFM Control for charging 5 volt devices. This is the device that allows you to charge items requiring 5 volts.

I used butt splice connectors that have solder in the middle and only requires a heat gun. Very nifty little thingies.

Step 5: Dry Fit

Picture of Dry Fit

By this I mean put everything together and make sure it all fits. Do this before the thermal grease application.

Always happy to do this an learn things before I even start to think I'm done. When I did mine I found out that my fan blade struck the "spring bar". I took it apart and filed it down for the need clearance.

Step 6: Make Go and Keep Experimenting

Picture of Make Go and Keep Experimenting

After testing the fit of everything I then put it back together using the thermal grease between the peltier device and both heat sinks.

So, Lower Heat Sink, Grease, Peltier, Grease, Upper Heat Sink.

It works great and was relatively simple to make. I assume this can be completed in a multitude of ways. This was mine hope you enjoyed

The rocket mass heater surface in the center has reached 830 degrees so I keep it towards the edge where it is more along the lines of 500 degrees. In that area the top of the heat sink doesn't reach above 320 which is ideal as the Peltier is rated for no more than 350.

My phone recognizes that it is charging, but I feel the draw from the fan and phone is to much. A switch or other devices are to be tested.

Best of luck!


posion made it! (author)2015-10-12

TEC5V4A-D is a kind of Peltier controller, which is used to monitor and regulate the object temperature. The maximum output current of Peltier controller TEC5V4A- Dis 4A and the maximum output voltage is 4.7V. This Peltier controller has high efficiency and high reliability. Peltier controller provides two packaging methods, DIP package and SMT package. The following is the physical photo of Peltier controller TEC5V4A-D.

There are many interface ports provided by the Peltier controller, and customers can use the ports to set the object required temperature and the maximum output voltage. In order to avoid the interference between the controller and other electronics, Peltier controller is packaged in a 6 sided metal enclosure.

Before using Peltier controller, there are some things to be noted.During working process, the power supply may have overshoot, and if this happens, the voltage may exceed the maximum allowed input voltage, 6V, of thePeltier controller and damage the controller permanently. In order to avoid this from happening, before supplying the power,be sure that the Peltier controller is connected to the power supplysolid well; the power supply is ensured to havelarge enough output current; when using a bench top power supply, the current limit is set more than 1.5 times higher than the maximum current thatthe controller requires.

If you want to know more, please contact us.

Our web site is

joseph.gero.ii (author)2015-03-29

Double the heatsinks and peltier and then wire them in parallel to boost the lacking amperage to drive the motor and 5v charger. This way the excess from the first one is not wasted and you gain the necessary combined power.

pjhrtr (author)joseph.gero.ii2015-08-09

I agree with Joe... had been thinking this.

Just4Fun Media (author)2015-05-26

Great instructable! I built a similar system that is self powered off a computers waste heat! And I was able to reach core tempatures of 4.2 degrees Celsius!

Furry57 (author)2015-04-02

Hi I just joined this site when I saw your post as it turns out I just bought 5 Nvidia

Zalman Cooper Heatsink off of E-Bay and planed on makeing unit close to yours. You did a great job. I hope to post mine when they are compleat.

williamwarn (author)2015-03-13

you could always ditch the fan and use a larger heatsink to cool, so as to not waste energy

the_don125 (author)williamwarn2015-03-13

The fan is the main goal of the instructable, though. There's a heater, but the heat only rises directly up; this project converts some of that heat into airflow, to distribute the heat throughout the room. Phone charging sounds like a secondary use for any extra power generated.

fazanch (author)2015-03-13

zacker (author)2015-03-10 what is the heat sink you used for the top? its really neat looking. that's my problem, I want to find something that both works and is pleasing to look at since the fan would be on my wood stove in my living room. all I can seem to find is boring old square heat sinks... lol Also, do you need a heat sink for the bottom or will a block of Aluminum bar work?

ParacordJunkie (author)zacker2015-03-10

Looks like a Zalman heatsink

zacker (author)ParacordJunkie2015-03-13

I guess it must be... thanks for confirming!

JamesonA1 (author)zacker2015-03-13

That's most likely a Zalman. Gorgeous sinks.

zacker (author)JamesonA12015-03-13

cool... ill have to go look on Ebay and see whats on there. thanks!

loki2012 (author)2015-03-10

Great project!

My question is similar to zacker - using a heat sink on the bottom, are you losing some efficiency? Would aluminum bar / plate work better?

Harlan Whitman (author)loki20122015-03-10

I found that the heat sink heated up quicker, but didnt get to hot. Which was a concern. Considering I have reached temperatures above 700°

The bar stock did not dissipate enough heat. For a lower temp surface bar stock would be fine if not better.

zacker (author)Harlan Whitman2015-03-13


Also thanks to loki2012 for asking it too!

loki2012 (author)Harlan Whitman2015-03-10

Ah, makes sense now! Thanks!

redsunmtm (author)2015-03-10

hi, you should use a 5v brushless fan, it consumes less energy than brushed motors and would drop less voltage !

Joohansson (author)2015-03-05

Nice build! Feel free to look at my projects if you some future thermoelectric inspiration.

I will do that! Thank You!

russ_hensel (author)2015-03-04

I am intrigueded by you heat sink, can you say a bit more about it?

They are both from past PC builds. The copper one is a Zalman. It uses tube and fin methods for cooling.

dasimpson1981 (author)2015-03-03

if you had of used a teg rather then a tec you would see alot better results

You are correct. How can you tell the difference between a TEG and TEC module via a photo? I was told this was a TEG...

slits in the surface thicker wire and stiffness of wire plus you said pelter and not seebeck

no slits i mean

dasimpson1981 (author)2015-03-03

if you use multiple of teg modules on the mass heater you could carge a 12 volt battery also lining the drum with copper pipe would give you a way to heat water or distrabute that heat by plumbing to rads in other rooms

You are so correct. The Mass Heater is rather recent in my life. Excited for the possibilities!

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-03

Your project looks really cool! I can't tell however where you are connecting your phone to charge it. Thanks again for sharing.

Thanks! It really brings some life into the area. Check out this photo from step four showing the Mini PFM

Heated it up on the stove top burner for some tests this morning. It doesn't get near as hot as the rocket mass heater.

Grisling (author)2015-03-03

very nice instructable, but what is the output from the peltier? I've used them in other projects, but they rarely put out much energy.

Harlan Whitman (author)Grisling2015-03-03

Thanks, It's enough to power the fan and the PFM to charge the phone. I anticipated that it would not produce enough to charge the phone on its own which is why I purchased the $3 dollar mini PFM controller.

About This Instructable




Bio: The word I hear most explaining me is whimsical. I'm an artist designer crafter person. By day I work for Michael Curry Design making ... More »
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