Some months ago, while browsing Instructables I came across a post  by Joohansson  (https://www.instructables.com/member/Joohansson/) showing how he had used the thermo-electric Peltier effect to power a fan with a small candle. Subsequently he has also shown how to use a similar device to make a phone charger. A similar project was posted more recently (https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Stove-Fan-for-under-50/) and both of these posts give some of the theoretical background as well as useful links for such Peltier devices.In essence, Peltier devices are thermo-electric couples which, when powered, produce cooling, for use in things like wine fridges, or when used in reverse across a heat differential, can generate electricity. By placing a simple, store-bought Peltier element between a heated heatsink and a second, heat-dissipating sink, enough electricity can be generated to run a small motor, which can then turn a fan.
I was particularly attracted by the aesthetics of Joohansson's creation and decided to make my own from scratch, using only the central Peltier element and  a motor which I bought on e-bay, plus a single aluminium heatsink, as my starting point. Every other component was made from re-purposed bits and pieces from the scrapyard or my boxes of gleaned finds and left-overs. I also wanted to make the device functional, so I decided to use the fan to help distribute air-freshener.
I have not given a step-by-step guide so much as a "show and tell" because the details of what one makes in these sorts of projects is so dependent on what you have available.

Step 1: Materials and Methods

For this project I bought the following 2 components
1. Mabuchi RF-500TB "Solar Motor" (0.5 -1.5V, 380-1280 rpm). Approximately U.S.$10.00 on e-Bay
2. An off-the-shelf thermo-electric (Peltier) module (68W). Approximately u.S.$20.00 from Jaycar electronics.

An aluminium heatsink was harvested from an old computer and all the other components were made up from recycled copper piping, brass stock, brass wire and some leftover rosewood.
The heatsink which forms the cooling side of the device was made from a solid brass gas distributor, to which were fixed 3 segments of a copper heating-exchange element from a truck radiator. As long as there is good contact between the heating element, the lower heatsink, the Peltier unit and the cooling heatsink, the device will transfer heat and will generate electricity and hence, work. The rest is aesthetics and doing whatever takes your fancy. Note that to make the heat transference better, the opposing faces of the heating and cooling sinks should be well polished and the contact between the Peltier unit and the heatsinks augmented by a good layer of thermal conducting paste, available online or from electronics component suppliers.
Great instructable! I built a similar system that is self powered off of the computers waste heat! And I was able to reach core tempatures of 4.2 degrees Celsius! <br><br>http://instructables.com/id/Self-Powered-Computer-Super-Cooler/<br>
<p>if u like a better soure 4 both types of teg unit check out this site. </p><p><a href="http://www.customthermoelectric.com/index.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.customthermoelectric.com/index.htm</a></p><p>they have types both large an tiny</p>
nice work of art
Great artwork! I'm just working on something similar to power the Expedition Audiophone: http://thechocolatist.com/das-expeditions-audiophon/ <br>Thanks for your suggestions. Just fantastic!!!
also u could've set up the raditor core as a supply 4 the oil u planned on using as well
i wouldve tilted the blades by 5 dec or so to provide some air movement
Hi. I've gone back and optimized the video for the web and re-pasted it to the Instructable. I think it should be playing now.Hopefully. <br>On You Tube the URL is (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALYNvrfEw0Y) <br>Thanks again for all the feedback.
Couldn't upload your video...if it's on YouTube can you give us the URL...thanks!
I just love the look of this even though I haven't read through your instructions....which I will now do.
I would like to take this idea and make them for the steampunk community here in Dallas. There are few metalsmiths here and I am thinking of getting into the craft. Any suggestions as to where to find the bits and bobs needed to become a maker?
Hi,<br> that's exactly the question I faced when I began doing this sort of thing a few years ago. My best response would be to suggest that you do two things. Try to learn as much as you can about basic skills such as soldering, brazing and welding ( courses, going to watch experts doing it and so on) and secondly, scour junkyards and metal recyclers for bits of old brass and copper. I personally like to look for interesting bits and then store them away in boxes against a rainy day or a suitable project. Once you've actually started a build, you can specifically look for parts you want or need but start by building up a good supply of varied stock. A few tools are useful - I use a drill press and an angle grinder quite a lot but its very much a &quot;go where your imagination and ideas take you&quot; sort of hobby. Most of the fun is in solving the problems you'll encounter along the way.<br>Have fun and be safe.<br>Cheers.
This is excellent. If you design another at some point in the future, I recommend a Stirling Engine powered fan:<br> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine</a><br> I think your terrific fabrication skills would complement such a project well.
As luck would have it, I am busy reading up around Stirling engines at present and it's definitely on my to do list. Trouble is, there are so many great projects and too little time. Pesky darn day job. Thanks for the positive comments though.
are you willing to sell this i have a nephew with a birthday coming up and he wants a steampunk gadget.
The word &quot;contraption&quot; was invented especially for your invention. I love your contraption, thank you for showing it to us :)
This is awesome! Well done!
Could you please downscale the video? The 188 megabyte version just sits there, saying &quot;This video is being processed&quot;.
This is so cool. There's a lot of steam punk creations that I don't like because so much of it is stuff thrown together for looks. I love your stuff because it's clear that every little piece has a purpose. <br>great design! <br>
Oh, a think of true beauty.... <br> <br><sub> Looks like it would be a pig to keep clean, though...</sub>
I haven't tried yet, but you're probably right - it would be a pain to clean. I have however lacquered most of the brightwork, so hopefully it won't tarnish too badly....
It looks amazing!!! LOVE IT! :) more please!
Gorgeous design... as a steampunk enthusiast/physicist, literally everything about this project was awesome.
Thanks very much for your kind remarks. It was also great fun.
Awesome! A really beautiful build.
Thank you. Try the one on you Tube. That was working last time I checked.
What a ridiculously gorgeous thing! If only the video would work!
Wow! I think both <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Charles_Athanase_Peltier" rel="nofollow">Peltier</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg" rel="nofollow">Rube Goldberg</a><a href="http://www.rubegoldberg.com/" rel="nofollow"> </a>would be impressed!;-) You got my vote!
Hi Fungus, <br>video duly shot, posted and embedded. Enjoy! And do please vote...

About This Instructable




More by cutshopguy:Copper Deer Scarer (Shishi Odoshi) for an urban garden Steampunk Reverse Peltier Machine (aka The electro-mechanical room freshener) Steampunk Floating Arm Desk Lamp 
Add instructable to: