Steampunk Chiller




About: Happily married, self employed, full wood shop, some metal work as well as electronics, antique collector.

A friend saw the Chillanator on face book and asked me to make a steampunk version.

I was happy to because there were some improvements I wanted to incorporate in a new design.
One major upgrade was the use of the microprocessor cooling towers, they are far more efficient than the brass ones on the Chillanator.

Step 1: The Frame

The frame is 1/2 " copper, the only thing I would say about making it is, cut all your tubing to exact lengths, this makes getting it square quite a bit easier.
Also using a jig of some kind would help, I did mine free-hand and it's slightly out of square.
After soldering I reheated it to get the colors to run in the copper.

Step 2: The Chip Hookup

Since I made the Chillanator curiosity got the best of me so I ordered an IR thermometer.
I discovered the temperature transfer was about 3 degrees better with a microprocessor heat sink paste over JB Weld.
To hold the Peltier chip in place I used the paste on the flat and JB Weld around the edges.
The tin cup was improved by using aluminum.

Step 3: Gotta Have a Cup Holder

It would appear at first thought that if you have a very cold surface that keeping it that way would be easy, not so, it helps to be almost freakish about heat loss, in making the cup holder I had three design considerations.
It needed to look "cool"
Heat transfer needed to be kept low.
Getting your drink out should be very easy.
The cup holder is rolled and glued craft paper with packing foam inside, painted with spray paint.
I made it 3/4 of a pop can height so grabbing the top is easy, yet most of the can is insulated.

Step 4: Removing Heat

The base that holds the cup holder is al left over pasta decanter top, since my buddy drinks beer from a can I made the cold plate specifically for cans the fins match the indent on the bottoms of them.
This allows for heat transfer from both the very bottom and the lower edge, the bent up edge doubles the metal to metal contact area.

Step 5: Let's Get Real

This is my third Peltier project and after doing some research I have come to believe they are quite inefficient, 2 percent seems to be the common number.
IF you start with a cold beverage, and you don't handle it much, it will keep it quite cool, but it's safe to figure you'll be using about 120 watts of electricity the whole time it's on.
The total cost was less than 20.00 dollars, if you are like me and like to drink your drinks slowly you may like always reaching over for a cold one.

Step 6: Wiring and Power Supply

The power comes from a video monitor transformer, what I didn't say earlier was I tried to over volt one of my Peltier chips with a 16 volt transformer it totally fried the chip.

I strongly recommend staying very close to the rated voltage.
The small wall wart transformers are to small for this project they will over heat or die or both.
When you first run your chiller keep a clove eye on the temp of the power supply.



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    18 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Hello! can you conceive a solar powered silica gel/water chiller?


    5 years ago

    I like it


    5 years ago on Step 5

    better yet hook it up to solar or use a second unit with a tea light to keep it running.


    Reply 5 years ago

    man you'll better start studying because your idea of reverse is completely wrong


    5 years ago

    Chef John is correct a polarity change will reverse heat flow in a Peltier
    I just verified it on a spare one.

    Winged Fist

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! I think I need to build one of these next time I go to Brazil, where temps frequently top 100 degrees;-)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi longwinters

    This is also really amazing;-))))
    Looks very good

    I think I have to work with an pelletier-element too....
    Very impressive

    Your buddy
    Aeon Junophor


    5 years ago

    I guess I've never seen one either, my buddy posted it on Facebook it has gotten lots of comments (positive)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    So this is a powered drink chiller? I never saw one before. You're looks nice. You solder copper pipe way better than I do. Well, yours looks a lot neater.