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Peltier Cells? Answered

In the current make magazine issue #15 There is a project called the Seebeck Generator. I was wondering about the use of Peltier Cells. Can someone elaborate as to how they function? I mean can you get them in different sizes? Would different sizes effect the power output? If I took like 50 of them and somehow combined them could I get a higher yield? What if you used it in combination with something like Hydrogen? Ideally Hydrogen burns hot and if I had a large version of the Peltier Cell Could I use it to get a real power output? Possibly enough to power an electronic motor? Just some random thoughts the magazine sparked. Thanks, Jester


. You can get enough power to run a small motor, light an LED, charge an iPod, &c;, but you won't be able to do much work with it unless you have a large cell (and a large heatsink). Neat "trick," but, at ~5% efficiency, not very practical. . Couldn't read the whole Make article w/o cookies, but it looks like it should be pretty easy/cheap to build.

just so you know they are only like 5% to 10% efficient. Peltier cells work by a temperature difference. As one side of the junction heats up it moves the electrons, but this only works cause the other side is cooler (potential difference). So you must be constantly cooling the other side. Just google it and you'll get a better answer. You could power a small 3 volt motor with it. If you are talking like go-kart motor then a peltier-junction isn't the way to go. stuff like steam pistons and such are more efficient.