Thermoelectric cooler, replacing the cooling fans

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by hadiosbourne, 15 May 2013.

  1. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne

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    Cooling fan noise is a big, if not the biggest issue which most of the reefers including me deal with,
    I've been looking into the Thermoelectric coolers for a while now, and couldn't find much info and articles about them,
    Wikipedia describes thermocoolers as:

    Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. A Peltier cooler, heater, or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other, with consumption of electrical energy, depending on the direction of the current.
    [​IMG]

    It basically is a ceramic plate which, one side gets extremely hot and the other side extremely cold. This is how the actual unit looks like:
    [​IMG]
    They use 12v adapter, which is similar to cooling fans,
    I've been thinking of replacing my RSM cooling fans with 2 of these, and placing them on the heatsink, where the cool side is attached to the heatsink,

    Its a bit tricky for me since i have a closed system and i'm worried about the heat that these generate destroying the other stuff in the hood,
    I'm pretty sure they would work on a open system.

    I assume they can even replace the Chillers if the fair amount of them has been placed on the back glass or on the sump's wall.
    The only issue would be the heat they generate on the other side which i'm sure a small fan can blow it away,
    You can imagine the electricity savings these things can make!

    Has any one tried these or is willing to try and share the experience?
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2013
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  3. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    i can see one issue whit this but im not quite sure so maybe its worth a try. i suspect that when they are colling something that generates heat such as DIY LEDs etc. there can be a condensation of water due to the heat / cold being present.. other than that great idea
     
  4. Fred d

    Fred d

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    Looks like a workable option as replacement for a cooli g fan ... any idea on pricing and size on the unit in your post
     
  5. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    that might be true, lets see if anybody who tried it had that issue,
    Even if it makes the water it could still be used as a chiller.
     
  6. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    they are about $4 each , you can find them at http://www.buyincoins.com
    They ship it for free.
     
  7. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    i know this stuff is used in the water coolers you find in your office or banks etc. i think a friend of mine has one broken cooler so i'll ask him for the unit and give it a go
     
  8. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    yes, i think they use it in winecoolers also
     
  9. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    The issue is you need to get rid of the heat to make the cooling effective. So you still need to run a fan to blow over the heatsink which is attached to the hot side.

    The more heat you get rid off the cooler it will run on the other side. TEC coolers has been around for a very long time and there are many that have tried this. The other problem with using them as chillers is getting some non corrosive surface between the TEC pad and the salt water.
     
  10. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    Thats true about the closed systems, but i don't think the open system with hanging lights would have any issue with it,

    With regards to using it as a chiller,
    it could be placed on the glass on the outside, it doesn't necessary have to be inside the water,

    Would be interesting to see some input from guys who used it
     
  11. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    another option would be to get another small heatsink and attach to the hot side,
    so the cool side is attached to the main heatsink and the hot side also connected to a small square heatsink
     
  12. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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  13. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    its very nice, but R1500 is a bit pricy, i'm sure one can make a DIY with thermostats for less than R300
     
  14. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    TEC's are very inefficient heat pumps. It basically just takes the heat from the one side and moves it to other side and in that process it generates its own heat and a lot of it!. So the hot side needs to kept cool with a huge heat sink and fan.

    They also need high wattage 12v power supplies which can get expensive. Iv tried and tested these on aquariums, they are just too inefficient.
     
  15. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    Thats great to have input from someone who tried them,
    They do generate a lot of heat on the other side,
    Was it an open system you used it on or closed,
    Still with a large heatsink and a fan isn't it much more cost effective than the normal chillers?

    is a special 12v adapters to be used? cause i used the normal 12v adapters and they seems to function fine
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2013
  16. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    What size is your tank? I think anything below 50l it will work.

    I never put it on my tank because it didn't work. But this is how I tested it.

    I was using a 200w TEC to try and cool a 90l container filled with water. A 200w TEC needs 12v at 20A. That power supply costs 600 bucks. I have 40A bench power supply so I didn't have to buy one. I water cooled the hot side and pumped my pool water though it to keep it cool. I couldn't get the water lower than 2 degrees below ambient.

    PC geeks have used 475watt TEC's to try keep their CPU's cool but the extra heat always wins.

    A refrigerant based heat pump is still the only option for effective chilling. I built one using the parts from an ice maker and work great :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2013
  17. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    I helped to install one of these on a freshwater aquarium of a friend of mine...
    It works like a bomb on small nanos/picos, but as soon as you go any larger than 100l, they become less cost effective than a normal chiller & they arent any less noisy than a regular pc fan (actually worse).
    My advice to you would be to look at a super quiet brushless bushless pc fan. You can get a good one for around R200 & uses a tenth of the electricity!

    On a pico, this thing is fantastic though! You can litterally glue them to the bottom glass pane (in cabinet) with heatsink glue & it would work amazing!!!
     
  18. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Oh, & a controller is rarely less than R400 of your lucky...
     
  19. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your feedback guys,
    the system i have is 200L but its a closed system,
    So its not an option for me,
    but thats good to know it works for upto 60L system,
    There isn't any chiller that supports small tanks out there.
    I'll give it a try on my smaller tanks and see how they work
     
  20. Fred d

    Fred d

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    As for cooling a heatsinc for say .... a diy led build .....?
     
  21. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

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    You can use the brushless bushless pc fan like visser advised
     
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