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Thread: Homemade Drink Cooler/Warmer?

  1. #1
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Homemade Drink Cooler/Warmer?


    Has anyone ever made a drink cooler / warmer? I just bought a 136.8 watt Peltier cooler from Sure Electronics ( I was thinking about attaching it to one of those styrofoam beer coolers so that I could have a nice heating/cooling element. The point of the beer cooler is so that in the case of cans of pop, it would make contact with the side of the can instead of just the rim on the bottom.

    Has anyone tried it? Or does anyone have any theory that I should look into before I start dremeling the **** out of my center console?!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Heat, the backs get very hot. If you reverse the current you can actually use them as hot plates too

  3. #3
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yeah, I know that. Hence the "cooler/warmer" hahaha
    I think I want to put a huge heatsink on the one side, and then use the other as a heater/cooler for coffee/pop.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rubidoux, CA
    Just keep in mind the heat generated by a 60W light bulb (and some of that 60W actually turns into light). now more than double it... and put it in your hands...

    See where I'm going? I'm guessing that unit is FAR to large. Hopefully, you plan on using a temperature control on it, in which case, it won't be THAT bad, but that's because it will only be running at like 20W (which is all you would likely need to maintain the temp of a single, mostly insulated, beverage).

    EDIT: I didn't realize you were talking about fixed install in your center console... in which case.. i can deinitely see the advantage of always having cold beer at my fingertips while cruising...
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

  5. #5
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oh wow I never thought of it like that. Damn that's going to get HOTT.

    I guess I better put a temperature controller on there eh! Maybe a nice MOSFET with some PWM. On the up side, if I need to reach a temperature, I can do that very fast!

  6. #6
    Newbie s00pa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Lower Hutt, New Zealand
    I've got a travel cooler/warmer with a built in 12v peltier plate, and computer fan. Works fine and I got it for $25.
    Don't know how many watts it is, consumes about 2A when on so I'd guess 20-25W. I don't think it has any temperature control.

    Since you've already got the peltier plate, I'd say go ahead and build something with it, but at that power level use some temp control, mechanical thermostats or a microcontroller circuit for adjustable temp. I'd go for hotside and coldside sensors, PWM, you could have an h-bridge to switch between cooling/warming, or even a 7-segment temp display.
    Since it's a permanent install, you could go all-out and even integrate it with the car PC!
    Acer Aspire One carputer
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  7. #7
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I actually had planned on connecting it to the CarPC. I have a product (in my signature) called the Qube which is similar to a Fusion Brain. I was going to connect it to that and switch it on and off through my frontend. I'm thinking an h-bridge could be a great idea!

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate Sleepyz0mby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    im thinkin temp control with the Qube thats adjustable from the front end? ...

    auto climate control for your beverage? sounds sweet

    glad to see it looks like your Qubes are getting off to a good start

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    iv done some research on them for other purposes.. i cooler that large you might want to consider attaching a heat sink to the side ur not using. As far as i understand a thermoelectric cooler only transfers a maximum or Xwatts of heat from one side to the other, that means that there is a maximum difference that the temperature is going to be on either side is going to be your Xwatts.

    so for example if your trying to keep a drink cold, and your absorbing 10watts of heat on the cold side then your adding 10 watts of heat (drink naturally absorbing heat from the air) to the hot side this will just build up and eventually the hot side will be so hot that the difference is not going to keep you drink cold... unless.. you transfer the heat energy into the air, via a heatsink (and fan)

    iv got a small 40w one and when turned on it get too hot on the hot side to touch within second (without a heatsink)

    another thing is they are really inefficient so it will draw alot of current.

    theres also some stuff on them developing a very high frequency vibration under stress and if not secured under pressure can slowly destroy themselves

    hope this helps.
    feel free to correct me if im wrong.

  10. #10
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peltiers are inefficient.
    They do not like thermal/power shocks (the need delays etc).
    They are usually powered with modulated DC for longetivity (and soft starts etc).
    They usually have a maximum 20C differential. For more, they are sandwiched.
    Heatsinks are used on both sides. (ok, so one is a coldsink)

    For heating, resistors are better.

    Usually the cheapest way to get a controller is to buy a small cooler pack. (The output cold be boosted.)

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