Phase 1 (30/09/10)
I wanted something that could near-instantly chill a warm beer to drinking temperature. In usual theme I wanted to do this for a low cost as possible.
I bought a peltier effect device from jaycar and did some testing. If you dont know what a peltier effect device is; it is very simply a device that takes power, and makes one side hot, the other cold. They are often used in compact heating or cooling devices like powered chilli-bins.
I found that I could get a decent cooling effect out of it as long as I was sucking the heat away. It is nessesary to dissapate the heat or else the device will just overheat. The more heat you can take away, the colder the cold side can get.
I placed the PED onto a CPU heatsink for the hot side. This takes care of of the unwanted heat quite well.
Then I took a peice of extruded aluminium I had in my scrap pile, and bashed the shit out of it till it could fit a beer inside. I also found a small block of aluminum that would work as a nice conducter of the cold. I bashed the shit out of that to get it to fit inside.
I found twisting the wire until it was firmly attached and not going to twist around worked really well. The advantage of using the supplied CPU-fan/motherboard clip was it provide some tension once it was taught as well.
I needed a temporary way of seeing if was working so attached one of those inside/outside digital thermometers to the bottom of a beer to get an idea of what was going on in there.
At this stage it doesnt do what its meant to very well. I think it would take over 10minutes to cool anything because it doesnt have enough contact with the glass, and its not very well insulated. I intend to use some rubber to seal the bottom a little, and see if I can build some sort of mold that fits a beer better so there is more contact area….
Phase 2 (26/08/11)
I have another project that requires water cooling. I considered scrapping my beer cooler to make it but then I thought I would just make it dual purpose, and possibly finish the project. the first thing I did was water seal the bottom using a silicon sealant, using as sparingly as possible and mashing it into the cracks. The sealant did a pretty good job, although it doesnt look very sparing at all.
I tried out a spring to hold it tighter;Although I realise as I write this that it is pointless since the CPU Cooler mounting bracket has tension already, so that will be taken off next time I have to re-attach it.
Filled it with water and tested it out.
On one hand, I can say ‘the water was at 12 degrees (c)’ yay! but on the other hand I have to say ‘the water stayed at 12 degrees’ since it technically didnt get any colder.
Next immediate steps:
- Pick up a better temperature probe
- Insulate the reservoir (considering some sort of foam)
- Fill it with warm water and see what happens.
- Separate the cooling fan from the peltier power supply – I want as much power going into the peltier and so will try running the fan off a generic 12v dc adapter
Longer term, once I have confirmed that it does in fact do anything, the plan is to pump water through it. which I can then use for beer brewing (Keeping the barrel at a constant temperature)