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Old 14th February, 2005, 05:43 AM
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Custom Peltier

HI, anyone got any insights on the best parts/methods to use to construct a custom peltier system, ideally i want one based on a large, many finned copper heatsink, i know that normally they are used in conjunction with a water cooling system but would a very high (240cfm) air system work?
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Old 14th February, 2005, 06:02 AM
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its better to not do it with air.
thermaltake tried it with the subzero4G and it was a failure simply because using a HSF with a TEC isnt practical. The effort required to keep your cpu safe, condensation free etc is to much. if you use a 80W tec, then you are dissipating 150+ watts of heat at stock. overclocking and overvolting just means more heat to dissipate. its well out of the range of air coolers. For your safety and the safety of your cpu / mobo is best to stay away from it. People have been seriously injured by peltiers in the past. if the wireing melts and you end up with exposed wires carrying 8-16 amps its extremely dangerous. TECs are something you have to do VERY well or not at all.
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Old 14th February, 2005, 06:23 AM
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OK, would any real overclocking advantages be gained by installing a TEC with a water kit? if i was to install one i would do it properly......(too much spare time during the day,plenty of patience and not enough cash to muck it up)
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Old 14th February, 2005, 07:21 AM
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The benefits of using TEC over straight water arnt that high unless you are using a very serious system. water does a very good job on its own. you have to be able to control your tec, and the condensation it produces. The best way to do this is by using a stand alone processor to manage the TEC in relation to temperature. Im not a chip programming monkey so i got someone else to program mine. I used a PIC7805 or something processor (forget the exact number). they cost about $15 AU. You use PICBasic to program the thing, which isnt all that hard if you read up on it. The trick is to get the chip to look at the temperature of the cpu. if its a bit too high then increase the TEC's power by 5%. if its too low then reduce the TEC's power by 5%. If the temperature of the back side of the Tec gets too high, increase the fan speed to "high" which is 12V. If the back side of the TEC is low, drop fan speed to "low" or 8V. if any temperature climbs or drops too rapidly to be normal, kill the power. If the temperature of the cpu is too high, and the back side of the TEC is too hot to increase TEC power any more, cut power. The PIC processor checks and manages your CPU/TEC/Water setup 4000 times per second so nothing can go wrong . when you think about it, its all a matter of inputs, outputs, ifs, elses etc. If you can use visual basic, you can learn how to do it. Thats exactly what the thermaltake subzero4G system does. you can do VERY cool things with PICs, TECs and computers. and it will really fill in your spare time.
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Old 14th February, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Ill bear all that in mind,im ok at VB so i might give it a go, cheers for the quick response
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Old 14th February, 2005, 05:32 PM
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if you were to run CPU pelt cooling by water you'd need a 226W or better, 226 *might* get you to the almighty 0oC if you would make sure theres no condensation, power it enough, and more importantly cool the water to a point where the pelt could remove all the heat. There is a 360 watt tec out(i think its 360) and the only implementation i've seen of this used a bonneville heatercore like i've got, with 4 pretty high flow fans on it, it got a prescott to 0oC idle and about 5oC load.

With pelts you have to consider how much it will put on ur electric bill to power the powersupply monthly. Really good water should get you the majority of your overclock, pelting and deep freezeing only give u the other mmm 20% that you MAYBE would get outta it. its a fun project though, thats for sure.

I'd look into prebuilt kits offerd by swiftech if you're truly interested.
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Old 14th February, 2005, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
if its a bit too high then increase the TEC's power by 5%. if its too low then reduce the TEC's power by 5%.
It's best to do it with a PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control loop, rather than the simplistic approach of changing the power by 5% each iteration. Use of PID can help avoid overshoot, which is a problem with a simplistic control loop.

However, on the topic of peltiers, by the time you've put together a good peltier system, you may well have spent as much as you would on a phase change system. Phase change is far more efficient when compared to peltiers - it can move far more heat for less input power! You might want to check your costings, and see how it compares.
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Old 14th February, 2005, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
It's best to do it with a PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control loop, rather than the simplistic approach of changing the power by 5% each iteration. Use of PID can help avoid overshoot, which is a problem with a simplistic control loop.

However, on the topic of peltiers, by the time you've put together a good peltier system, you may well have spent as much as you would on a phase change system. Phase change is far more efficient when compared to peltiers - it can move far more heat for less input power! You might want to check your costings, and see how it compares.
Some people dont have their maths degrees yet
lol. Im a newb with microcontrollers, so for me, getting a PIC to do that was a miracle. Seeing this little centipede chip doing my bidding 4000/sec 24/7 was fun enough
the thing is you dont overshoot doing it that way because the TEC's response time is far slower than the chip's. Its all good in the end. But ill keep your advice in mind if i ever do it again
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Old 15th February, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
It's best to do it with a PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control loop, rather than the simplistic approach of changing the power by 5% each iteration. Use of PID can help avoid overshoot, which is a problem with a simplistic control loop.
You'd have a bit of trouble tuning the PID unless you had a very good simulated heat source. I don't particularly want to imagine the effect of integral wind-up on my CPU
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Old 15th February, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
You'd have a bit of trouble tuning the PID unless you had a very good simulated heat source. I don't particularly want to imagine the effect of integral wind-up on my CPU
you two are completely destroying the fun of extreme cooling with common sense and maths i dont think about integral windup when cooling my cpu. If the big bad integral windup monster kills my cpu ill just stand there with a dumb face.
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Old 16th February, 2005, 10:07 PM
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ill join you
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Old 17th February, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Monkeyman, just ignore all that's up there!

As Dsio suggests, aircooling of high power peltiers just doesn't work. You really do need to move to water cooling. Why? Well, adding a peltier to the system drastically increases the amount of heat you need to get rid of. That's because an 80W peltier doesn't just pump 80W of heat across from the cold side to the hot side, but also adds another ~100-120W worth of it's own heat. (You can calculate how much in total by multiplying the voltage by the current that the peltier needs, and then adding on the heat that the peltier can pump.)

That gives you somewhere in the region of 200W of heat to get rid of. Think just how hard it is to keep the high end P4 processors cool, and they're running at pretty much 50% of that heat load.

If you move up to the high power peltiers, you're having to get rid of over half a kilowatt of power (500W). At this point you really have to use watercooling to get rid of all that heat! You might also find that adding up the amount it's cost you to get the peltier, a power supply for the peltier, the pump, waterblock and suitable radiator, and electronics to control the peltier, you'd have been better off going for a ready built phase change system instead.
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Old 17th February, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Dsio, fancy sharing any pictures of your peltier controller at all? Those PICMicros are pretty neat little chips!
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Old 17th February, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Id have to go and dig it all out sometime. I was never really that into programming but with the Qbasic and VB experience ive had, moving to PICbasic wasnt a big step at all. It was a plastic breadboard with a PIC mounting bracket and 4 thermaltake thermal probes comming off it. Initially i tried controlling the peltier using variable resistance. At the time i didnt realise what a moronic idea that was. i used a bank of resisters as a "low" power setting and used none for "high" power. The resister bank was hotter than the peltier was and blew on an hourly basis.

On the second attempt i used a JayCar electronics pulse regulator as they called it. No resistance, therefore no heat, just a timed switch that goes on and off so many times per minute or per second. the Pic sent a pulse to this device, and the device did all the regulating. Its all complicated until you work it out on paper. Watch 4 variables, if conditions over those variables become this, then increase pulse speed, if conditions are this, then reduce pulse speed, if these particular events occur, kill this and this and this. All up it was about 30 lines of code for the ENTIRE program.

Environmental monitoring and control is really something these chips are made for.
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Old 17th February, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Aedan is right though, peltier setups are a very serious, time and money consuming. I spent the money on it and it was a fun, educational experience and there are alot of things you can learn from it. It is ALOT cheaper and easier to use a good prebuilt phase change system. Peltiers arn't a long term thing. phase change setups can run for years. My peltier lasted 8 months. The wires from the peltier were not of a heavey enough guage to handle the current running through them. They Melted
and they melted the socket too
and they liquified the wetsuit material i was using as an insulator
My peltier was a 172 Watt 11.3 amp beast.
http://www.coolpc.com.au/catalog/pro...roducts_id=107
that one to be exact. After it killed itself i gave up on the whole extreme cooling thing.
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Old 17th February, 2005, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
On the second attempt i used a JayCar electronics pulse regulator as they called it.
I know that some of the PICMicro devices have PWM (the technique used by the regulator you were using) hardware built in. It's not a complete circuit by any means, as it only handles low power. I'm also not sure if PICBasic supports the PWM hardware built into some of the PICMicro range - I've only ever programmed PICMicros using assembler.

Peltiers generally need a moderately fast PWM cycle (how fast it turns on/off) to prevent thermal fracturing. If the switching is too slow, then the peltier undergoes cyclic contraction and expansion which can destroy it's internals!
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Old 17th February, 2005, 12:22 PM
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you can get away with much slower pulses, as in on a few seconds off a few seconds, by using a large silver coldplate as a heat "buffer". The program i used is this,
http://www.picbasic.org/
It is so simple to use its amazing. Im too young for assembler, thats a language for 30 year olds
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Old 17th February, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
you can get away with much slower pulses, as in on a few seconds off a few seconds, by using a large silver coldplate as a heat "buffer".
The problem is not so much the heat buffer, but the fact that each time you power up the peltier, it contracts. When you power down the peltier, it expands. Some peltier manufacturers recommend that you ensure that the switching frequency is high enough to prevent stress on the internal joints in the peltier.

There's been some research done that doesn't show conclusively either way. However, one aspect of the research noted that frequently cycled peltiers mounted with thermal grease had a tendancy to move even though they were firmly screwed down to the heatsink.
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Old 17th February, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
The program i used is this,
http://www.picbasic.org/ It is so simple to use its amazing.
Unfortunately it doesn't support the PICMicro devices I'm trying to use at the moment, so it looks like I'm staying with either assembler or C.
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Old 17th February, 2005, 01:00 PM
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what are you doing with them at the moment?
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