Powering Peltier Chips


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Old 09-16-22, 01:34 PM
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Powering Peltier Chips

I am using this 12v switching power supply to power these peltier chips. The power supply is outputting 12.3 volts with no load. The instant I apply power to a peltier it makes a "pop" sound and very quickly both sides get very hot. So, what am I doing wrong or are these just poor quality chips?
 
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Old 09-16-22, 02:24 PM
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These devices must be used in conjunction with a heat sink to avoid burned

You can't power a Peltier chip that is not on a heatsink.
The heat must be immediately removed or it will burn.
 
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Old 09-16-22, 02:30 PM
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You say "chips", plural. How many are you connecting and what is the draw of one chip? What is the ouput voltage after the "pop"?
 
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Old 09-16-22, 02:48 PM
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Right now I am only testing with individual chips. Eventually I will be powering two of them but it will be in parallel (not series/stacked) so the quantity shouldn't affect the chips except for providing power.

I have a heat sink & cooling fan. What concerns me is the "pop" sound is immediate on power up and the temperature rise is extremely fast, almost like there is a short inside the peltier.
 
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Old 09-16-22, 03:32 PM
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Referenced web page states device can be used for cooling or heating by reversing connection. Which mode are you operating in? Will it operate in the other mode? Seems odd a heat sink is required for the cooling mode. Since the device consumes 90 W, the referenced power supply output should be able to drive 2 devices in parallel. Do you have the chip manufacturer's data sheet you can attach to a post?
 
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Old 09-16-22, 06:49 PM
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A heatsink is always required. Heat must be removed from the device to get cold.
Typically you can only run it for a few seconds without a heatsink.

Has more than 1 popped ?
I was reading some tech info and it mentioned current limiting of 9A on that module.
I don't recall worrying about that before.

Specifications of TEC1-12709 Thermoelectric Cooler 9A Peltier Module

Operating Voltage(VDC)12
Maximum Voltage(V)15
Maximum Current(A)9
Maximum Power (W)130
Wire Length(mm)250
Length (mm)40
Width (mm)40
Height (mm)3.6
Weight(gm)30
 
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Old 09-17-22, 05:04 AM
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Have you measured the AC on the DC, if any?

I would probably use my car/battery to check the peltiers to ensure they work properly.
Would be a good idea to also put a fuse in the line, just in case.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 05:33 AM
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I have only tried one of the peltier chips so far. In a rare burst of wisdom I thought I would seek some advice before popping all five.

I have not tested for AC on the output of the power supply. I only had my meter set to DC when I checked for voltage. Unfortunately I don't have an oscilloscope to really see what it's output looks like. I think I'll turn the voltage down for the next test to hopefully drive the chip a bit more gently. I do have a deep cycle battery I can test with.

I am using the chips in cooling mode. I'm doing an experiment to see If I can cool a beer fermenter. I've machined an aluminum block to conform to the curved side of the fermenter (stainless steel) and two peltiers will attach to that with heat conducting paste, and each chip has it's own aluminum heat sink and cooling fan. But, right now I was just testing to make sure the chips worked.

I agree that active cooling is absolutely necessary. 90 watts is a lot of power to pump into such a small chip so you know it's going to get hot, fast.
 
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Old 09-27-22, 02:34 PM
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The chips seem to be working. Only the first Peltier chip I tried made a "pop" sound when powered up and the next two I tried appear to be working properly.

I've just started my test/burn-in run. I'm using two chips, heat sinks and fans. Since my beer fermentation container isn't insulated I don't expect a huge temperature delta but I am looking for a reasonable drop before I invest the time in making an insulating jacket.



Here you can see the aluminum base plate to mate up to the container. Right now it's a dry connection. If my first test is promising I may consider adding thermal paste between the two. I'd really like to go without so I can remove the chiller module for cleaning the fermenter.
 

Last edited by Pilot Dane; 09-28-22 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 09-27-22, 05:34 PM
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Cool, look forward to hearing how well it works. You could use thermal pad material instead of paste...not as good thermal performance, but way less messy....
 
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Old 09-28-22, 05:14 AM
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Thank you for that idea. I'll get one on order to try.
 
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Old 09-28-22, 11:11 PM
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Awesome job on the mounting system.
Thermal transfer from the chip to the mount is important.

It will take a while for the container to get cold.
When they use these chips in coolers they take hours to get cold.
Typically they tell you to only put chilled items in the cooler.

Is there a lot of heating coming off the chips ?
If you are getting a lot of heat without much cold then that would indicate poor cold transfer.
 
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Old 09-29-22, 03:08 AM
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They usually design in a thermal fuse in case of overheating which will blow the chips.

Had this on a cooler I bought.
It blew a couple times and then I installed a self resetting thermal cutoff/switch.
That solved the problem.

Tha ones I worked with never blew their fuse but they had a sophisticated control system

 
 

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