Woodstove Green Power Generator - Thermoelectric Module - How do I get off the grid?
- uploaded: Nov 15, 2013
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What is a Thermoelectric Module? Living off the grid. In 1821, T. J. Seebeck discovered that different metals, known as a thermocouple, will develop a micro-voltage if the junctions are held at different temperatures. This is known as the "Seebeck effect". In 1834, Jean Peltier discovered the inverse of the Seebeck effect, known as the "Peltier effect". By applying a voltage to a thermocouple, a temperature differential between two sides is created. A thermoelectric module, also called a thermoelectric cooler or Peltier cooler, is a semiconductor-based electronic component that functions as a small reliable heat pump with no moving parts. By applying a low voltage to a thermoelectric module, heat will be moved through the module from one side to the other. One module face will be cooled, while the opposite face is simultaneously heated. A thermoelectric module can also be used for power generation: a thermoelectric module creates a voltage when there is a different temperature on each side. The second law of thermodynamics states that heat will move to a cooler area. Essentially, the module will absorb heat on the "cold side" and eject it out the "hot side", to a heat sink. Thermoelectric modules have been in use for a number of years. You have probably seen them used for automotive food and beverage coolers, and more commonly, in fans that sit atop wood stoves blowing hot air around the room. Over the years, inventors have attempted to develop products that use thermoelectric modules for practical purposes. Like this head band that uses the heat of a forehead to generate a small amount of electrical power. Or this coffee cup that uses the heat of the hot beverage in it as the heat source. This one uses the heat of an oil lamp, and this small stove charges batteries. Here's a pot that generates power while cooking, and a LED lamp that uses the heat of a candle. This thermoelectric device, cooled by water, attaches to the side of a wood stove and reportedly produces up to 50 watts. A few commercial products using thermoelectric modules are appearing now too, like this 30 watt stovetop generator. Even more robust is this 500 watt liquid cooled model. The Power Pot is a commercially produced version of the home made one. Even better is the rocket camp stove that is used to charge up electronic gadgets, like cameras and phones, using a standard USB cable. About to enter production is this thermoelectric module generator equipped wood stove. Many are attempting to harness the power of the TEC and generate green sustainable electrical power for the people. Various aid attempts have been made to provide the third world with convenient and accessible electric power. But if you are tired of waiting for that elusive NGO to show up and give you the means to charge your phone and other devices, you can easily make a thermoelectric module generator yourself. Every component needed can be easily purchased via the internet. Computer cooling is required to remove the waste heat produced by high performance computer components. This is to keep computer components within operating temperature limits or output will be diminished until they fail completely. Most commonly, computer component cooling is accomplished by a simple fan, but in extreme cases it is accomplished using devices known as CPU coolers. CPU coolers use heat sinks, combined with fans or liquid-filled radiators, to carry away the excess heat. The very latest CPU cooling technology uses a heat sink and a thermoelectric module. Electrical power is applied to the thermoelectric module, and using the Peltier effect, the cold side is pressed up against the computer component meant to be cooled. Take away the applied electrical power, and press one side of the thermoelectric module against the hot surface of a wood stove, and the other side against a heat sink, and the very same device will generate power, not consume it. The only thing that prevents us from using this ready-made thermoelectric device is its lack of high-heat capability. The temperature of a hot wood stove is far greater than the heat generated by a computer component. Wires will burn, solder will melt, and the device will fail. However, match a properly configured CPU cooler with a high-heat thermoelectric module, and it can be done easily and affordably. Here's what you need: A CPU cooler with fan. A fan controller. A high heat thermoelectric module. A tube of thermal grease. A length of thin steel cable. Two small cable clamps. A steel tension spring. A length of metal foil ducting. High heat aluminium tape. A thermal switch. A charge controller. A battery bank. Be sure and match the dimensions of the cooling contact plate of the CPU cooler with the dimensions of the thermoelectric module. This is how to be off the grid. Thermal Switch: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/390433657670?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p39...
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