Monday, December 7, 2015

Bloody Hell!

They actually arrived! The two heatsinks I ordered for my Peltier cooler arrived today! I had serious doubts as to whether they would actually arrive, having ordered everything on November 8th and everything else having arrived very quickly.

Unpackaged, this is everything. Two heatsinks, the Peltier element and the heatsink glue.

It was pretty inexpensive - under $10 for the lot. Anyway, I glued it together and when the glue dries (which might take a few days), I'll be able to test it all.

The theory is that putting power through the Peltier element will transfer heat from one side to the other. The problem is, this is electronics and I generally find electronic gizmos have a very high rate of being junk. It's not worth spending more unless it actually works.

So, I'll wait for it all to cure then perhaps hook it up to a solar panel, mount it into a box - perhaps a plastic sandwich box and put a thermometer inside. Then after a while, check external and internal temperatures. If it works, fantastic. If not - its expected.

Meanwhile I looked more into lithium batteries for my bus. I found that only the most expensive were rated for 100A continual output. That's a major problem that makes a generator more attractive. There are other options though.

I looked at supercaps because if a supercap can hold 10ah then be recharged slowly from a traditional lead acid batterry I have a potential solution. The capacitors could release 8ah at 100a quickly then recharge slowly from a deep cycle lead acid battery.

I also looked into building my own lithium ion or nickel metal hydride batteries. Lithium ion cells seem to be 3.7v only. Looking at the costs, both lithium and NiMH seem excessively expensive.

The supercap solution looks the most economically promising but again, it's electronics and they so rarely seem to perform as advertised. I would use a supercap engine starting battery if I could find out their full specifications.

One of the problems if not the biggest problem is that nobody ever seems to publish full usage specifications on anything. It's like trying to sell shoes without mentioning important things like sizes!

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