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I'm new to this project. We have an ice chest with a cooling and warming system attached on its lid. The switches etc. were corroded because the lid is very old. It has been sitting around for years and I just wanted to restore and test it to see if I could still use it as an alternative freezer. I'm only using it for cooling so I yanked the heaters and such.

What made me think is the Peltier module is originally attached to the top side of a aluminum block and a heat sink is attached on top of it. The bottom part of the aluminum block is attached with a smaller sink. I was thinking, if I'm going to use it mainly for cooling and keeping its contents cold and freezing, should I transfer the Peltier module at the bottom of the aluminum block?

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Will it maximize the cooling capabilities and will it improve the overall performance of the cooler?

P.S.: The current setup is fine. It is cold but the pack of frozen hotdogs that I put in 2 hours ago is not maintaining its "frozeness" compared to the time that I put it in.

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P.P.S.: I'm using a 12 V 6 A power supply and a TEC-12706 module

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2 Answers 2

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The original configuration is better. The cold side pulls in the pumped heat. The hot side puts out the pumped heat, plus a huge amount of waste heat. Therefore the thermal resistance on the hot side matters more.

An additional factor is that the original config has the aluminum block cold (gaining heat), and your configuration has it hot (losing heat). Which is preferable depends on what the aluminum block is thermally conducting to (besides the heatsinks).

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  • $\begingroup$ I was also surfing the internet about stacking Peltier modules. Is it possible to use 2 modules to achieve lower temperatures considering the current configuration of the system? $\endgroup$
    – Rudolph
    Oct 31, 2023 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Simple answer: likely no. Stacking peltiers is complicated. The hot side peltier has to move an order of magnitude more heat than the cold side. In practice that means the cold side peltier has to run at 1/10th the power, and all the waste heat has to be (very inefficiently) moved by the hot side. Thus the Tdelta is increased, but the cooling power and efficiency are decreased massively. $\endgroup$
    – Drew
    Oct 31, 2023 at 19:53
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Posting this answer because I can't comment yet but cascading peltiers is a thing, but there is more to it than just stacking two identical peltiers. The term is "cascading peltiers" - see this question: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/85250/can-peltier-devices-be-cascaded.

But as Drew says your efficiency will drop quickly although you do get lower temperatures.

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