Thermoelectric Air Conditioner - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:26 AM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
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Thermoelectric Air Conditioner

As I research various options/mods/upgrades the thought of solar powered refrigeration and air conditioning continuously crosses my radar. While searching I came across a number of thermoelectric air conditioners I thought might be of interest to the engineers, solar gurus, diy moders and boon dockers here.

Check this out: Thermoelectric Air Conditioning How Does It Work?

This one is the highest BTU I found at 5200 (nearly the same BTU as my compressor window unit).

New AHP-6200 Series high capacity air conditioner - thermoelectric

Here is one that is 1500 BTU military grade and can operate on 24-28 VDC

These units are used to cool various enclosures for computer equipment that generate heat and similar applications, and if this is a viable solution for these applications I can see potential for the DC powered solar air conditioners for the RV/off grid world. Not sure what they cost but if someone like Dometic could mass produce them I bet they could get the cost to a point to make it viable for our small trailers.

Then it hit me, this forum has lots of engineers and do it yourself ers, so why not start a group project of designing and building a 12 vdc thermoelectric air conditioner efficient enough to cool the typical 13' egg using only (2) 6 volt golf cart batteries and a 100 watt solar panel. Anyone here interested in getting on board?
1971 Boler 1300 - "Suite 13"
1987 Play-Mor II - "The Beach House"
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:05 AM   #2
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Johnny, I went to the website and went through the pages but nowhere is there a rating for efficiency. Unfortunately, that has always been the achilles heal of Peltier junction cooling devices and that's the reason your home refrigerator still has a compressor.

To quote wikipedia:
"The Peltier effect can be used to create a refrigerator that is compact and has no circulating fluid or moving parts. Such refrigerators are useful in applications where their advantages outweigh the disadvantage of their very low efficiency."
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:14 AM   #3
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Name: J Ronald
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The small inexpensive boxes that run off 12v and will heat or cool are very energy inefficient. These units will kill a car battery in short order. I assume the only use for thermoelectric AC is in an environment where it is not pratical to install a unit with an evaporator that must vented outside. In this environment it would be gunning off the grid. The site you referenced did nor mention pwr compsumption but I bet is very high.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:00 AM   #4
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...while they seem a good idea, they just wont work for our application...during my years involved with teardrops, we had several people try and adapt peltier units for cooing a teardrop...much smaller than our campers...they all failed due to power and efficiency issues...the units you show are extremely power hungry and EXSPENSIVE.......
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:08 AM   #5
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These units are NOT flush mount. The fans are outside the area to be cooled. They are NOT 12 volt DC by 120 to 240 AC. Power consumption is depending on the model between 1000 and 2000 watts Peltier plates are very inefficient and draw lots of current.
I did a system with 3" plates that ran around 10 amps per plate and all we did was change the plate temperature not surrounding air.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:57 PM   #6
Name: RamblinRick
Trailer: Casita
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The thermoelectric effect was discovered when two different metals were welded or soldered together and current was run between them and the temperature dropped.
It is pretty slick but the units require lots of connections and they are quite expensive. Both the air conditioner and the thermoelectric air conditioner require lots of energy. Better approach would be traditional A/C and a quiet generator. And I don't like quiet generators.
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