Electronic – Trying to Get the Most Cooling Power out of TEC Peltier Element: Smaller or Larger Peltier


I am trying to achieve the strongest cooling effect using a TEC Peltier element.

  • Currently, my set up is two small, 20mm x 20mm peltier TES1-4902 run with a 5V 2.4A USB Battery Pack per peltier.

I need a way to reduce my costs while keeping the same cooling power.

  • Right now, it is expensive for me to run this set up due to the fact I need two batteries, and I am also looking to improve my efficiency while cutting out an entire battery and/or Peltier.

  • The reason I have two separate battery packs is that I can not find a cheap, small, and thin battery pack that will output 4.8 Amps: however, putting two battery packs in a series may help eliminate one peltier.

So, I have a few branching question that center around a theme:

1) Would a larger Peltier allow for a stronger cooling effect as a result of a larger surface area, say like a 50MM x 50MM peltier, despite the fact (presumably) that it may be more difficult to cool one single peltier than 2 smaller, seperate ones?

2) Is there a Peltier size that would allow me to reduce my power consumption while maintaining a similar cooling effect?

3) Is there a way that I can output 5V 4.8A that is not in two separate USB battery packs that is small and relatively cheap, as battery price:output ability for small scale consumer is quite high and USB battery packs have been the cheapest source of sustainable power for me.

  • My problem stems from the fact that I am trying to pump as much power and achieve as much cooling power as possible without having to have, say, two battery packs and make the project too expensive. I need a way to reduce my costs while keeping the same cooling power.

Best Answer

Look at the datasheet, if you can't find it, have a look at the place you bought it from, see if they provide any information about the correct way and voltage to drive the Peltier module.

  • The easiest way to check if a larger Peltier module will work better than two smaller ones is to check what wattage each small one is rated for and whether the larger one's wattage (50x50mm is usually 60w) is larger than the sum of the two smaller ones.
  • If you have not already, add a heatsink, these things get really hot really fast, and you can damage them if you are not careful, if you add a fan to the heatsink, you will get even colder temperatures on the other side.
  • I don't know about the size you have, but you need 12v 60w to power a 50x50mm Peltier module, as I mentioned earlier, double check if the voltage and current ratings are corre4ct for your module.
  • If I might offer a suggestion, for prototyping, get a bench power supply, that plugs into the wall, if this is too expensive, you can always an old desktop/laptop power supply with a powerful buck-boost converter. This way, you won't have to waste money on batteries.
  • It is also worth mentioning that Peltier modules are not very energy efficient, so unfortunately, you probably won't get the kind of cooling that you are hoping for.