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Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 9:31 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a metal or alloy that I can use to improve a school project that can transfer cold, below is quick overview of the project:

So the project is a wine cooler that can keep a specific temperature that is programmed into a temp. controller that is wired up to a TEC. So I need a metal or alloy that I can get machined that will transfer the cold to the inside of the cooler while attached to the TEC. I got it work using an aluminum recessed lighting housing wrapped in aerogel so that cold would not escape, but now i'm looking to improve it so that it can get colder and stay colder for longer. I would appreciate and suggestions or comments, thank you.

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#1

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 10:33 AM

Look at the thermal conductivity of different metals in this table. Generally speaking your best conductors will be: Gold, Silver, Copper, Aluminum. What can you afford?

Do NOT forget a good thermally conductive paste. Again, there are different options, based upon your budget.

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#10
In reply to #1

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 2:08 PM

Thank you for the info. I do have a good thermo paste between the aluminum, TEC and heat sink. The table will work great.

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#2

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 10:36 AM

Technical point - you can't transfer "cold", you can only transfer heat. To cool something, you remove the heat.

You need to find a metal with a high thermal conductivity (which also meets your mechanical and cost constraints). Google is your friend.

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#11
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Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 2:09 PM

Thank you and yes, you are correct i do need to transfer heat.

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#24
In reply to #2

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 2:46 AM

GA from me.

The uneducated will never fully understand that important point.....

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 10:57 AM

It is similar to the idea that a vacuum pump "sucks". They don't. They pump gas out, not "suck" it in. Some people never get that point either!

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#31
In reply to #24

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 12:41 PM
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#34
In reply to #31

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 1:50 PM

I can see you must be James Comey, by the level of courage it took to Anonymously post that balderdash.

You by posting that have declared yourself to be the ultimate intellectual bully, where no correction of error is allowed, no other opinion is allowed, and no way to link you to your faulty arguments. This is reality, not snowflake fantasy island.

Sometimes, it is more economical in words and more kind to simply apply one pound of verbal smack-down on someone's comments, than to sit idly by and allow them to perpetuate all manner of stupidity, illogic, and unsound reasoning, or downright lies that appear convenient to their agenda (which of course was not clearly stated at the outset. )

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#3

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 10:47 AM

Aerogel is pretty expensive. Styrofoam is cheap and a very good heat insulator. Just sayin'.

As you probably know, the TEC is a heat pump. An important part of cooling is removing the heat from the hot side. A good finned aluminum heat sink connected to the hot side with thermal grease is essential, and if you can arrange for the fins to be immersed in a water bath to carry the heat away faster, that would help.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 2:11 PM

I never thought of immersing the heat sink in a water bath, What I am looking in to is those cooling system that are are water based or use coolant for CPU overclocking, kind of like a radiator on a smaller scale.

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#20
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Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 5:55 PM

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#23
In reply to #12

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 1:24 AM

If you choose a water cooling solution, get some liquid that does not freeze, like glycol. That way you can have a clean closed circuit.

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#26
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Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 10:15 AM

For serious heat transport, you could use a heat pipe. I don't know how expensive they are or what your budget is.

Another point - I assume you are driving your TEC with steady, not chopped DC. Heat pumped is proportional to the DC current, but heat generated (ohmic loss) is proportional to current squared. So the ratio of heat pumped to heat generated is best with steady current.

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#27
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Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 10:28 AM

Interesting, and good point!

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#4

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 11:35 AM

A simple cheap and effective method of cooling a moderate size volume of something with a minimal sized heat transfer point is simple convention of the primary medium which in your case is air.

If it was me I would be looking at a simple common computer processor heatsink with a fan on it as the cold side heat absorption system.

For the hot side the bigger the heatsink and better the airflow the better that way you are maximizing the Peltier cooler units temperature differential limits in favor of how far below ambient the cold side can go.

As for insulation unless you're in an extremely space limited design restriction common styrofoam is plenty sufficient. At worst a sandwich layer design of alternating thin sheets of styrofoam and aluminum foil backed bubble wrap like Reflectix of similar thicknesses does very well since it both insulates from conductive and radiative based heat energy transfer.

As for the wine I hope you're drinking it because you like it and not because some wine snobs said it's good.

Wine snobs are faking it.

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#13
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Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 2:14 PM

Thank you for the tip on making a sandwich layer of styrofoam and aluminum foil.

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#5

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 12:09 PM

Copper is good, but copper flashing not cheap either.

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#6

Re: Looking a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 1:25 PM

Pure copper is your best bet in terms of thermal conductivity at affordable prices (current spot price is $2.53/lb) and is easily machined. Pure silver is only slightly better but of course much more expensive (as a note, diamond and cubic boron arsenide are about 2.5 times better than silver, in which case I would be chilling a bottle of rare champagne instead of wine )

For insulation, polyurethane foam and aerogel have almost exactly the same thermal conductivity. However, I would not use silica aerogel because it is hygroscopic - it adsorbs (not absorbs) moisture from the air, causing it to lose its superior insulating qualities. Any condensation present will greatly accelerate its demise.

Igloo® products* are insulated with polyurethane foam. Have you considered modifying one of their coolers for your project?

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* I am not associated with Igloo® products in any way, shape, or form.

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#7

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 1:38 PM
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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 1:42 PM

How did that work out for your LED project?

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#9
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 1:58 PM

I decided not to use the thermal device, too much heat.....The light itself is going to be complicated enough, as it turns out....still acquiring parts...

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#15
In reply to #9

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 3:01 PM

Looks like you bought one of those buck-boost power supplies from China - almost the same one I bought for my LENR experiments. It is really handy to be able to dial in the current you want the cell to operate under.

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#17
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 3:53 PM

Yeah voltage or current control with a digital readout, how cool is that....got the blue aluminum box below it for housing the electronics....I'm thinking about mounting a heat exchanger with a horizontally mounted fan to exhaust the heat from the box and the light, on the top of the box with a hole cut in the top...I have a temperature controller to control the fan speed, also with digital readout...

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#18
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 4:07 PM

You'll put your eye out..that is one monster of an LED. Kudos! Are you going to put 1000 of them together and pump a series of crystal lasers, and combine the beam in a synthetic diamond, thus forming the Death Star Ray?

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#19
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 4:23 PM

Who can say where this might lead....evil laughter echoing through halls of madness...

Fade to Black...

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#14
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 2:21 PM

I have a similar set up, the TEC is thermo pasted directly to the aluminum enclosure and is then screwed into the heatsink. i think i will try having another heat sink on the cold side with the fan. that may work well

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#21
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 5:59 PM

Yes having the air moving increases the heat exchange rate....

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#16

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 3:35 PM

Aluminum is what is used the most. Cost less then the other metals. First though have you done the calculations. Is the TEC capable of removing more heat. Air flow would also help. You can buy cooling fins already made.

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#22

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/08/2017 11:02 PM

If you want heat conduction rates that surpass the best solid metals, use heat pipes. This is what is used in satellites and laptops.

A little work needs to be done to find the fluid and pressure that will flash from liquid to gas at the desired temperature.

.

Also, TEC are low efficiency and so produce a lot of heat....heat pipes allow significant separation which can help keep that heat away from what you are cooling..

This is well within DIY territory...

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#25

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 4:03 AM

Just to be clear, this project is not about cooling a bottle of wine down from say room temp, but just keeping at some temperature below ambient, correct?

A TEC is probably up to the job of keeping a bottle of wine at a cool temp with sufficient insulation, but cooling a bottle of wine down in an expedient manner is a much bigger task.

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#40
In reply to #25

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/10/2017 12:22 AM

Yes, it is just to keep the wine at a specific temp below the ambient.

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#29

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 11:10 AM

could examine/reverse engineer and improve on something like this-<http://www.kitchenkapers.com/waring-digital-wine-chiller-and-warmer.html?src=bngshp>

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#30

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 12:38 PM

What about Pd (Palladium)?

file:///C:/users-data/GPS114940/Downloads/144-149-pmr-jul06.pdf

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 12:49 PM

Also AK47 has very nice heat transfer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PastmpZnShQ

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#35
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 1:56 PM

It would be nice if he had a better working model of the AK-47, as that one is a crying shame. Yes, the bacon was apparently cooking, but when I want bacon rolls, I just roll them up on a plate and nuke them in the microwave.

I love me some bacon, and I hope you do too!

Another point: Why not just put an outer wrap of aluminum foil to retain more heat, rather than the contamination of that baling wire?

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#33
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 1:45 PM

Could you turn that into a link, perhaps?

Palladium is a nice clean metal, and is a good conductor of heat and electricity, but the cost is still out of most people's ken.

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#36
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 2:46 PM

Thermophysical Properties of Palladium

DETERMINATIONS (INCLUDING SPECTRAL EMISSIVITY AT 684.5 nm) AT THE MELTING TRANSITION AND IN THE LIQUID STATE

By Claus Cagran and Gernot Pottlacher

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#37
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 3:34 PM

That's a citation, not a link.

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#38
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 4:18 PM

Congratulations. Ehhh, you do not know what to do with the citation ?

Really is easy

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#39
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Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/09/2017 6:26 PM

Yeah I have to use a search engine to find the original documents. I've been here a while. You? We try to help each other here. If you can't be arsed, bugger off.

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#41

Re: Looking for a Better Metal or Alloy for School Project

06/10/2017 7:53 AM

"School project"; "Wine cooler"!; ?

Wish I'd gone to your school.

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