Powering Peltiers

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In my never ending tinkering with my computer the other day I managed to how shall I say…smoke test my extra power supply. This was my peltier power supply an old 175 watt AT from a Packard bell R.I.P. What I was doing was testing voltages from the supply and trying to run the peltier at different voltages. What I noticed in testing was that under load the power supply was only putting out 9.6v on the 12v leads. I tried a 250 watt ATX from my old case that I jumpered to come on and got much the same result 10.3v.

I was running on the PBell PS at a theoretical 17v (12+ to -5v as ground) in reality 10.9v. WOW! No way am I getting the rated 57 watts or more importantly maximum performance out of the tec.

I go the local computer/electronics mega-store to buy a new cheapo AT PS and stumble on to this little beauty – a 13.8v 4amp constant 6amp surge regulated DC PS. Before anyone asks: $30 from Altex.. There is a whole line of them of varying current ratings.

My 6 amp tec is really more than this PS is rated for and it gets HOT! It worked flawlessly for 24 hrs but it was HOT! I of course being an avid cooler of all things hot in my computer removed the top, cut a big square hole with my dremel, and mounted a 80mm fan on it. I think I’m sick – Did I just overclock a power supply?

End result: CPU speed is up 5.5 MHz (I love the BE6 rev.2), CPU temp is still down 8-12 F under all conditions and the power supply is barely warm to the touch and puts out 13.62-13.7v under a measured 6.1amp load.

Email Shawn


NOTE: If you use stand-alone AT or ATX power supply to power a tec, it will not put out 12 volts unless you place a 1 amp load on the 5 volt output.


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