Thermoelectric Cooling is a Bad Idea

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People keep emailing us saying “Hey Linus, you should look at Peltier Coolers!” – and I’ve finally given in, so here is a video about why it’s a bad idea.

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Intro Screen Music Credit:
Title: Laszlo – Supernova
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Outro Screen Music Credit: Approaching Nirvana – Sugar High

28 Comments on “Thermoelectric Cooling is a Bad Idea”

  1. i wonder why the cool team didnt put the radioator and the peltier into a line. the radiator doing precooling and the peltier reducing the telperatur even more. This might come even close to liquid nitrogene cooling.

  2. How did the TE+water loop do worse than the just the straight water loop? Get an AIO cooler and use the cpu connection to sandwich the TE to your water reservoir. You could monitor water temp and regulate the TE to mitigate condensation, save power and ramp up power to the TE for increased cooling under load no?

  3. Lots of astrophotography cameras use peltier cooling brands like SBIG, QHY, ZWO, FLI, QSI, Moravian Instruments, Atik, and Starlight Express. Cooling is great for calibration frames, keeping all exposures at the same temp.

  4. Oh there are way earlier instances. DIY'ers were doing this back in the late 90's at least, if not earlier. I know the late 90's was when I experimented anyway. Came to the conclusion it wasn't worth it. TEC, or it's PSU dies, you end up with a really freaking good insulator between your cpu and your cooling solution, and considering this was really before thermal throttling was much of a thing, the result was pretty much guaranteed to be a dead cpu.

  5. its probably worth watching Tech Ingredients
    Published on Apr 14, 2019 as a generic overview so you dont screw it up with bad assumptions even if theres no profit in it other than inspiring others to do it right and better…


    Tech Ingredients,Published on Jan 3, 2019
    We review various methods of refrigeration, focusing on thermoelectric coolers. We then explain the engineering and show the assembly of our solid state refrigerator.

  6. I have to wonder if splitting the hot, out-loop, and sending equal amounts of water to both coolers wouldn't have worked much better. It would slow the water down while inside the cooler, allowing more heat rejection. Then combine the Peltier water outlets to send a single loop back to the CPU.

  7. The major problem with thermoelectric cooling is you the have Thermoelectric cell you need to cool. The ones I have are flat ceramics about the size of the cpu, so you just end up with a standard cooler

  8. They need to just shove those in the loop after the radiator. the benefit of a peltier is to get below ambient, not to take hot stuff and try to keep it ambient.

    Radiator's job is to get as close as possible to ambient.

    Peltier's job is to cool beyond what a radiator can.

    Don't ask the Peltier to do the work of the radiator and the peltier.

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