Note - I plan to use the Arduino Starter kit to make this project.

Hey everyone,

I've had an idea for a project recently and I would like to get some insight on its plausibility. Is it possible to heat and cool a bottle of water using 4 pelteir plates? I'd like to heat up or cool a bottle of water using 2 pelteirs for heating and 2 for cooling. Could the amount of power for the peltiers to function be supplied from a laptop, computer, or battery pack? The role of the Arduino is to program in some safety features or some things to help the circuit function better if necessary. For example, a feature I want to add in is if the cold pelteirs are on, the hot peltiers are off if nessecary. I might add an LCD to display which setting is on/off if I can (example: Cold: ON, Hot: OFF)

Thanks guys.

  • your question is not about arduino ... it is about supplying power to a peltier cell, so it is off topic here – jsotola Feb 6 at 1:39
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    From the positions of Arduino beginner it is unlikely for a beginner to be fully aware of where arduino ends. As this is a forum is targeting area for beginners and many people start with idea of switches, currents (rather then watts) with arduino, you cant expect standard of question on a leave of main stack-exchange... – Tomas Feb 6 at 4:00
  • You need a second power source, different than the laptop (USB provides up to 500mA in standard config, not enough for serious cooling) – chrisl Feb 6 at 10:05
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    There are no "heating" or "cooling" peltier elements. If you change the polarity of the power source, the hot and cold side changes too. The peltier element pumps the warmth from one side to the other. The temperature difference can not be more than 70 K. If one side gets cold the other gets hot and vice versa. Did you think of that, when you designed the water bottle. Also, peltiers are not very effective. You waste a lot of energy. So, I think too, you need a better power supply then a usb port ;-). – Peter Paul Kiefer Feb 9 at 15:00
  • Yeah, I understand that, didn't word very well in my post. Thanks! – czhang07 Feb 10 at 21:04

When it comes for amount of power from laptop, then this is not realy reasonable to expect even USB3, maybe some older laptops PCMCIA, or hardware docks. When it comes to Desk, They would have to be adjusted to get the ATX from PSU (it would have to be upgraded for purpose) We are still talking about a small Can or Yacult botle...
Even then insulate, insulate (and same again)
Then its a question of speed and how hot or cold) Battery pack that charges even when not used, used as buffer might work (for a short time).
Controlling it from Arduino is easy part using function that switches one on other off whenever you want and then calling the function itself to make sure both steps happen, rather then manualy editing or using one output for controlling power on/off and another on two way relay switching between sets (relay would increase consumption here).

  • Noted- thanks for your insight on this. – czhang07 Feb 10 at 17:39

In a word, no. Laptop or desktop computer usually have USB ports, which put out like 10 watts of power for a "high current" USB port. That is not enough to do much heating or cooling. You want a high power supply. The pelteir plates I've seen run on 12V DC. Get a 5A 12V supply, or even higher.

You might be able to draw larger amounts of current from a USB-C port or a USB-C power supply, but why? Get a dedicated high current power supply that puts out the maximum voltage your peltier plates can handle.

Note that there is no reason to have 2 plates for heating and 2 plates for cooling. Run the current one way and they heat. Reverse the current and they cool.

Also I'm not sure of the value of using 2 plates to cool. A single plate able to handle more power would likely be more efficient, and easier to insulate. (With 2 plates you'd need 2 heatsinks, which will allow twice as much heat to leak through when the power is off. Doubling the current you feed into a single plate should give double he heating/cooling, without increasing the heat leakage when it's off. Just make sure you don't exceed the maximum rated current of your plate, and that you have a large enough heatsink to handle the heat transfer.)

You could use an H-bridge meant for controlling motors to provide either +12V or -12V under software control. Those generally handle high current.

You could also use a digital thermometer and make a thermostatically controlled system. You'd measure the temp in the bottle, and when it got to your desired temp range, turn off the power. When the temp moved outside the desired range, you'd turn the power back on.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I'm currently looking into some battery packs I can use for this. Again, Thanks! – czhang07 Feb 10 at 17:39
  • You need a battery pack that provides the voltage your peltier plates need, and then look at the total capacity of the battery, in amp-hours. For example, if the peltier plate draws 2 amps, and the battery is rated for 2 amp-hours, the battery will run it for 1 hour. – Duncan C Feb 10 at 17:57
  • Heating and cooling uses a great deal of power, and anything but a large heavy battery like a lead-acid car battery is going to be depleted quite quickly. – Duncan C Feb 10 at 17:59

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