Thermoelectric Cooling is a Bad Idea

  • Published: 11 August 2019
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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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  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 3 782

  • Nazgul Linux
    Nazgul Linux  3 days back

    Electrons cannot "move" anywhere. Nor can they change "state". Electrons are not particles. They are electrostatic dynamos that only show mass-like properties when perturbed and these mass-like properties are called the magnetic moment. Because the dynamo becomes a dipole.

    Learn a bit of electrostatic field mechanics linus. Ffs before you deliver inaccurate 1950s information again.

    • Paul Robinson
      Paul Robinson  3 days back

      Apple used Peltier coolers in their desktop PCs back in 90's. The Motorola CPU was mounted in the centre of the motherboard with the cooler on it and the fan was attached to a bracket that was part of the case. I think the models were the Quadra and Performa.

      • John
        John  4 days back

        Can't help but think the TECs are just in the wrong places in these configurations.

        • Matt Hunkee
          Matt Hunkee  4 days back

          Granted, this was tested on a test bench rather a close off computer case, so I would assume there'd be different results if this were performed in a case. More tedious, yes, but y know.

          • Salann Talmhainn
            Salann Talmhainn  4 days back

            I'm sure someone has thought of this - but what about cooling a custom liquid cooler reservoir with the thermoelectric? or even a custom reservoir that is mostly clear with a small metal plate on it to put the cooling pad on it to drop temp of the fluid?

            • gotindrachenhart
              gotindrachenhart  4 days back

              I seem to remember way back in the slot A celeron days, seeing a celeron 300 overclocked to almost 1ghz using peltier and liquid cooling (nitrogen maybe?). I think it was HardOCP that did it but I could be wrong. I want to say they got it to 1Ghz and it was a record of some kind.

              Also....ffs tin the tips. Dab solder on the iron and use that to transfer heat into the wires. THEN place solder on the hot wires to flow. Place shrink wrap over the wires prior and just slide it away while working then slide it up over the joint when done. Cold solder joints are the devil!!

              • Chris Kamper
                Chris Kamper  6 days back

                Peltier elements... I wish people had never invented them.

                • Gas & Brass
                  Gas & Brass  1 weeks back

                  Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t this the same technology they use for heated and cooled seats? Where (if I remember correctly) reversing the polarity emits hot air instead? Maybe I’m wrong.

                  • RadicalxEdward
                    RadicalxEdward  1 weeks back

                    You’re adding 300+ W worth of heat, so it’s never going to even match the water cooling loop alone.

                    • BetterDeadThanRed
                      BetterDeadThanRed  1 weeks back

                      So many things wrong with this. A peltier is limited in efficiency by the amount of heat that can be extracted from the hot side. Although your modules are 300w *they are NOT working anywhere close to their optimal efficiency at all* . That should be expected because they were designed for a completely different working load. LoL So you are experiencing terrible bottlenecks in the working performance. Here's what you should have done differently: First, use the water cooling system EXCLUSIVELY to extract heat from the HOT side of the peltier module - TA DAAA - this is what allows the cold side of the module to reach EXTREMELY LOW temperatures under heavy working loads!!! The cold side of the liquid cooled peltier module would be in DIRECT CONTACT with the CPU. That is the ONLY way to correctly engineer a peltier CPU cooler, PERIOD. You're great with computers but your engineering/physics is garbage. Not to be rude but you're being pretentious and downplaying something you really don't know the first thing about. Cooling with a peltier module is a great idea because I actually know what I'm doing, Linus ;)-

                      • somethingbrite
                        somethingbrite  2 weeks back

                        TEC's wear out also.

                        • mick00000000002
                          mick00000000002  2 weeks back

                          I think the the radiator was warming the cool water in the room to Amber temp then to the system?

                          • mick00000000002
                            mick00000000002  2 weeks back

                            Plus why is the system so hot if you had such a big radiator. Are you shore the pump was running?

                            • mick00000000002
                              mick00000000002  2 weeks back

                              If you ran 4 or more spaced out in a block system with a fitting on each end. It would have more sefaces "area". It would keep it cool. With all you review. You must do it again. Your not thinking out of the box. Take care . And )

                              • Gnar n' RAW steeze\\m//

                                holy neck beard

                                • The A Holio
                                  The A Holio  2 weeks back

                                  peltier chips are good for one things: using a joule thief circuit along with it you can make diy flashlights that are powered by your body warmth. power input creates temperature output and vice versa.

                                  • techmasterjoe
                                    techmasterjoe  2 weeks back

                                    Why not try what I did. Build a loop with a rad just before the tec. This idea is to get the water as close to ambient under load 240 rad>pump> one of them tec units>cpu>back to rad..
                                    This is closer to how the phobias cooler works dump as much heat as you can first then push it past the normal delta-T by sucking out about an extra 50-130watts just before it hits the cpu also the rad basically means the water can't go below ambient temperature so self limiting.

                                    • Themazeful
                                      Themazeful  2 weeks back

                                      Should've used windshield liquid because water freezes.

                                      • Dustin Haus
                                        Dustin Haus  2 weeks back

                                        Back in the late 90's I had a peltier on my K6/2-500. I do not know who made it, but it was just attached to an aluminum heatsink, 60mm fan. I never had a single issue with it. Used it for about 3 years then gave it away. It came from a buddy who worked for a tiny town PC shop. The owner, in his 80's was 100% convinced that ALL limits had been hit, and wouldn't sell a high end PC without one. Then Slot1 came out. Someone asked me years later what I did about condensation. I told him I do the same people with a 100% acrylic case do about EMI. I don't think about it. Also bear in mind that my peltier was on a soc7, in a desktop case, no cover, extra PSU on top, 2 extra 5.25" drives, a stack of HD's, and a box fan bungied to it blowning down.

                                        • dembro
                                          dembro  2 weeks back

                                          Linus TEC Tips!

                                          • Penny Dominguez
                                            Penny Dominguez  2 weeks back

                                            Your doing it wrong

                                            • Ian Broadhurst
                                              Ian Broadhurst  2 weeks back

                                              hay linus it is not exactly new tech the peltier was invented in 1834 why is every one making it out to be such a big thing

                                              • Logan MacNeil
                                                Logan MacNeil  2 weeks back

                                                Ive been running TEC cooling for years with my CoolerMaster V10

                                                • Nikhil Swami
                                                  Nikhil Swami  2 weeks back

                                                  i know there will be a comment on WINDOWS XP wallpap.

                                                  • oil rig
                                                    oil rig  2 weeks back

                                                    9:20 using GPU as hand stand how classie

                                                    • Diederick B
                                                      Diederick B  2 weeks back

                                                      wouldn't flipping the peltiers upside down have increased their aircoolers abilities by a lot lot?

                                                      • ezmobz79
                                                        ezmobz79  3 weeks back

                                                        This guy is watching somone who has no Idea how things work and his only experience is from sht that just get thrown at him and he does it all in a squeaky voice.

                                                        • sammorgan31
                                                          sammorgan31  3 weeks back

                                                          1:23 ...... Sweet Mary mother of Christ.....

                                                          • Mahdi Chavoushi
                                                            Mahdi Chavoushi  3 weeks back

                                                            The worst explanation ever I seen on YouTube. You just talk with yourselves

                                                            • doug roberts
                                                              doug roberts  3 weeks back

                                                              Just curious, in keeping with the theme of bad cooling ideas, what would happen if you added the radiator to the loop after the CPU to bleed off some extra heat energy before the coolant circulates back to the TECs. This way you are reducing the pre-cooler fluid to as close to ambient temps as possible before the coolers do their work. I realize it costs twice as much and negates the comparison between the two, but it would be interesting to see just how cool you can get it by using TEC. It would be more like boosting an already capable system than trying to replace it altogether. Also curious what affect you would get from using the TECs in series vs parallel configurations, i.e., running the coolant through one, then the other vs splitting it into two parallel cooling paths then merging them back before they enter the CPU cooling block... you never know, maybe the slower coolant flow through the cooling blocks will allow for more heat energy to be removed from the coolant. Other tweaks, like insulating the cooling blocks and cold lines and having the coolers as short a distance from the CPU as possible might add a little efficiency as well.

                                                              • León Coretz
                                                                León Coretz  3 weeks back

                                                                Thermoelectric are interesting. If they have a temperature gradient, and no electrical in, they will generate electricity.

                                                                • Jacob Palmatier
                                                                  Jacob Palmatier  3 weeks back

                                                                  The TEC should become an insulator if the electric current is off, since their efficiency depends on them being conductive to electricity but not heat. Essentially any heat conductivity works against the electric cooling effect.

                                                                  • Alex Jung
                                                                    Alex Jung  3 weeks back

                                                                    Peltiers arent used in digital products because they make frosts

                                                                    • connor43what
                                                                      connor43what  3 weeks back

                                                                      id like to see a peltier unit in conjunction with a traditional water cooling setup with the radiator on the hot side of the cpu outlet

                                                                      • ezmobz79
                                                                        ezmobz79  3 weeks back

                                                                        Youd get just a hot rad this set up wasn't done properly on this video. You need air to air with a pelter.

                                                                    • Takato Minemoto
                                                                      Takato Minemoto  3 weeks back

                                                                      **THIRTY TWO** AMPS?? HOLY SHIT

                                                                      • BearCat459
                                                                        BearCat459  3 weeks back

                                                                        What program are you using to test that?

                                                                        • Frank Sandlin
                                                                          Frank Sandlin  3 weeks back

                                                                          Learn how to use them and their limitations and they work them at about half the voltage and stack them and remove more heat then they transfer and they work great

                                                                          • Rafael Silva Willians
                                                                            Rafael Silva Willians  4 weeks back

                                                                            Linus: "Magic is not real."
                                                                            Magic the Gathering players: AM I A JOKE TO YOU?

                                                                            • Pniko
                                                                              Pniko  2 weeks back

                                                                              Rafael Silva Willians to that I’d say clearly you don’t understand the word magic. One is the defined word while the other is basement hoppers using cards to role play.

                                                                          • GunnyTheGrey
                                                                            GunnyTheGrey  4 weeks back

                                                                            You need a machinist... You should give AvE a call. He's Canadian (and also a walking demonetization banner lol.) But he has the tools for literally anything you'd need machined when making these ghetto builds and I've seen at least a few channels he's sent homemade parts to in the past (including out of country.)
                                                                            *This is post is purely personal greed. I just try to imagine Linus and uncle bumblefuck in the same room and it always goes horribly. Which makes me want to see it more.

                                                                            • diggy dice
                                                                              diggy dice  4 weeks back

                                                                              Isn't one of the Laws of Thermodynamics that heat will always migrate to cooler surfaces? I'm guessing that 1 of the 2 surfaces
                                                                              in that cooler is warmer than the other which the heat would naturally travel over to it. No matter what they say about shooting
                                                                              electrical pulses thru the device. But it seems like a great Sci-Fi idea & their numbers ought to be the proof? Me, with a short
                                                                              piece of home heating baseboard( 4 foot piece) & a small pump you can cool virtually any processor with the cooler temps
                                                                              on the floor of a room. Of course it ain't all colored bubbles/lights but it does cool overclocked Chipsets ...... peace

                                                                              • techlabs007
                                                                                techlabs007  4 weeks back

                                                                                i had a thermoelectric cooler in my gaming rig a few years back and it gave me crazy low numbers so when people told me that it was a bad idea because of condensation i did a very complicated mathematical anomaly thing you would never in a million years discover the solution to that was. & the solution was to...............
                                                                                flip the computer upside down with the motherboard up.

                                                                                • Jasper Janssen
                                                                                  Jasper Janssen  4 weeks back

                                                                                  You should probably have the triple rad first and *then* super chill with the peltier unit if you really wanted that.

                                                                                  • EricTheDesigner
                                                                                    EricTheDesigner  4 weeks back

                                                                                    please mount your camera to a tripod. Every youtuber's video makes me motion sick.... and I don't get motion sick!

                                                                                    • MaskedMarvyl
                                                                                      MaskedMarvyl  4 weeks back

                                                                                      32 amps? Are you serious? Why don't you just hook your device directly to the power grid?
                                                                                      You're right; that's a bad idea for a cooler.

                                                                                      Please forward the names of anyone who thinks that's a good way to spend hundreds of dollars to do what a mini-fridge can do for a few dollars, to the nearest mental health care facility....

                                                                                      • Michael Kubler
                                                                                        Michael Kubler  1 months back

                                                                                        Yeah I used a Peltier chip back in the Cyrix CPU days, so a lot less thermal output from the CPUs. I think the Thermal Electric Cooler was only rated at 40w back then and I easily overwhelmed it and it overheated the CPU (didn't destroy it because I switched it off very quickly).
                                                                                        But like you guys the peltier chip on it's own would get down to freezing temps without a decent thermal load.

                                                                                        • exgenica
                                                                                          exgenica  1 months back

                                                                                          Whoops, I entered this just a few seconds before the end of the vid where I thought you wouldn't mention the amps...but you did!!! Good job.

                                                                                          How many amps are you pumping into the TEC? You mentioned the thick wires leading to it, and I know to obtain a decent delta-temp most Peltier devices require a whole lot of power.

                                                                                          • Jakob Pearson
                                                                                            Jakob Pearson  1 months back

                                                                                            Why not use thermocouples to measure temperature? Its far more accurate

                                                                                            • stylgar23
                                                                                              stylgar23  1 months back

                                                                                              May be you can try to combine Peltier cells with LC.