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desktop air conditioner

A real cool breeze for those warm offices!
  [vote for,

No, I'm not talking about one of those dopey mini-swamp coolers that use a fan to blow air across a wet wick here. I'm talking about the real thing. Where I live, the summer humidity is too high for those to work anyway.

Refrigerant based ones like regular air conditioners aren't practical at this size, but Peltier solid state ones certainly are.

With the usual arrangement of a heat sink on each side of the Peltier device, air would be directed away on the hot side and forward on the cool side. Simple as that.

The only problem here is efficiency. Basically Peltiers generate 1 - 2 watts of waste heat for each watt they pump, and of course all this heat gets dumped back out into the room. Oops.

Even so, if it's warm in there again this year I may just hack one together and see if it's worth the effort....

The waste heat problem has the potential to be solved soon with CoolChip technology (www.coolchips.com), a vacuum diode that may someday be the best way to move heat around. No, I don't have any association with them but it's cool stuff (no pun intended)....

godryck, Apr 12 2004


       You still have to put the heat somewhere... are you planning on running a pipe out your door or something?
5th Earth, Apr 13 2004

       Actually the CoolChip technology won't fix your waste heat problem if you're just dumping heat into the room. It will reduce the severity of the problem, but if the room is closed, the average temperature of the room will rise even with CoolChips.   

       Now if the room is well ventilated (you keep the windows open all day and there is a bit of a breeze), dumping the waste heat into the room might not be that huge of a problem, and the cool breeze on the face might feel good; However, you'd probably be much happier if you bought a length of dryer duct and a small fan so you could dump that heat somewhere else.
scad mientist, Apr 13 2004

       Quit your bitching and buy yourself a block of dry ice. There's worse things than steam.
imagine002, Apr 13 2004

       Forget the heat pump and just use a cold source (like a block of dry ice) to cool a water reservoir. Pump this cold water through a small radiator in front of a fan pointed at your face. Granted, it'll cost a bit for the dry ice, but you won't have to worry about dumping more heat back into the room.   

       OK, so that's a bit impractical. Small air conditioners are available (you can even get lunchbox-sized units for camping tents), but without a way to move the waste heat out of the area, you're running a losing race. In terms of scale, especially for a large office (or even a small office) the cost of running one large air conditioner will be much less than the cost of several small air conditioners.   

       There's nothing technically wrong with this idea, it's just very impractical.
Freefall, Apr 13 2004


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