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Outdoor Thermoelectric Generator
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ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Outdoor Thermoelectric Generator on 08/16/2007 10:48:56 MDT Print View


The efficiency of this electricity generating equipment although is not very high, but is quite practical.

The present technology had already surmounted this, for instance the technologies of iron-oxide compound structures could have the better thermo-electricity transfer efficiency. Like the size of mine, it will provide as much as 10 Watts power outputs, and thermostable degree may amount to above 800 degree Celsius.

Using this set of equipment you may complete the work you want to do, you may enjoy more pleasure in the outdoors; A firewood stove may provide the whole electric energy that the notebook consumes; If the power further increase, this set of equipment would turn to be the core part of an outdoor refrigerator, you only need to add some heat-preserving froth to act as the icebox body, therefore, you may enjoy the ice coffee in the desert; You also may use the congealed water effect to produce water, you do not need to carry excessive water again in desert to pass through.

In winter, it is obvious that the lower the temperature will be, the higher thermo-electricity transfer efficiency you can receive, because the temperature contrast has decided this kind of possibility.

But all these, you would find that the burden you increased only have extra several hectograms...

some photos in test:

After a normal cooking, you only need the heat from the charcoal...

put generator and pot on the stove with cold water...

start to work...

light a flashlight head...


Stable voltage...



after,30min,recorded electric current...

To examine furnace temperature, while convenient have a look at the generator(weighs 178g)...

The parts concerned...

Edited by asidesign on 08/16/2007 11:15:45 MDT.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Wow... on 08/16/2007 12:22:13 MDT Print View

that could be a slick way to charge AAs in the field... and you could reuse them to stoke the fire... very cool...

where's you get the generator, by the way?

Edited by jdmitch on 08/16/2007 12:22:48 MDT.

ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Re: Wow... on 08/16/2007 12:51:42 MDT Print View

I made it myself by using 4 Semiconductor refrigeration pieces and 2 Aluminum radiators.


The back of generator,the gaps are very important in this case!


Edited by asidesign on 08/16/2007 13:14:09 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Second the "Wow" on 08/16/2007 13:16:40 MDT Print View

This is fascinating technology I didn't even know existed prior to your post. Very clever, and the integration with the stove is nicely done. Can you please post some weights and dimensions, as your design progresses?


ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Re: Second the "Wow" on 08/16/2007 13:54:47 MDT Print View


Total weights of this generator are 178g;
Opened: 105*115*9 MM
Folded: 52.5*115*15 MM

I made a simple one before to test the thermoelectricity theory, then made it at last,no more obstacles...

My design tendancy is:
Ultra light and safe, environmental protection go first, do not depend on the backing in outdoor...

The original test photo is here(using hot water and ice):


Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Peliter Coolers Running Backwards? on 08/16/2007 15:25:30 MDT Print View

ke wu,

you're essentially running peltier coolers in reverse to generate electricity, correct?

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE: "Outdoor Thermoelectric Generator" on 08/16/2007 15:46:13 MDT Print View

I never knew this existed. PLEASE post a parts list and simple instructions (for the complete idiot) so that I may attempt to build one.

ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Re: Peliter Coolers Running Backwards? on 08/17/2007 11:15:13 MDT Print View


Right! That is called Seeback Effect if Peltier Effect reversed.

ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Re: RE: "Outdoor Thermoelectric Generator" on 08/17/2007 11:38:11 MDT Print View


All parts listed here:
1 four 12708 Peltier semiconductor coolers(Series connection )
2 two pieces of aluminum radiators
3 some electric wire
4 one rectification diode for output end(if you want to charge batteries)

Edited by asidesign on 08/17/2007 11:41:44 MDT.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE: Thermoelectric Generator "gaps" on 08/17/2007 15:16:26 MDT Print View

Ke Wu,
Thanks for the parts list.
You state:
"The back of generator,the gaps are very important in this case!"
Which gaps?
The ones in the radiator fins or between the semiconductor coolers? Or something I missed.
Also what did you use to attach the 4 Semiconductors to the 2 Aluminum radiators?
If you plan to build and sell this I would understand you not answering.
How much?
Sorry if I am being a pain, however you have captured me in the idea of being able to recharge batteries on the trail without having to relay on finding bright sunlight.

Thanks in advance!

ke wu
(asidesign) - F

Locale: Block seven
Re: RE: Thermoelectric Generator "gaps" on 08/18/2007 03:01:21 MDT Print View


1 I mean the gaps between the fins, it is only way for hot air to pass.
2 There is one kind of heatproof silicon glue (called heatsink plaster) in the electronic market, and it is very easy to coagulate and well fixed.
3 I do not mean to sell that.
4 You can use 9 semiconductor and only 1 foursquare aluminum radiator to build a more practical one so that you would obtain higher voltage and more energy outputs. However, it is easier to control heat by this way.
5 Never heat the main parts over 300 degree Celsius!

Good Luck!

shmatmich shmatmich
(shmatmich) - F
thermoelectric generator on 04/13/2009 01:44:55 MDT Print View

More interesting information about thermoelecticity and new design of thermoelectric generator on the site

shmatmich shmatmich
(shmatmich) - F
Re: Re: RE: Thermoelectric Generator "gaps" on 04/13/2009 02:10:08 MDT Print View

Thermoelectric modules for power generation with working temperature more 300C! I look it on the site
I hearing that they made explore and made experiment with thermoelectric materials with characteristic until 500 C
It's wery interesting in new using thermoelectric effect, as example in car

Edited by shmatmich on 04/13/2009 02:12:06 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Cooling contact on 04/15/2009 07:15:22 MDT Print View

I've been using a similar setup for a year now to charge AA batteries. A thin smear of mud on the backs of the peltiers helps get a good thermal contact with the pan of cold water. The efficiency and voltage drops as the water heats up. The bigger the heat difference between the hot and cold sides of the peltiers, the higher the voltage.

If you live somewhere reliably sunny, a strip of iowa thinfilm solar panel is a lot less hassle...

Edited by tallbloke on 04/15/2009 07:19:02 MDT.

Jason Smith
(cowhock35) - F
Re: Outdoor Thermoelectric Generator on 03/23/2011 17:16:16 MDT Print View

This is a great device, I am a senior in high school and an avid backpacker, and I ran across it when I was searching thermoelectricity for cars, but when I saw it I decided to change my science fair project and attempt to duplicate your device. The only hold-up I have encountered are the aluminum heatsinks. I have searched everywhere online and cannot find any heatsinks similar to the ones you used except in wholesale crate direct from China. It seems difficult to let hot air out while maintaining light weight and a great temperature gradient without them. Where did you get yours? I think I could buy stock aluminum and machine it down into something usable, but that is a real pain.