cranky wrote:It occurred to me that cooling systems from a laptop could be used for cooling. Maybe the efficiency could be improved, and the elements are free, easily available and ... terribly unsightly.
By increasing the temperature difference rather only the efficiency can be increased. If a burner is used, sufficient cooling will be provided by the flow of air to the flame. Elements are not cheap because copper oxide slowly reacts with moist air to form copper carbonate, commonly known as patina. To do it in a human way (that is how it is done) you would have to buy a constantan wire. The cheapest spool I've seen online is Wed. = 0.3 mm, length = 100 m. So for PLN 300 (you need to add a protective tube) you could make a source composed of 1000 thermocouples with a diameter of approx. 20 cm and a potential of approx. 55 mV/°C.
The permissible temperature of this system with protective tubes is 500 °C. So 55 mV•500 = 27 V. Anyone can calculate the internal resistance. The resistance of 1 m of 0.3 mm wire is 7 Ω. Add the resistance of the copper wire and we know everything about the efficiency of such a source.
A cheaper solution is the T thermocouple system (NiCr-NiAl) which can work without a sheath. You could do it here for 200 PLN. I do not count the costs of "crocheting".
If someone has a fantasy and cash, they can buy 1000 ready-made thermocouples in bulk, they will not have to weld the ends.