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[APD] Re: Chemists: Aluminum and the Freshwater Aquarium?
But Peltier looked worse and worse the more I read. Even at the smallest
end of the chiller range, the traditional compressor type chiller outperforms:
(Click on chillers, then Titan and scroll down to the spec chart.) It
seems to me that there's no reason to even build the Peltier chiller that
they are selling because it compares so badly in terms of electrical
consumption versus performance.
The peltier's advantages are that they are silent (except for the fan),
have no moving parts, and should last a long time. If you have a nano reef
it's probably the only way to go. For anything much larger you are correct
-- they are terribly inefficient.
If you can get by with a radiator (which can at best get your tank
temperature down to near the ambient air temperature around the radiator),
it will be by far the cheapest and most efficient way to cool the tank
down. As soon as you need active cooling (forcing heat against an energy
gradient), there are rather large amounts of energy required.
FYI, the peltier devices are usually used for temperature control of
semiconductors, specifically lasers used in DWDM (Dense Wave Division
Multiplexing -- essentially sending different data on different colors of
light down a single strand of fiber optic cable). The lasers need fine
temperature control to keep them on the correct wavelength, and due to
their small size and the requirement for reliability (it is embarrassing to
explain to customers that the reason they can't place an intercity phone
call is because an air conditioner is broken ;-), peltiers are perfect.
Cost isn't a big factor in this application, either. Off-topic, but
interesting, I thought...
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