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Cloud Chamber Physics – September 2013

Cloud Chamber Physics

At Science Hack Day SF 2013 there was a project to build a thermoelectric cooled cloud chamber. These are some notes about the hardware.

Thermoelectric Cooling

The typical thermoelectric cooler (TEC) will typically produce a maximum temperature difference of 70°C. The amount of heat that can be absorbed is proportional to the current and time.

where $\dot Q$ is heat flow rate, $k_P$ is the Peltier coefficient of the TEC, and $I$ is the current.


So for a given heat rate and a known TEC we can guess the electrical power requirements.

We can computer how big of a power supply we need for each TEC:

We want to suck the maximum power from both, which according to the datasheets is about 90 Watts(thermal)

Power supply for bottom TEC: 112.5 Watts Power supply for top TEC 46.875 Watts

Luckily we have two ~100 watt power supplies.