Tiny cooled box

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I live in a warm flat now and it would be impossible to keep highlanders here without any cooling unit. I keep them in the basement of my parents house, but the sundews did not grow well either. And since sundews are my favourites I built a small box with peltier cooling unit to have them with me. In principal, its just something like camping fridge with peltier module, but since i built it myself, the box was cheaper than the fridges i found on the internet. And of course, it was built for plant growing, so its proportions are adequate. And i must thank to all, who have built similar projects and posted them here as an ispiration :smile:

Cooling module: approx. 30 W and the LED lights 12 W, all running at 12 V.

Day: 22°C, thermostat on

Night: 13 - 15°C, thermostat off and the cooling module runs with short pauses (timer) all night

Space for plants: 24x24x17 cm (i believe, that peltier and led lights are good for such small application, but not for larger terrariums)

I thought, this might help someone with building such thing, so I am posting a few photos and can write any experience I have.


Overwiev (the styrofoam box i got in our lab)


The cooling unit (Peltier module with two aluminium radiators and two fans)


Lights (12 CREE cool white chips and 6 CREE warm white plus 4 cheap warm white leds, which will be replaced soon by Osram leds with better spectrum)


As you can see, it works. The plants look much better than before, most of them are growing in the box for about 3 months so far.


Edited by Zlatokrt
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hi,very nice .

i made the same,identical cooled terrarium with a peltier cooler ..

my terrarium is 40x20x30 with a 50-60w of peltier, I can bring down the temperature about 9 C degrees but the lights are too hot

(I've 24 w of t5 tube )

how ampere absorb your peltier ?

I think your led'll be too les,you would need about 30 led

as soon as I've free time I'll post some shot :thumbsup:

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Ok, i will :-) They are growing only under leds almost three monts, there is no other source of ligt. I think they would die, if the light would be bad. You just have to choose the right led type and it works. For small space, leds are the best.

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yes ,leds are the future for small box,they do not heat

I seem to see you have only sundew,you should try to keep a plants who need much light (like hely) to see if the light is very well

Well, i can give it a try, but according to my experience, sundews need as much light as heliamphoras. Moreover, most of my helis are too large to be placed in that small box... :smile:

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  • 2 months later...

A small update: I have improved my cooling system, since i found a second hand "arctic freezer 7 PRO" with cooling capacity around 150 W - the peltier cooles much better than before. I thought i had a good heatsink, but now i see, that i was wrong. The efficiency increased a lot and i am thinking about making a larger box with more plants. Moreover, i can use more silent fans, which improved my wife`s opinion about this engine :biggrin:

The plants you have already seen elsewhere - more leds (you were right Tulio!) improved their growth too. 6 modules were good, but 11 modules are much better :smile:





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Do you use a temperature controller, or does the peltier cooler free run? I would have thought that if there was no temperature controller it would be difficult to balance it between the heating of the lights and cooling of the peltier

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Daniel: it is not that difficult to built one, if you are skilled in such things a little. But you have brought me to an idea. If i get a bigger box, i could place there my tiny N. argentii and getting some young N. villosa in the future wouldnt be bad too...

Neil: thank you :smile: There is 21-22°C during the day and around 15°C during the night. The plants are here, they did not change a lot from the time i took those photos: plants


Mobile: I use temperature controller, it keeps the day temps. During the night, the peltier runs with pauses controlled only by timer (15 minutes run, 30 minutes pause for most of the night, only for first two or three hours of the night it is reversed to cool the space faster).

Edited by Zlatokrt
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