I am fairly new to electronics tinkering - but I am a natural scientist, and believe I can handle it. But I’d need some guidance.
What I want to do is to build a cooler (something like a mini-fridge), using two cooling mechanisms (Linde cooling, and cooling by electrothermal plates - also known as Peltier elements). More specifically, what I want to do is Arduino to control the cooling power of the device. I want to monitor the temperature in different parts of the fridge (at least 5 points - better ten) using some temperature sensor (would prefer type-K thermocouples, but thermistors also seem to work - but have no experience with them). I want to start with Peltier elements (and save the conversion to Linde machines later - they require handling some chemicals).
For the Peltier elements: they have a fairly large power consumption (around 100 to 200 Watts, depending on their size), and I would want to control several of them (because I really want to cool quickly!!! thats one of the main points of this! it is summer, mind You! ).
Also, I want to record the data - such as temperature, power consumption of Peltiers, power control parameters of Arduino board to the Peltier elements etc - on an SD card for later read-out and evaluation.
Oh, and I want to control a status LED (there are color-changing LEDs available - that should be good enough… maybe a nice sounding buzzer). And probably some control buttons (e.g. one that starts the cooling program).
So, here are my questions:
- Would Arduino be able to handle all those tasks (measure 5 to 10 different temperatures, ideally simultaneously; control power of the Peltiers; measure power consumption of Peltiers)? or would I need a special version of Arduino (such as Arduino Mega)?
- Which components would I need? Any shield (add-on) boards required? I suppose I would need the SD car shield, at least, to do the recoding to
- What would You use to control the power of the Peltiers? A MOSFET? How to connect to to Arduino?
Any suggestions on this? I am looking forward to hear from You! Best regards,