[Explanation] Can Peltier Cool a Car?

Who doesn’t love DIY right? Especially building something like a thermoelectric cooler. This cooling device, traditionally called, the Peltier device can cool down a whole lot from being a camp cooler, portable cooler coolant, or dehumidifier cooler. 

This begs the question, can Peltier cool a car? After all, it is its main function! And would be a lot of fun building your own AC. 

But we are sad to inform you that, as practical as it sounds, the functionality, expense, and efficiency of a Peltier device is no match with an air conditioner. Thus it won’t be able to cool a car anywhere near an AC. 

We are going to take you through why it isn’t good enough in detail and explanation.

can peltier cool a car

Why Can’t Peltier Cool a Car Like an AC?

There are several reasons why a Peltier won’t be able to cool a car. Although it can cool a lot of stuff like camping and hiking gear, a car is a bit too much for it. 

Here are the 3 reasons why a Peltier isn’t the best cooling device for a car. 

1. Inefficiency in Technology

When it comes to a car, efficiency is key. The faster a part works the better the car is. Peltier devices work by utilizing the electrical flow through two different conductive materials. This creates a temperature difference. One side of the Peltier device becomes hot while the other becomes cold. So you will produce more temperature in the process of cooling it down. 

An AC uses a compressor, refrigerant, and exhaust to remove heat and cool down a car. This is not only effective but also efficient in something like a car or vehicle rather than a Peltier device. 

2. Expensive and Not Effective Enough

Whenever we buy or install certain appliances, we calculate the value for the price we are paying. And if you find it isn’t doing what it is supposed to, you will be disappointed. Peltier devices are made for smaller applications. And cost a whole lot more than a car air conditioning system. But in terms of effectiveness, it fails horribly. 

3. Practically Inconvenient

It takes a whole lot of time for a Peltier device to cool just a liter of water. Imagine how much time will it take to cool a normal size car. And the expense and power consumption is a cherry on top. So it’s inconvenient to use instead of an AC to cool a car. 

We would suggest, Instead of making things complicated, let the Peltier device cool your foods and drinks while you enjoy inexpensive air conditioning in your car. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

How cold can you get with a Peltier?

A Peltier can bring the temperature down to -85 ℃ or -121 ℉, which is pretty cold.

What is Peltier effect in cars?

The temperature difference in the car is called the Peltier effect. This term is used for cars that have a Peltier cooling system or TEC

Why Peltier is not used in AC?

Low efficiency and expensive operation costs are the main reason you will not find Peltier not used in ACs. But you will definitely find them in refrigerators, camping coolers, sleeping bags, and other small appliances. 

Can Peltier boil water?

Yes. But you can boil water with a Peltier that is made for the sole purpose of heating. The ones that are made for cooling won’t do you any good with boiling water. 


Peltier devices not only produce cold temperatures but also hot at the same time. It is how they function. Making cost and effectiveness go way up and down with its process. So let some DIY be just for knowledge and stay with the practical applications. 

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