Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 by Jim Norrena
Josh Coolidge (Individualized Major 2014) created a laser installation called that uses Peltier junctions (the use of cooling and heating processors to create electricity) while taking the interdisciplinary "Off the Grid" course at CCA.
He used candles to create the heat, which caused lasers to light up a water-filled tube of plastic bubbles (purchased at a hydroponics store) that would then melt, creating an amazing visual effect.
The project (still in its prototype phase) originated from Barney Haynes's Interface course, where Coolidge was challenged to create a project that would generate art and design through an alternative source of energy. In short, no project could plug in. All sources of electricity or energy required a sustainable source.
According to Wikipedia: "The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. A thermoelectric device creates voltage when there is a different temperature on each side.
"Conversely, when a voltage is applied to it, it creates a temperature difference. At the atomic scale, an applied temperature gradient causes charge carriers in the material to diffuse from the hot side to the cold side."