Smart self lighting glass

Smart glass with peltier module that lights up when hot liquid is poured, no battery required.

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Idea was born from conversation with my friend and colaborator, I have made sketch and plan to build prototype in couple of days.
It is more proof of concept, need to see will it work good enough.
I plan to find glass that can withstand high temperature up to 100 celsius, 3d print insulation layer and sandwich peltier and pcb with LED's and boost converter in between glass and aluminium heatsink.

Project is kinda fun to build and test but my ultimate goal is to make a cool gadget.
I think it would be interesting to people who drink tea on regular basis and who like this type of gadgets.
What can be explored is can I add some temperature sensor and change color according to temperature of the beverage and thus provide information if it is too hot to drink.
Or maybe if some tea of additive like lemon or honey has some specific temperature where is best added to the water.
Someone even suggested adding small buzzer and buzzing some melodies.

Ultimate what it can serve is to see when the beverage is safe to drink, since from what I tested it stops to blink after water drops to below 65 C (150F)

Many options to explore :)

Kicad project file

x-zip-compressed - 556.33 kB - 07/05/2018 at 14:16




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Just initial concept drawing. Will attempt to build it in the next few days.

JPEG Image - 2.43 MB - 06/13/2018 at 10:18


  • Further development

    Ante Medić07/10/2018 at 08:26 0 comments

    I have spent past few days with numerous testing and comparing the results.
    So far, I have concluded that tho it may be obvious, glass needs to be as thin as it can be on the bottom and I have seen that my setup works better when I put some extra weight on top of the glass meaning transfer of heat is better between all the different surfaces.

    For the next prototype I will use this same glass if I don't find anything better in the mean time.
    I will try to source slab of aluminium and make to different styles of heatsink.
    One according to my first drawing that is wrapped around the glass up to a point where 3d printed plastic is.
    Idea with that was that everything fits snug and to somewhat go around the problem of bad contact between surfaces.
    And one maybe only slab down to serve as regular heatsink would just to test that concept also.

    If anyone has some ideas please fell free to comment :)

  • Testing new electronics with the glass

    Ante Medić07/06/2018 at 13:00 0 comments

    We tested the design, and it works!
    Depending on the size of the heat sink it can last from 2:30 minutes to over 6 minutes with 80 C hot water.
    The main problem in the design is the glass bottom. Even with the bottom grinded to an absolute minimum it is still insulating a lot of heat,
    making the peltier effectively loose up to almost 20 C of temperature. That being the main problem, the heat sink even being tiny can still handle a lot, even tho it acts more as a heat storage rather than heat sink. The time span is too short, and with passive air cooling it just does not manage to work in real time, so a better option might be to just put a solid block of aluminium instead that will heat up as the liquid cools down and cool off while another beverage is being prepared.
    The next step is to try making a custom heat sink that will also integrate a glass handle and also make a ring shaped PCB to fit around the glass.
    The PCB will just be the same as the prototype test board, just different layout.

    Currently it will light up the led's for 5-6 minutes before it stops.

    Some videos of it in action and pictures below :)

  • Test PCB's arrived

    Ante Medić07/05/2018 at 13:29 0 comments

    The test PCBs have arrived!

    We used the LTC3107 along with a PIC MCU to create a test board to verify the concept.
    The peltier module connects to the LTC3107 which generates power for the MCU that is then able to run a led sequence which illuminates the glass

    We also got a bunch of different color leds and tested them out, but it seems most of them are not efficient enough for the needs of this project.

  • Sanding the glass even more

    Ante Medić06/26/2018 at 11:35 0 comments

    After some initial tests, I decided to make bottom of the glass as thin and flat as it can be.
    It is slightly concave shape so it does not transfer heat as good as it can to the peltier module.

    First I used regular sand paper.
    That proved way too much labor intensive, I spent 4 hours sanding it and only removed thin strip of glass.
    Then I went to my friend, he has big slab and material for sanding telescope primary mirrors.
    With that it went smooth, I removed bunch more and will test it with thermal pads, paste and addition of aluminium foil directly on the glass and compare the results.

    As you can see in the picture there is still some surface left to sand but I stopped it fearing I will go through and destroy the glass.

    Also I started searching for proper electronics and found LTC3107 might be good for what I need.

    If anyone has any sugestions fell free to comment :)

  • Added heatsink

    Ante Medić06/18/2018 at 13:56 0 comments

    I found heatsink that can fit beneath the glass and tested the concept with rgb LED.
    Seems to work nice and lights up nicely :)
    Wraped it with sticky aluminium tape.

    Idea is that LED's would be just below the glass on the rim so light is nicely dissipated and refracted through the glass.

    Next I will find components necessary to shrink the circuit and get it on prototype board.
    I need to find some low startup voltage step up converter and design proto PCB and test it :)

  • 3D printing insulation layer

    Ante Medić06/15/2018 at 12:53 0 comments

    Today I 3d printed insulation layer and did bit of sanding so it fits good with peltier and glass.
    Tomorow I will try to combine it with heatsink and try it as single unit with rgb LED.

  • Testing the concept

    Ante Medić06/14/2018 at 10:01 0 comments

    I found good glass and sanded the bottom so it is as flat as it can be. Then I sandwiched peltier module between cpu heatsink and and connected peltier to multimeter to see what I get and also connected it to cheap boost converter from aliexpress that gets 0.9 up to 5V and then put my usb led tester with red led into that.

    And it works!
    LED lights up and until temperature drops below 60 C led is on. 
    I have concluded that using combination of thermal pads and paste works better, also putting slight pressure on top of the glass so it sticks harder to the heatsink helps also to get more voltage/current.

    In the next log, I will 3d print plastic insulator and try to find some smaller heatsink and try to build better prototype that hopefully can run rgb led.

  • Concept Drawing

    Ante Medić06/13/2018 at 10:25 0 comments

    Today, just a picture of a concept drawing.

    Will attempt to make prototype in the next few days.
    I already have peltier module, need to get some kind of glass able to withstand high temperature that has sufficient thin bottom.
    Then also I need to source some heatsink and try sandwiching all that together and see do I get any current that can run led's out of that.
    Will try using regular boost converter from 1V to 5V on usb just for test.
    If that works I will make PCB with better circuit for more efficient power usage.

    I hope I have update in the next few days :)

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