My comments on why this device is utter bullshit.
1. A/C is really just about moving heat. Heat doesn't like being transported-- it takes a lot of energy to do it. Pelzier-effect heat pumps are terribly inefficient and generate a lot of heat on their own.
2. Peltzier elements draw electricity, which has to come from -somewhere-. Yes that's right, it does come from the engine in the form of electricity taken from the alternator, which isn't terribly efficient itself. 5 peltzier elements would consume roughly 400 watts -- that's 33 amps from a car alternator and roughly 1/5th of it's entire output.
3. This output wouldn't even come close to what a spot-cooling standard sized car air conditioner can output.
4. Cars don't use FREON anymore. They use R134a.
5. R134a is not ozone depleting. At all. Not even slightly. It's so safe, the "canned air dusters" that are frequently sold in computer stores are just pure R134a. You spray them into the atmosphere in large quantities and there is no problem.
6. No gas would be saved for the same amount of cooling in a given car unless efficiency is increased. Pelztier coolers are not as efficient, so the first law of thermodynamics makes this device physically impossible.
I'm glad that the kids came up with a cooler using the pelztier effect. But I'm afraid it's concept has been employed for years, this isn't some big discovery, it doesn't work very good, it doesn't do the things they claim, and it's not operating on the facts that stand. R134a isn't evil. Auto manufacturers tried using it numorous times. Any way to get better gas mileage and create HVAC in a cheaper manner requiring fewer parts and less weight is a GOLDMINE to auto makers. Rest assured, they have tried it much more than these kids did and it simply DOES NOT WORK.
And my favorite line is:
"Today, the young inventors say, U.S. drivers use about 7.9 billion gallons of fuel each year to run their air-conditioners, which draw power from the engine. By adopting their contraption - which taps into the electrical system"
I think that the kids that made this device need to tap into the electrical system and fry what little brains they have because energy doesn't come from nowhere, and if the reporter who put this story together had half a brain it wouldn't be published.
Not to sound harsh, but this is BULLSHIT.