Thermoelectric refrigeration is the process of pumping heat energy out of an insulated chamber in order to reduce the temperature of the chamber below that of the surrounding air. Thermoelectric refrigeration uses a principle called the "PELTIER" effect to pump heat electronically. The Peltier effect is named after a French scientist who discovered it in 1834.





Very little space is required by the cooling system. The thermoelectric module is the size of a matchbook.


Carries with one hand and is unaffected by motion or tilting.


20% to 40% less expensive than compressor or absorption units.


Averages approximately 4.5 amps - less than your cars headlights.


  • Battery life: Used in combination with the Koolatron "Battery Saver" you can always be assured of having starting power.
  • Performance: Koolatron coolers maintain "cool" temperatures when the air surrounding the cooler is up to 90°F
  • Heating: Koolatron coolers can be operated in the heating mode for short periods of time. Special order heater ONLY versions of our insulated boxes are used by Meals on Wheels, other senior hot meal programs, school hot meal programs and by caterers all across the country.
  • Safety: No open flames, propane, or toxic refrigerants used.
  • Reliability: Thermoelectrics have a 40 year proven track record in military, aerospace, laboratory, and now consumer applications.
  • Easy service: Most parts are easily replaced by the end-user with a screw driver.
  • Low maintenance: The only maintenance required with any Koolatron unit is periodic "dusting" and Vacuuming to ensure good heat dissipation.



Food and beverages are kept cold and dry. No space is wasted for ice (unless of course you want ice, in which case we can help to preserve it 3 or 4 times longer than a plain cooler).



THERMOELECTRIC: Cooling is achieved electronically using the "Peltier" effect - heat is pumped with electrical energy.

COMPRESSOR: Cooling is achieved by vaporising a refrigerant (such as freon) inside the refrigerator - heat is absorbed by the refrigerant through the principle of the "latent heat of vaporisation" and released outside the refrigerator where the vapour is condensed and compressed into a liquid again. Uses mechanical energy.

Thermoelectric Compressor Ice

(when filled with ice)
Cools when surrounding air is up to 95°F Cools when surrounding air is up to 110°F Cools until ice melts
Keeps ice up to 2-3 days in plastic container Makes ice Doesn't make ice
Draws up to 4.5 amps Energy use fluctuates but averages about the same as thermoelectric No electrical
One moving part, easily service by owner with just a screw driver Requires professional service No moving parts to maintain


In 1834 Jean Peltier noted that when an electrical current is applied across the junction of two dissimilar metals, heat is removed from one of the metals and transferred to the other. This is the basis of thermoelectric refrigeration. Thermoelectric modules are constructed from a series of tiny metal cubes of dissimilar exotic metals which are physically bonded together and connected electrically. When electrical current passes through the cube junctions, heat is transferred from one metal to the other. Solid-state thermoelectric modules are capable of transferring large quantities of heat when connected to a heat absorbing device on one side and a heat dissipating device on the other. The Koolatron's internal aluminium cold plate fins absorb heat from the contents, (food and beverages), and the thermoelectric modules transfer it to heat dissipating fins under the control panel. Here, a small fan helps to disperse the heat into the air. The system is totally environmentally friendly and contains no hazardous gases, nor pipes nor coils and no compressor. The only moving part is the small 12-volt fan. Thermoelectric modules are too expensive for normal domestic and commercial applications which run only on regular household current. They are ideally suited to recreational applications because they are lightweight, compact, insensitive to motion or tilting, have no moving parts, and can operate directly from 12-volt batteries.