We describe and characterize a device for alkali vapor pressure modulation on the 100 ms timescale in a single-cell cold atom experiment. Its mechanism is based on optimized heat conduction between a current-modulated alkali dispenser and a heat sink at room temperature. We have studied both the short-term behavior during individual pulses and the long-term pressure evolution in the cell. The device combines fast trap loading and relatively long trap lifetime, enabling high repetition rates in a very simple setup. These features make it particularly suitable for portable atomic sensors.