How do Peltier Coolers, or Thermoelectric coolers (TEC), work and how do you choose one for electronics cooling?
Thermoelectric coolers (TEC) are interesting devices. Also known as a Peltier device, due to their being invented by French physicist Jean-Charles-Athanase Peltier. A TEC can use alot of energy but when you need significant cooling, a TEC is a good solution. We have some resources for you to assist you in how to use them:First, we have a white paper from Qpedia Thermal eMagazine on “How to Select a Peltier Cooler for Cooling or Heating Electronics” at this link on our web site: How to choose a Thermoelectric Cooler.
Second up is a video on what a TEC is. Below is a link to a 2-minute video on our YouTube Channel that gives a quick tutorial on what a TEC is and how they operate.
Advanced Thermal Solutions John O’Day and Len Alter showcase the patented heat sink attachments maxiGRIP and superGRIP. With its patented and discrete design, these heat sink attachments are well worth it for being your only choice for a cost-effective, high performing thermal solution.
A series of calculations can be used to find the thermal loads in common liquid cooling systems. Calculations of this nature are needed to predict the performance of liquid cooling systems, which are effective but complex thermal management solutions. Several equations must be calculated to fully understand the behavior of a liquid cooled system, and ATS is providing these to engineers via personal instruction and in a paper available free from the company’s website, Qats.com.
IIn the paper, which appears in the company’s e-magazine, ATS considers a liquid cooling system as a closed loop system with three major components: cold plate, heat exchanger and pump. The cold plate is typically made from aluminum or copper, and is attached to the device being cooled. The plate usually has internal fins which transfer heat to the coolant flowing through them. This fluid moves from the cold plate to a heat exchanger where its heat is transferred to the ambient air via forced convection. The final part of the cooling loop is the pump, which drives the fluid through the loop.
A series of equations is provided to predict the final temperature of the device being cooled. The first of these equates the surface temperature of this device with the product of the power dissipated by the device times the thermal resistance of the cold plate (and its thermal interface material), added to the temperature of the water entering the cold plate.
The sequence of calculations factors in specifications from the cold plate, heat exchanger and pump. The result is a solution for the device temperature as a function of cold plate resistance. In the example cited by ATS, a cold plate thermal resistance of less than 18 degrees C/W is required to cool an Intel Xeon 5492 processor in a 25C temperature environment.
Liquid cooling is an important and expanding practice in the electronics industry. It is important to understand the impact on performance of all three major parts of liquid cooling loops (cold plate, heat exchanger and pump) to ensure an acceptable level of performance at the lowest cost.
Instructions for calculating load for liquid cooling systems are available on Qats.com in the pages of Qpedia, the thermal management emagazine from ATS. More information is also available by calling 1-781-949-2522.
Our engineering team has put together a terrific tutorial on TECs (Thermo Electric Coolers), and microTECs in our December 2010 Qpedia Thermal eMagazine. You’ll find the article on page 20.
The microprocessor evolution should make the jobs of system thermal engineers easier. However the complexity of the processor brings a unique set of cooling challenges. Spot cooling with TECs offers several advantages which must be carefully studied to ensure a successful implementation.
Laird Technologies is known for a host of technologies including EMI shielding, wireless antenna’s and thermal management products. They have some pretty smart engineers at Laird and they’ve put some of those thoughts on paper to release a new set of Thermal Management application notes for Thermoelectric Coolers.
According to Laird’s official press release:
The application note describes why Thermoelectric Modules (TEMs) and Thermoelectric Assemblies (TEAs) are ideal thermal management solutions for many telecommunication applications such as laser diodes and laser pump diodes, cable television (CATV) laser diodes, avalanche photodiodes (ADPs), GPS backup cellular networks, and Battery Backup Unit (BBU) systems in base stations. A wide range of small-and medium-sized heat pumping TEMs and TEAs are beneficial to telecommunication device requirements by complying with excessively tight space constraints that are associated with most telecommunication equipment. They also provide extremely precise temperature regulation, allowing devices to function at peak performance while reducing overall equipment operating costs.