The Peltier effect, which produces a temperature differential when current is passed through a thermoelectric material, is a powerful ally for designers dealing with thermal-management challenges.
Peltier modules are active cooling devices that allow precise temperature control and are lightweight, low-power and quiet compared to systems containing fans or compressors. They can maintain a temperature set point below the ambient temperature if required, and can work in any orientation.
Module vendors typically offer a range of devices to meet a wide variety of cooling demands determined by parameters such as the thermal power to be dissipated, the ambient temperature and the temperature to which the object – such as a processor power-transistor array – should be cooled. Designers need to know how to choose a suitable module to meet the needs of their application and calculate appropriate values for the operating current and voltage, leveraging feedback from a temperature sensor to modulate the power supply if precise temperature control is required.
This CUI Insights blog, “How to Design a Peltier Module System” can help you design a thermoelectric cooling system, including using the module datasheet to calculate suitable values for the applied voltage and current, arranging closed-loop feedback using a sensor for precise temperature control, and taking into account self-heating of the module to determine the required heatsink capacity.