3.0 Applications for Thermoelectric Coolers

3.1 Applications for thermoelectric modules cover a wide spectrum of product areas. These include equipment used by military, medical, industrial, consumer, scientific/laboratory, and telecommunications organizations. Uses range from simple food and beverage coolers for an afternoon picnic to extremely sophisticated temperature control systems in missiles and space vehicles.

Unlike a simple heat sink, a thermoelectric cooler permits lowering the temperature of an object below ambient as well as stabilizing the temperature of objects which are subject to widely varying ambient conditions. A thermoelectric cooler is an active cooling module whereas a heat sink provides only passive cooling.

Thermoelectric coolers generally may be considered for applications that require heat removal ranging from milliwatts up to several thousand watts. Most single-stage TE coolers, including both high and low current modules, are capable of pumping a maximum of 3 to 6 watts per square centimeter (20 to 40 watts per square inch) of module surface area. Multiple modules mounted thermally in parallel may be used to increase total heat pump performance. Large thermoelectric systems in the kilowatt range have been built in the past for specialized applications such as cooling within submarines and railroad cars. Systems of this magnitude are now proving quite valuable in applications such as semiconductor manufacturing lines.

3.2 Typical applications for thermoelectric modules include:

  • Avionics
  • Black box cooling
  • Calorimeters
  • CCD (Charged Couple Devices)
  • CID (Charge Induced Devices)
  • Cold chambers
  • Cold plates
  • Compact heat exchangers
  • Constant temperature baths
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Dew point hygrometers
  • Electronics package cooling
  • Electrophoresis cell coolers
  • Environmental analyzers
  • Heat density measurement
  • Ice point references
  • Immersion coolers
  • Integrated circuit cooling
  • Inertial guidance systems
  • Infrared calibration sources and black body references
  • Infrared detectors
  • Infrared seeking missiles
  • Laser collimators
  • Laser diode coolers
  • Long lasting cooling devices
  • Low noise amplifiers
  • Microprocessor cooling
  • Microtome stage coolers
  • NEMA enclosures
  • Night vision equipment
  • Osmometers
  • Parametric amplifiers
  • Photomultiplier tube housing
  • Power generators (small)
  • Precision device cooling (lasers and microprocessors)
  • Refrigerators and on-board refrigeration systems (aircraft, automobile, boat, hotel, insulin, portable/picnic, pharmaceutical, RV)
  • Restaurant portion dispenser
  • Self-scanned arrays systems
  • Semiconductor wafer probes
  • Stir coolers
  • Thermal viewers and weapons sights
  • Thermal cycling devices (DNA and blood analyzers)
  • Thermostat calibrating baths
  • Tissue preparation and storage
  • Vidicon tube coolers
  • Wafer thermal characterization
  • Water and beverage coolers
  • Wet process temperature controller
  • Wine cabinets

Do You Need More Information?

We offer more thermal solutions than the standard thermoelectric modules listed here. If you have questions, don't see the size that you need, or to place an order, contact your local Ferrotec thermal solutions representative.