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An Experimental Investigation of Thermoelectric Air-Cooling Module

Authors: Yu-Wei Chang, Chiao-Hung Cheng, Wen-Fang Wu, Sih-Li Chen


This article experimentally investigates the thermal performance of thermoelectric air-cooling module which comprises a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) and an air-cooling heat sink. The influences of input current and heat load are determined. And performances under each situation are quantified by thermal resistance analysis. Since TEC generates Joule heat, this nature makes construction of thermal resistance network difficult. To simplify the analysis, this article emphasizes on the resistance heat load might meet when passing through the device. Therefore, the thermal resistances in this paper are to divide temperature differences by heat load. According to the result, there exists an optimum input current under every heating power. In this case, the optimum input current is around 6A or 7A. The performance of the heat sink would be improved with TEC under certain heating power and input current, especially at a low heat load. According to the result, the device can even make the heat source cooler than the ambient. However, TEC is not always effective at every heat load and input current. In some situation, the device works worse than the heat sink without TEC. To determine the availability of TEC, this study figures out the effective operating region in which the TEC air-cooling module works better than the heat sink without TEC. The result shows that TEC is more effective at a lower heat load. If heat load is too high, heat sink with TEC will perform worse than without TEC. The limit of this device is 57W. Besides, TEC is not helpful if input current is too high or too low. There is an effective range of input current, and the range becomes narrower when the heat load grows.

Keywords: Thermoelectric cooler, TEC, electronic cooling, heat sink.

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