Peltier module is a device that uses physical phenomenon known as Peltier effect to produce cooling or heating effect from conducting electric current through the contact of two different conducting materials. Peltier modules may also be referred as thermo-electric coolers, though their functions go way beyond power-based cooling.
Peltier modules can also be used for electricity generation. Such an effect (known as Seebeck effect or thermoelectric effect) can be achieved by heating the “hot” part of Peltier module.
Initially in Peltier modules two plates made from different metals were used, but currently advanced Peltier modules utilize various semiconductor materials making them more efficient and providing more precision in temperature regulation and electricity consumption or generation.
Peltier modules have a range of advantages over traditional technologies that are used to convert electricity for cooling/heating or vice-versa:
- Solid design without moving parts makes Peltier modules less prone to mechanical damages and means they require less maintenance
- Safe design that includes no fluids, gases or dangerous materials makes Peltier modules more safe and reliable than traditional cooling or heating technologies
- Ability to act both as heaters and coolers allows to use these modules for various applications
- Peltier modules allow for efficient “spot cooling” as well as quick cooling-heating cycles allowing to provide precise temperature maintenance or use them for testing purposes
- Perfect for precise temperature calibration
- Flexible form-factors and scalability as well as miniaturization options
Peltier modules are used when the energy-efficiency of the conversion between heat and electricity and vice-versa is not the decisive factor, since their efficiency level ranges between 5 and 8 percents, but the advantages of the technology and its flexibility are still numerous, allowing for its efficient use in many sectors and industries.
Coolers, heaters, sensors
The range of Peltier modules applications is just amazing. They are used for electricity generation in automotive and aerospace industry, cooling in biomedicine, telecom, photonics and consumer devices and the number of applications grows constantly.
For example in biomedicine sphere Peltier modules are used to provide necessary temperatures during DNA testing; in telecom they are used to cool down lasers and provide optimal temperatures for optical channels. They are also used in in-cabin refrigerators and car