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John O | April 2019

Article presents updated equations for designing thermoelectric coolers

By Josh Perry, Editor


In a recent post on ElectronicDesign, W. Stephen Woodward, a freelance consultant on instrumentation, sensors, and metrology, updated his 20-year-old article that outlines simple equations for designing thermoelectric coolers (TEC).


The article runs through basic equations for designing TEC.
(Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)


“Trouble is, simple and accurate (or even usefully approximate) design equations for TECs are hard to find,” Woodward wrote. “TEC selection, sizing of heatsinks, and design of control circuits are therefore matters for guesswork and/or experimentation. The model presented here has served well in a variety of designs. It requires, as input, only numbers that are routinely provided in TEC datasheets.”Top of Form


Wodward explained that he has used the simple design parameters for TEC on the Mars Polar Lander MVACS and other space applications. He used the model to predict TEC power requirements and overall power budget.


“The model predicts TEC thermal load temperature (T1) as a function of load heat production (Q1), TEC datasheet numbers (P, Cp, Rp), heatsink parameters (Ch), TEC drive current (Itec), and ambient temperature and ambient/load thermal conductivity (T3 and C1),” he added.


Read the full article, https://www.electronicdesign.com/analog/simple-design-equations-thermoelectric-coolers-revisited, to see the equations that Woodward is referencing and learn more about designing TEC.

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