Alfred Alfred
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Thermoelectric Peltier Couple

How is heat transported in a Peltier module?

To understand how heat is transported in a Peltier module, it is necessary to understand the construction of a Peltier module.  A semiconductor couple is the basic building block of a thermoelectric / Peltier module. A couple consists of one p-type and one n-type semiconductor block connected by a metallic strip. These semiconductor blocks are also called thermoelements. The p and n semiconductor blocks are connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. The metal strip serves as a junction between the two semiconductors. When DC current is passed through the couple, heat is absorbed at the cold side junction and heat is released at the hot side junction.

To create a Peltier module, many couples are placed electrically in series and sandwiched between substrates that are generally ceramic. The cooling capacity scales directly proportional to number of couples in the module. In addition to connecting the couples electrically in series, sometimes the couples are connected electrically in parallel or series-parallel to reduce the electrical resistance of the module.

Thermoelectric Peltier Cooler module TEC

How is heat transported in a Peltier Module?

The heat transport in a Peltier module can explained with charge carrier analysis. In thermoelectric materials, charge carriers are electrons and holes. Electrons carry a negative charge and holes carry a positive charge. In n-type materials, the charge carriers are electrons and in p-type materials, the charge carriers are holes. Holes are empty spaces in a crystal lattice that an electron could occupy. These holes are free to move about within the lattice. When charge carriers move they take heat with them. Energy absorbed and liberated can be accounted for by a change in energy level of electrons. Electrons that move to a higher energy level absorb heat and electrons that move to a lower energy level release heat. The material characteristics and polarity of the DC source relative to the p and n arrangement makes possible energy absorption and release in a controlled manner.

How We Differentiate

At Applied Thermoelectric Solutions LLC, we engage in R&D and develop solutions that enable your solid-state thermoelectric cooling and heating products, applications and thermal management systems. We develop application specific solid-state thermal management solutions that are designed for the unique requirements of every application. Our in-house developed proprietary software allows us to design not only a customized solution but also an optimized one, putting your product ahead of the competition. We work with many different manufacturing partners. This allows us to use the top technology and get the best prices rather than be tied to one specific supplier. We will work with you to understand your requirements and if the requirements are unknown, we will help you develop them. All of this combined with our passion for solid-state thermal management leads to the best possible outcome for your project. Contact us for more information.

Alfred has worked as a thermal systems engineer and innovator since 2000. Alfred's career started as an ASE certified automotive technician. After eight years as a technician, he earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan where he won the Mechanical Engineering department and overall School of Engineering Senior Design Competition with an innovative thermal energy conversion device. Alfred later obtained a master's degree from Michigan Technological University where he studied thermal sciences, did research on thermoelectrics and wrote a master's thesis on transient Peltier supercooling. Alfred has held positions in the advanced engineering organizations of Gentherm and Fiat Chrysler. He has also held engineering positions at General Motors and DENSO Corporation. Alfred is experienced with concept ideation, mechanical and thermal design, computer thermal modeling, prototyping, validation testing, thermal instrumentation, design development and mass production. He holds 5 patents and 6 patents pending and is currently publishing in scientific journals. The first-time Alfred worked with thermoelectrics, he was hooked. Alfred founded Applied Thermoelectric Solutions with the mission of having fun while advancing the state of the art of thermoelectrics design and applications.

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