Thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is a semiconductor device which is characterized by unique heat pump performance with high efficiency, compactness and durability. The unique ability of TECs to heat and cool, permits them to lower temperature of an object below ambient as well as to stabilize temperature of objects in widely varying ambient conditions.
Here we mention some application tips that can help in optimal use of TECs.
The TEC is soldered by a soft solder to a heat-conducting header, and a cooled object is soldered by a similar way on the cold side of the TE module. The thermal contact and mechanical durability is provided by the used solder.
The method provide good mechanical durability, good thermal contact between the surfaces. It is suitable for vacuum applications as it does not cause outgassing. No need for additional space as in case of mechanical mounting. Partial disassembling is possible.
It is the main mounting method for single- and multistage micromodules. For large modules it is limited because a risk of mechanical strain owing to a difference of thermal expansions of contacting surfaces.
Is not applicable for large size TECs (more than 15-20 mm). Professional personnel is required for the mounting method. There is a risk to damage TECs during procedures. TEC must have metallized surfaces suitable for soldering.
Note: The selected solder must have a melting point lower than or equal to the rated maximum processing temperature of the TE device being installed. When tinning the heat sink with solder, the heat sink's temperature should be just high enough so that the solder will melt but in no case should the temperature be raised more than the maximum value specified for the TEC.
Note: A tendency for the module to drag on the solder surface rather than to float is an indication that the amount of solder is insufficient. In the case, remove the module and add more solder to the heat sink.