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Method for a thermoelectric cooler with integrated heat fins

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006375D
Publication Date: 2001-Dec-28
Document File: 5 page(s) / 1K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a thermoelectric (TE) cooler with integrated heat fins. Benefits include improved thermal performance and improved reliability.

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Method for a thermoelectric cooler with integrated heat fins

Disclosed is a method for a thermoelectric (TE) cooler with integrated heat fins. Benefits include improved thermal performance and improved reliability.

Background

              Electronic devices require cooling solutions to maintain electronic device operation at specified temperatures. The operation temperature is conventionally restricted by the surrounding ambient temperature using the traditional cooling solution such as heat fins/heatsinks.

              The thermoelectric cooler (TEC), shown in Figures 1 and 2, can provide cooling solution that cannot be achieved by conventional heatsink technology. The TEC provides a temperature difference between the hot and the cold sides for more effective cooling to be achieved by attaching the cold side to the object being cooled, as shown in Figures 3 and 4.

General description

              The disclosed method combines the TEC technology and the heatsink cooling technology into one cooling solution. The key element of the method is the thermoelectric device with heat fins directly attached to it.

Advantages

              The conventional state‐of‐art thermoelectric cooler design does not include the heat fins or heatsink. A separate heatsink requires attachment to the thermoelectric cooler with thermal interface materials in‐between these components. The disclosed method could eliminate the thermal interface material, ceramic substrate, and the metal interconnect such that the overall thermal resistance can be significantly reduced. In addition, the new invention enables the airflow to cool the hot TE element directly such that the overall coefficient of performance (COP) improves.

Detailed description

              The disclosed method eliminates the metal interconnect and the ceramic substrate. The method attaches heat fins directly to the TE elements so that the heat fins serves as a metal interconnect, as shown in Figure 5. To keep the cold side of the thermoelectric device cold, an insulation material may be required, as shown in Figure 6. This insulation only covers the cold portion of the TE element while the hot portion of the TE element is exposed to the cooling airflow.

              A practical TEC consists of two or more elements of semiconductor material that are connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. These elements and their electrical interconnects are typically mounted between t...