An investigation into thermoelectric coolers
A thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is a type of cooler that uses the electricity between the junction of two materials to cause a temperature drop. These coolers operate using the Peltier effect. Effectively, a TEC uses electrical energy to pump heat from one area to another. An understanding of the science of how TECs operate as well as their design will be investigated and finally, a unique design for a TEC with a high efficiency is presented. Current TECs do not operate at high efficiency and cannot generate as much cooling as desired. This report creates a design of a high efficiency cooler that operates at a high coefficient of performance. The design will also include phase change material that will differentiate it from its competition and allow for superior cooling and efficiency. The design will also feature vacuum-sealed chambers that will provide very good insulation and allow for optimal cooling for long periods. This report presents a thermal model of a TEC that will investigate the different thermal systems acting on the cooler and provide a better understanding of the cooler at equilibrium once it reaches its coolest position. A unique heat sink is designed to optimally dissipate the heat that is removed by the TECs. The model can also examine the variables that affect the thermal system that are controllable in the design of the cooler. Given the new design, the cooler in this report was able to cool up 14 cans of soda from 25[degrees]C to 12[degrees]C in approximately 86 minutes given a constant 12 V power supply. The theoretical analysis concludes that this design is sufficient at creating a cooler with a high efficiency that can cool to the desired low temperature.
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