Here is the abstract you requested from the Thermal_2012 technical program page. This is the original abstract submitted by the author. Any changes to the technical content of the final manuscript published by IMAPS or the presentation that is given during the event is done by the author, not IMAPS.
|Improved efficiency of TCPCB-based thermoelectric coolers when cooling concentrated heat loads|
|Keywords: thermoelectric, optoelectronic, efficiency|
|Non-uniform heat loads on the controlled side of a thermoelectric cooler have been demonstrated to reduce the efficiency of the system in maintaining the heat load at a desired temperature. Non-uniform heat loads occur when the heat is generated in a component that is smaller than the TEC, or when heat generation within a large component is inhomogeneous. The efficiency of a model system with non-uniform heat loads was shown to be improved when a thermoelectric cooler based on thermally conductive printed circuit boards (TCPCBs) was used instead of a traditional thermoelectric cooler based on aluminum oxide printed circuit boards. TCPCBs are laminates consisting of a metal backing plate (here, 0.64mm thick copper), a layer of thermally conductive filled polymer for electrical isolation, and a copper foil that can be etched into circuit patterns using standard PCB processes. TCPCBs are a well established technology but their application to thermoelectrics is new. Testing was conducted on TECs with Al2O3 circuit boards and TCPCBs but identical internal circuits. They pumped a fixed amount of heat generated in a load 25% the width of the TEC, while measuring the power required to achieve a fixed temperature at the heat load. The efficiency (heat pumped divided by TEC drive power) was improved by 83% for TCPCB-based TECs as compared to Al2O3-based TECs. Additional testing was performed with ceramic or copper plates between the heat load and the TEC to improve heat spreading. The best efficiency was observed with a copper plate between the TEC and the heat load; this improvement can be integrated into the design of a TCPCB-based TEC by choosing a backing plate of the appropriate thickness before lamination.|
|Jeff Hershberger, Staff Scientist
Laird Technologies, Inc