Thermoelectric couples are solid-state devices capable of generating electrical power from a temperature gradient (known as the Seebeck effect) or converting electrical energy into a temperature gradient (known as the Peltier effect). Thermoelectric coolers, being solid state devices, have no moving parts which makes them inherently reliable and ideal for cooling components in a system sensitive to mechanical vibration. The ability to use TECs to heat as well as cool makes them suitable for applications requiring temperature stabilization of a device over a specified temperature range. Although these devices have been around for years, they are gaining popularity in the aerospace industry for providing temperature control within optical systems and for loop heat pipes.

Historically, modeling and sizing of thermoelectric coolers was left to the analyst to work off-line from the modeling task. The analyst would then need to create his own logic in SINDA for simulating the cooler. This presenation will demonstrate how thermoelectric coolers are now easily modeled using off-the-shelf simulation routines and 3D user interfaces. The analytical demonstration includes sizing of a cooler for a specific application based on area, temperature requirements and heat load through a series of parametric analyses. Cooler performance will also be characterized at the device and system level.

Aerospace Thermal Control Workshop
Jane Baumann