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Peltier coolers/heaters

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  • Nicolae Sfetcu
    Peltier coolers/heaters (From Chris Webster) A typical peltier device consists of a number of series-connected N- and P-type semiconductors sandwiched between
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 28, 2001
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      Peltier coolers/heaters

      (From Chris Webster)

      A typical peltier device consists of a number of series-connected N- and P-type semiconductors sandwiched between two ceramic plates, such that the flow of majority carriers (electrons or holes) in each semiconductor occurs in a single direction, as shown below:

                                  (hot side)
                          ==============================  <-- ceramic
       /|\                   __________    __________
        | majority          |   |  |   |  |   |  |   |
        | carrier           | N |  | P |  | N |  | P |
        | flow    (-)  _____|___|  |___|__|___|  |___|_____  (+)
      
                          ===============================  <-- ceramic
                                  (cold side)
      

      The device works by depleting the cold side of thermally-generated carriers and moving them to the hot side; in essence, the device is a heat pump. When a fixed potential is placed across the device's terminals, a fixed temperature difference will be maintained between the hot and cold sides. If the hot side has a sufficiently "beefy" heat sink, this temperature difference can be several tens of degrees C.

      The process is reversible -- placing a temperature difference across the device will cause a voltage to develop across its terminals.

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