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Maximizing the rate of heat removal from the hot side of thermoelectric cooling modules is necessary to obtain optimum performance for any thermoelectric cooling device. The thickness, shape, height of fins and number of fins per inch are all important variables in a finned heat sink design. The area and thickness of the heat sink base plate relative to the area of the thermoelectric module is also important. This paper provides a means to calculate the effectiveness of these variables as they affect heat dissipation from the hot side of a thermoelectric module operated in the cooling mode. Although the focus is on cooling devices, the results of this model should be equally useful in evaluating power-generating devices.
Date of Conference: 26-29 March 1996