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Enhanced thermoelectric refrigeration system COP through low thermal impedance liquid heat transfer system

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1 Author(s)
Attey, G.S. ; Hydrocool Pty. Ltd., Fremantle, WA, Australia

The heat transfer performance of conventional solid heat sinks in conjunction with thermoelectric modules is well known but little work has been carried out on liquid heat transfer systems as an alternative. A light weight, low cost, highly efficient liquid heat transfer system has been developed which operates on each side of standard TE modules. The system's basic properties and characteristics are described when arranged as a complete thermoelectric refrigeration system. To compare the liquid system to conventional TE systems, its advantages are addressed in terms of thermal shorting, thermal impedance, thermal stress and module design. To compare the performance of the system to compressor based refrigeration systems, COP and cooldown rates of example compressor refrigerators of 40 litres, 74 litres and 270 litres are provided. Comparative performance of liquid heat transfer thermoelectric refrigeration systems are then described when installed in the same refrigerator cabinets. Given the relatively good performance of the TE module alone, it is fair to conclude that the heat transfer system is a significant source of the thermoelectric problem when it comes to efficiency and consequently, market application and volume. This conclusion is further supported by the typical thermoelectric module performance curve of electrical input. In each case, the COP and cooldown rate of the liquid heat transfer systems is equal to or better than the compressor systems that they replaced

Published in:

Thermoelectrics, 1998. Proceedings ICT 98. XVII International Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-28 May 1998