Smart & cool: cooling with thermoelectric modules

Thermoelectric temperature regulation

Thermoelectric modules are used as heat pumps for precise cooling or temperature control. The Peltier elements employed regulate the temperature of sensitive electronic components very precisely (e.g. lasers, LEDs or CPUs). In medical technology or biotechnology, too, exact temperature control is employed to replicate DNA segments (e.g. for virus detection). Short response times and high temperature stability are characteristic features of the technology. Maintenance-free Peltier elements also operate silently and without vibrations.

In the consumer goods segment, thermoelectric heat pumps can traditionally be found in niche products such as coolers for camping or wine. Another very recent application for Peltier elements is for use in temperature control (cooling and heating) in automobile seats. A smart, person-specific interior air conditioning system making use of Peltier elements will in future be able to bring fuel savings for motor vehicles.

Fraunhofer IPM has many years of experience in the simulation-assisted design of both components and complete systems and also provides support for the integration of this technology into already existing systems and new developments. Furthermore, Fraunhofer IPM also develops Peltier elements in either conventional structural forms or in versions tailored to specific applications, such as thin-layer technology.