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Thermoelectric Device

The thermoelectric device operates by exploiting the Peltier effect, which states that when a direct current is applied to an electric circuit made of two dissimilar materials, then one junction of the circuit becomes cold, the other hot.

The thermoelectric device consists of a number of p- and n-type couples connected electrically in series and sandwiched between two ceramic plates.  When it is connected to a DC power supply, the applied voltage causes heat to move from one ceramic plate to the other.  The process creates a hot side and a cold side. 

A 93-watt thermoelectric device is sandwiched between a cold block on the cold side and a water block on the hot side as illustrated in Figure 6.  The cold block’s function is to provide high thermal conductivity to the processor and provide mechanical support.  The water block’s function is to remove heat from the hot side of the thermoelectric device.


  Thermoelectric Device Between Cold Block (Lower)
 and Water Block (Upper)

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University of Victoria    Faculty of Engineering    Dept. of Electrical Engineering
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Last updated: April 6, 2001.