November 29, 2023

How Does Thermoelectric Cooling Work?

3 min read
How Does Thermoelectric Cooling Work?

Are you looking into buying a wine cellar cooler? Perhaps the only thing stopping you from making the purchase is the maintenance costs and energy consumption it takes to power a wine cooler. However, there are two types of cooling systems for wine refrigerators: thermoelectric and compressor, each with advantages and disadvantages. However, before purchasing a compressor or thermoelectric wine cooler, you should read some user reviews on various wine cooler types on the web while weighing out the pros and cons of owning a wine cooler and whether you want a compressor or thermoelectric wine cooler and also discover answers to the common question, ‘how does a thermoelectric cooling work’. 

How Does Thermoelectric Cooling Work?

Thermoelectric cooling is the cooling system caused by current passing between two distinct conductors or semiconductors, creating heat at one junction. Next, a cooling effect is produced on the other, resulting in a temperature difference. In addition, since no liquid refrigerant is moving through the unit, thermoelectric cooling is also known as solid-state cooling. Furthermore, solid metal is employed instead to transport heat energy, useful for transferring heat from one location to another. Moreover, a Peltier heat pump is a system that makes use of this phenomenon, or the Peltier Effect.

Additionally, the Peltier effect occurs when an electric current runs across two distinct types of conductors. For example, different metals such as copper, zinc or bismuth telluride. There is a temperature change where the two conductors meet when DC voltage gets supplied and direct current flows from one to the other. For example, when electricity is transmitted from a bismuth wire to a copper wire, the junction temperature drops at the junction between the two wires. Moreover, when the whole instrument is powered up, one plate is on the cool side, and the other is on the hot side. In addition, the cold side is linked to an ice-free cooler or wine refrigerator, while the hot side is connected to a heat sink, which has metal fins on the outside to assist excess heat. 

Pros of Thermoelectric Cooling

Thermoelectric cooling performs best in compact places, especially for electrical equipment where a compressor-based cooler would be too big. These systems are also highly efficient in a small cooler and may consume less power than a compressor-based one of the same size. Thermoelectric cooling also provides extremely precise temperature control, down to 0.10 degrees in some cases. Solid state cooling systems also feature no moving components, making them significantly less prone to break than traditional compressors, which require many fans and long coils for refrigerant to travel through. Moreover, thermoelectric cooling is completely quiet. Finally, unlike a compressor, which vibrates and may be rather noisy when it starts up, the primary electric current necessary to drive a thermoelectric produces no sound unless a fan is installed to assist air circulation.

Cons of Thermoelectric Cooling

When employed in big settings, thermoelectric cooling equipment can become expensive because you will need to add more ceramic plates to cover a bigger area, necessitating a higher input voltage. The more ceramic plates you have, the more electricity you will need to run the machine, although a somewhat bigger compressor uses less energy than a smaller one. The capacity of thermoelectric cooling to cool is reliant on the ambient temperature. Unlike a compressor system, a thermoelectric device can only reduce the temperature to a particular degree below room temperature, which can sustain sub-freezing temperatures for warmer climate regions.