1 A thermoelectric cooler (TEC), sometimes called a thermoelectric module or Peltier, is a semiconductor-based electronic component that functions as a small solid-state heat pump. By applying a low voltage DC power source to a TEC, heat will be moved through the cooler from one side to the other. One cooler face, therefore, will be cooled while the opposite face simultaneously is heated. Consequently, a thermoelectric cooler may be used for both heating and cooling by reversing the polarity (changing the direction of the applied current).
2 Peltier effect, first observed in 1834 by Jean Peltier, the cooling of one junction is known as the Peltier effect and occurs when a current is passed through two dissimilar semiconductors (n-type and p-type) that are connected to each other at two junctions (Peltier junctions). The current drives a transfer of heat from one junction to the other.
3 N-type material, is a kind of semiconductor material that is doped so as to have an excess of electrons. A semiconductor with extra electrons is called N-type material, since it has extra negatively charged particles. In N-type material, free electrons move from a negatively charged area to a positively charged area.
4 P-type material, is a kind of semiconductor material that is doped so as to have a deficiency of electrons. A semiconductor with extra holes is called P-type material, since it effectively has extra positively charged particles. Electrons can jump from hole to hole, moving from a negatively charged area to a positively charged area. As a result, the holes themselves appear to move from a positively charged area to a negatively charged area.
5 Current carriers: Metals conduct electricity via delocalised electrons within the metal lattice - in a metal, the atoms lose valence electrons to form a lattice of positively-charged cations. The valence electrons are then delocalised throughout the lattice, and are free to move between the cations - these electrons are the current carriers.
6 Thermoelectric material, an alloy of materials that produce thermoelectric properties, was composed by N-type material and P-type material.
7 A heat pipe is a simple device that can quickly transfer heat from one point to another. They are often referred to as the "superconductors" of heat as they possess an extra ordinary heat transfer capacity & rate with almost no heat loss. It consists of a sealed aluminum or copper container whose inner surfaces have a capillary wicking material. Inside the container is a liquid under its own pressure, that enters the pores of the capillary material, wetting all internal surfaces. Applying heat at any point along the surface of the heat pipe causes the liquid at that point to boil and enter a vapor state. When that happens, the liquid picks up the latent heat of vaporization. The wick provides the capillary driving force to return the condensate to the evaporator. The quality and type of wick usually determines the performance of the heat pipe, for this is the heart of the product. Different types of wicks are used depending on the application for which the heat pipe is being used.