How Does a Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Work?

How Does a Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Work?

When you work with laser technology, you need various other pieces of equipment to ensure your laser functions properly. A thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is one of the items you’ll need since it helps prevent heat from building up, which could impact the lifespan of your laser. How does a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) work? Find out in the fascinating information below.

What Is a Thermoelectric Cooler?

A thermoelectric cooler works in tandem with the temperature controller used for lasers to prevent them from overheating. This is vital as too much heat could damage a laser or cause it to fail altogether. In other words, your TEC will transfer heat from one end of the device to the other to keep temperatures at an appropriate level.

These operate from DC power to keep laser technology at a consistent temperature; when it flows through the system, it will pump heat to another end and then to your mount’s heat sink. Think of this like a vertical stack with your laser on the top and your fan—or temperature control—at the base.

How Does It Work?

So how does a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) work? This piece of technology works by using active cooling to transfer the heat away from one side of the system to the other to keep temperatures consistent.

A thermoelectric cooler utilizes the Peltier effect, which creates that essential temperature difference to stop a laser from overheating. Once temperatures are level, the cooler transfers the heat into the heat sink, which does an excellent job of conducting heat. From here, it can release that heat and prevent damage. You’ll ensure the system works correctly by understanding how to set up your temperature control and mount.

Why You Need a Temperature Controller

Your temperature controller gives the thermoelectric cooler the power to cool down. Think of your TEC as a car and the driver as the temperature controller. The driver controls the car, telling it where to go and adjusting the speed accordingly; if you need to go uphill, then you’ll need to hit the accelerator. In a laser, your temperature controller will sense spikes in heat as you use more. It communicates these shifts to the TEC so it can fluctuate the heat from one end to the other. So, while your TEC does all the work in cooling the laser, the temperature controller gives it the necessary guidance.

Buying a Thermoelectric Cooler

When you buy a laser diode thermoelectric cooler, you’ll likely extend the life of your laser by easily preventing this detrimental heat damage. For this reason, it’s essential you buy your cooler from a reputable company.

Arroyo Instruments has over 30 years of experience, and our temperature controllers are stable and are available in a variety of models for Peltier cooler applications. Purchase the best equipment and establish the appropriate system to get the most use out of your laser system.