Thermoelectric coolers (TECs), also known as Peltier, are solid-state heat pumps that utilize the Peltier effect to move heat. The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. A thermoelectric device creates voltage when there is a different temperature on each side. Conversely, when a voltage is applied to it, it creates a temperature difference.
Passing a current though a TEC transfers heat from one side to the other, typically producing a heat differential of around 40°C—or as much as 70°C in high-end devices—that can be used to transfer heat from one place to another.
Benefits of Thermoelectric coolers (Peltier)
While refrigerators and air conditioners utilize compressors, condensers, and liquid refrigerants to lower temperature; solid-state cooling utilizes DC power, heat sinks, and semiconductors. This fundamental difference gives solid-state thermoelectric coolers the following advantages over compressors: