Another Day, Another “A”

Thermoelectric Cold/Hot Plate Replaces Liquid Nitrogen:

TECA’s cold/hot plates utilize thermoelectric cooling, a solid-state method of heat transfer. Also called the Peltier Effect, this technology is valued for its reliability and lack of maintenance needs. For over a decade, TECA cold/hot plates have been cited in peer-reviewed, published academic research papers. Pictured here is our youngest known researcher, a 7th grade student who designed a physics experiment for her school science fair. TECA could not pass up the opportunity to support a budding scientist and lent our Model AHP-301CPV, free of charge.

thermoelectric cold plate

Lisa, a 7th grader, used the AHP-301CPV in her science fair project, Electric Ice. Following the methods from a paper published in the journal Science, she obtained pyroelectric crystals, which develop an electric field in response to a temperature change. When the pyroelectric crystals are cooled in a controlled manner, their electric field affects the freezing point of the moisture in the air that condenses on them.

Unlike the scientists in the Science paper, Lisa did not have access to large amounts of liquid nitrogen to provide the cooling. Enter TECA Model AHP-301CPV Cold/Hot Plate. The pyroelectric crystals, housed in copper cups, were placed on the cold plate surface. Using the AHP-301CPV’s integral temperature controller and included communications software, Lisa programmed the cooling to ramp down by 2°C per minute, from room temperature to -20°C. A video camera recorded the condensation of the ambient moisture and its subsequent freezing. By comparing the time base of the video with the data captured by the AHP-301CPV’s communications software, Lisa was able to measure the freezing temperature for 3 separate configurations: within a positive electric field, a negative field, and no electric field.

Read moreAnother Day, Another “A”

Controlled Temperature Cycling in a Research Lab

Direct contact cooling 65°C below ambient:

controlled temperature cyclingA large state university in the U.S. has been using a collection of several TECA Model AHP-1200CAS Cascaded Cold/Hot Plates for years, to perform various research on the characteristics of cement paste samples.

In a cascaded system, the thermoelectric element acts as a heat sink for the element above it. Therefore, the more “stages” there are, the colder the top-most stage becomes. The research team which provided this photo successfully ran temperature profiles such as: from -20° to +24°C, and +23° down to -40°. This consistent accuracy and reliability of TECA Cold/Hot Plate products are a smart addition to any lab needing plug-and-play benchtop cooling or heating.

All Laboratory-Style TECA Cold/Hot Plates include an integral temperature controller and tecaLOG communications software. Versatile accessories are available such as cutting surfaces for grossing, barriers for lab animals, and more. The possibilities are endless. Please reach out to us for help selecting the right TECA solution for your lab. Ph 773.342.4900.

Museum Exhibit, Thermoelectric Cold Plate

Educational use for thermoelectric cooling cold plate:

A large children’s science and technology center in the Midwest, specializing in hands-on exhibits, has been using multiple TECA Cold/Hot Plates, Model AHP-1200CPV. The AHP-1200CPV supports part of an exhibit teaching children about insulation. The built-in temperature controller and attractive, ergonomic exterior are perfect for the museum’s display.

Thermoelectric Cold Plate  thermoelectric cooling thermoelectric cooling

Read moreMuseum Exhibit, Thermoelectric Cold Plate


R & D Battery Cooling:

battery cooling

In this example, the customer is using TECA’s AHP-1800CPV to keep a 60 pound lithium ion battery cool during R&D testing. This saves the customer the trouble of using a plate with pumped coolant to cool the battery, which was the original method.

The customer reports that upgrading to the TECA AHP-1800CPV “makes testing much easier”.

The AHP-1800CPV is the largest thermoelectric cold plate on the market with a plate surface area of 12.80 x 13.30 inches.  The large surface area and robust cooling power were ideal for this application.


Fiber Optics:

fiber optics

The customer makes fiber optics and related components and subsystems, they use an AHP-1200CPV cold plate for testing components.

They are using it to run temperature test on them, they set the temperature, and it goes to temperature and sits there, heating or cooling.

“It works well”.  Before they were cobbling together home brew solutions with a heater here, a circuit and a fan there but it’s nice to have a system that does it all.


High Speed Crystal Oscillators:

High Speed Crystal Oscillators

The customer makes high performance crystal oscillators and atomic clocks for satellites and laboratories and they needed something for temperature control and stabilization.

They found TECA and the AHP-301CPV, tried one and say it is “working fantastic”. Well enough to order more for production, quality and engineering tests. They use them to maintain a stable temperature of the oscillator which in turn provides a stable frequency.


Performance Testing:

performance testing performance testing


Customer needed to test low-temperature performance of inertial measuring devices.  In this application of low temperature thermoelectric cooling; the user is testing inertial measurement devices over a temperature range.

The devices as well as the TECA cascaded cooling assembly are subjected to various rotational and acceleration stimuli while device temperature is controlled.  The custom thermoelectric cold plate cascaded (Peltier cascade) was built up from a standard Model AHP-301CP cold plate.

The finished test fixture was able to function with a maximum rotation rate of 1700° per second and 50 g acceleration.  The rotation is evident in the photo. By using a standard product as the basis for the cooling system, higher costs associated with a custom solution were avoided.


Pharmaceutical Laboratory:

Keeping drugs cool on the bench

pharmaceutical laboratory

A private biopharmaceutical company formulates drugs that are sensitive to temperature. TECA Model AHP-1200 CPV is their perfect benchtop cooling solution. The customer uses the AHP-1200 CPV Cold Plate in combination with the customer’s own aluminum blocks to keep solutions at 0C during filtration and vial filling operations.

The customer reports, “We have been very satisfied”. This customer provided photo is a wonderful example of the versatility of TECA’s line of Laboratory Cold/Hot Plates. The plate surfaces are appropriately sized to accept microtiter plates and other lab accessories. The temperature can be read from either the plate surface or anywhere a remote sensor can be placed, via the Remote Sensibility™ feature.


Laboratory Application:

laboratory application laboratory application


In March our customer said: “We are most likely going to soon order 1 of the AHP-301CPV.”

First though, can you please provide a quote on the manufacture of a top plate? We would like to fit:

  • 2 x 500 mL Schott bottles (the one I measured was 86mm diameter)
  • 2 x 250 mL Schott bottles (the one I measured was 68mm diameter)
  • 2 x 50 mL Schott bottles (the one I measured was 46mm diameter)

I’d guess that Schott do not make their bottles to too tight specifications, so we would need to allow some room for tolerances. What do you think? These could be arranged in any way that fit best and that minimized any top plate overhang over the cold plate beneath. We can foresee out-growing the 50 mL bottles, so ideally would like the ‘walls’ surrounding the 50 mL wells to be thick enough to later be drilled out so that the wells can accommodate 100 mL Schott bottles (the one I measured was 56mm diameter). The height of the top plate (i.e. depth of the wells) only need be about 70 mm. For the current application, we only need to chill to about 5 deg °C. Does the range we are interested in affect anything?

In May we shipped the custom “Beaker Block: and AHP-301CPV.


Electronic Test Station:

electronic test station

An aerospace contractor was interested in a large cold plate for the testing of electronic components.  We first offered them the AHP-1200CPV but they responded that the AHP-1200DCP was more the size they wanted.  Could we change it to a single plate?  Well, we couldn’t change the plate size but we could add an accessory plate which was larger.  And we could build the unit with one controller including all of the standard options.

Now they are using the 12” x 18” custom accessory plate and a special AHP-1200DCP to test electronic amplifiers by ramping the temperature up and down between +10 °C to +70 °C.  A custom solution at very nearly standard product price to fill a not so unusual need.

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