Thermoelectric Cold Plate Notes

Things you need to know to start sizing a cold plate:

Temperatures: The ambient temperature is the air temperature around the cold plate, often the room temperature. The desired temperature can be at the cold plate or at a location on the item being cooled. This means that the cold plate might be colder than the item being cooled. The difference between the two is the design temperature differential (delta T). Make sure to use the cold plate temperature when working with the performance curves.

Heat Loads Active and Ambient: We define an active load as any source of heat. Waste electric heat or exothermic reactions are examples. Loads can also be related to the specific heat of a sample when cycle times are important. Ambient loads are caused by the temperature differential between the ambient and the item being cooled.
An un-insulated test item will have a higher ambient load than an insulated one.

Performance Curves: The total load and temperature differential (delta T) can be applied to the performance curves of the cold plates to determine if the capacity is sufficient. Complete details on this process can be found on Page 12-13.

Things you should consider when selecting cold plate:

Purpose: What is the real need for cooling: maintaining electronics temperatures, precision temperature control, maintaining sample temperatures, cooling a process, temperature cycling? Answering these questions will help in selecting the correct cold plate, control types and methods.

Temperature Control: Many applications simply require cooling with no fancy temperature controls. The CP style of products often best fit these needs. When better control and more control features are needed the CPV series is often the best choice . Each application should be evaluated independently to assure safe and proper control.

Environment: In general our standard cold plates can handle factory, lab and office environments. No standard unit is made for outdoor or washdown environments. Typical locations are bench top, under bench and installed on an enclosure. Custom versions have been made for many environments.

Power Input: Cold plates requiring universal input 100-240 VAC, 120 VAC, 240 VAC, 120/240 VAC, 12VDC, 24 VDC and 12/24/48 VDC are available.

Cooling Medium: TECA has both air cooled and liquid cooled cold plates. When using the liquid cooled versions the delta T reference temperature is the liquid temperature, when using air cooled cold plates it’s the ambient air temperature. Liquid cooled cold plates require a constant flow of cooling water. This can be tap water, in house chilled water or re-circulating chillers.

Mounting: Secure thermally conductive mounting of the componenets to cold plate surface is needed. The CPV versions are bench top units and the standard cold plate comes with no provision for mounting. The cold plate is a smooth flat aluminum surface. Items can be thermally greased into place using DOW 340 heat transfer grease or similar. Many times the tackiness of the grease is enough to hold the test item in place. Side mounting clamps are used with the accessory plate and can also be used with customer plates or loads. If done with care the plate can be drilled and tapped. Refer to the owner’s manual for locations that must not be drilled or tapped. CPV units can also be order with “Tap Plates” installed. These plates have a standard tap pattern on them for customer use. Alternatively a custom tap plate can be ordered plain or with taps, slots, grooves etc per customer requirements. CP versions have a tap pattern as a standard and have provision for mounting to enclosures.

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