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Peltier effect

A Peltier cooler/heater or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other. The cooling is a demonstration of the Peltier effect, named after Jean Peltier[?] who first observed the effect in 1834.

The effect occurs when an current is passed through two dissimilar conductors (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. The conductors are attempting to return to the electron equilibrium that existed before the current was applied by absorbing energy at one connector and releasing it at the other. The individual couples can be connected in series to enhance the effect. The direction of heat transfer is controlled by the polarity of the current, reversing the polarity will change the direction of transfer.

See also seebeck effect[?], the opposite effect - applying heat to generate current.

Peltier coolers are also called TECs (Thermo Electric Converter).



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