The increasing need for smaller and more portable electrically powered equipment has produced a need for low maintenance, smaller and more portable cooling. To satisfy this need, manufacturers now use solid state thermoelectric devices in computers, portable refrigerators and cool boxes.
The Thermoelectric Device Demonstrator shows how one of these devices works and tests its performance when connected in a choice of two modes:
Students then learn to analyse its performance in both modes, analysing several factors including coefficient of performance and energy balance. For the See beck tests, the equipment uses an external cold water source and variable power electric heater to create a temperature difference across the device. The device then converts this into an electrical potential difference. A switch allows tests with and without an electrical load. The load allows generated power to flow and be measured for a range of applied temperature gradients.