Thermoelectric module cools industrial lasers

12th May 2016
Posted By : Jordan Mulcare

Laird has developed a high heat flux density thermoelectric module (TEM) designed to achieve a higher heat pumping capacity than standard TEMs. Assembled with a large number of semiconductor couples, the UltraTEC Series TEM has a heat pumping capacity up to 340W, which is suitable for larger cooling applications with limited surface area such as industrial lasers.

Industrial lasers come in many varieties. For example, fiber lasers have better cooling characteristics over other media due to their specific arrangement, which enables them to spread the heat over a larger surface area. Ion lasers are characterized by generation of extreme heat during lasing and need elaborate cooling measures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers emit energy in the far-infrared and microwave region of the spectrum. Infrared radiation is heat.

These powerful lasers are used for cutting hard materials like steel, as the laser essentially melts through whatever it is focused on. There are many applications of industrial lasers. Whether used for cutting, welding, micro-machining, additive manufacturing, or drilling, industrial lasers generate a significant amount of heat. Efficiently cooling lasers can be a significant challenge. To ensure proper, long-term performance of the laser, heat needs to be quickly and effectively dissipated.

Depending on system size and configuration, waste heat may be transferred by a coolant or directly to air. Water is a commonly used coolant, usually circulated through a chiller or heat transfer system. However these systems can be complex, expensive and noisy. The UltraTEC Series TEM not only offers high heat pump density, but precise temperature control to within ± 0.01°C under steady state condition. Providing reliable solid state operation, the TEM cooling solutions does not produce noise or vibration and is available in multiple configurations.

“Requirements for any laser system are accuracy and repeatability. Without balanced, controlled cooling, the laser system cannot be held stable.The UltraTEC TEM delivers a more reliable cooling solution under continued use and when cycling at high powers," said Anders Kottenauer, Senior Vice President of Laird's Engineered Thermal Systems unit. Assembled with Bismuth Telluride semiconductor material and thermally conductive Aluminum Oxide ceramics, the UltraTEC Series is designed for higher current and larger heat-pumping applications. With a Q Max at temperature rating of 340.6W at 25°C and heat pumping capacity up to 340W and an operating temperature up to 80°C, the UltraTEC ensures the laser system will not overheat. For all UltraTEC Series modules, wire is stranded, 152mm long or 200 mm and PVC insulated.

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