Miniature thermoelectric cooler (TEC) has been considered as a promising device to achieve effective cooling in microprocessors and other small-scale equipments. To understand the performances of miniature thermoelectric coolers, three different thermoelectric cooling modules are analyzed through a three-dimensional numerical simulation. Particular attention is paid to the influence of scaling effect and Thomson effect on the cooling performance. Two different temperature differences of 0 and 10. K between the top and the bottom copper interconnectors are taken into account. In addition, three different modules of TEC, consisting of 8, 20 and 40 pairs of TEC, are investigated where a single TEC length decreases from 500 to 100 μm with the condition of fixed ratio of cross-sectional area to length. It is observed that when the number of pairs of TEC in a module is increased from 8 to 40, the cooling power of the module grows drastically, revealing that the miniature TEC is a desirable route to achieve thermoelectric cooling with high performance. The obtained results also suggest that the cooling power of a thermoelectric cooling module with Thomson effect can be improved by a factor of 5-7%, and the higher the number of pairs of TEC, the better the improvement of the Thomson effect on the cooling power.
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