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Z-Meters - solutions for express TEC quality control

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The most usual way is to check TEC AC Resistance (ACR) and to compare with initial ACR value specified by TEC manufacturer. This method is quick and easy, and usually enough to understand if TEC is damaged or not. But it gives only a partial info about TEC condition. Z-Meters give more info about TEC actual quality and performance level by direct measuring three TEC key parameters: ACR, Figure-of-Merit (Z) and Time Constant. The combination of these three parameters gives a detailed info about TEC quality, performance level and operating conditions. It can be used for detailed TEC quality control (income and outcome), TEC R&D analysis, developments and analysis of TEC integrating/mounting processes and even a comparison of same TEC solution provided by different vendors.

(1) DX4095 Peltier Z-Meter™ Mini is a pocket size device as small as typical USB flash drive. It has the same measuring functionality as standard Peltier Z-Meter and focused mainly on single thermoelectric coolers testing, R&D, trial batch check and laboratory usage. Z-Meter Mini uses external clips only.


FOR SEPARATE (NOT MOUNTED) THERMOELECTRIC COOLER

#

Reasons of Defect

AC Resistance ACR

Figure-of-Merit Z

Time Constant τ 

Comment

1

Metal junctions detachment

~ const

~ const

 


2

Confused p-n pellets polarity

~ const

 

 τ ~ const @ low current

3

Thermal Contact between Pellet Side Wall and Solder Meniscus

~ const

 

 


4

Thermal and Electric Contact of Pellet Wall and Solder Meniscus

 

~ const

 


5

 TEC Pellets Short Circuit

 

 

 


6

Two-stage TEC: confused stage polarity

~ const

~ const

 τ twice lower to nominal value 

7

TE material Degradation

 

 

~ const



FOR MOUNTED (INTEGRATED) THERMOELECTRIC COOLER

#

Reasons of Defect

AC Resistance ACR

Figure-of-Merit Z

Time Constant τ 

Comment

1

Operational Degrading of a TE module

 

 

or  


2

Poor integrating of a TE Module into the Package

~ const

 

 

twice lower τ means total detachment 

3

Faulty mounting of a cooled object onto the TE module

~ const

~ const

 


4

Environment violation in a TE module construction

~ const

 

 



Peltier Z-Meters™ are the best solution for thermoelectric coolers express quality control. Z-Meters provide fast and accurate measurements to get the complete info about thermoelectric cooler. The measuring process is based on Harman Method. The following parameters are measured directly: AC Resistance (with a reference to required ambient temperature); Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit (Z) to show TEC material and assembly quality; and Time Constant. Exactly the combination of these three parameters gives the complete information about TEC materials, quality and performance level. And it can be used for performance analysis, dTmax estimations (for single-stage TECs) and the most important thing - quick detection of damaged or failed TECs during manufacturing or handling processes.

Thermoelectric coolers are the solid state devices with very long maintenance-free lifetime. Being properly installed once in a final product, thermoelectric coolers may provide more than 25 years of continuos operating in normal conditions. However mounting procedures and/or improper handling may increase the risks of TEC damages. Thus the reliable quality control for thermoelectric coolers is required , during and after mounting procedures. Peltier Z-Meters™ are the best solution for thermoelectric coolers express quality control and performance testing.


(2) DX4090 Standard Peltier Z-Meter™  is the universal device for thermoelectric coolers quality control and R&D. It has two measuring interfaces - inner clips and external clips. The device is ideal for express control of small and medium size batches, R&D projects, income, in-process and outcome TEC control.

(3) DX4190 10-position Peltier Z-Meter™  is the perfect for mass production and large TEC batch quality control. The device has 10  channels allowing simultaneous measurements of 10x TECs at once. It has internal  and external clips interfaces. Various accessories are available as well   (for lead-less TECs setup, sub-assemblies and etc).

Z-Meters (TEC Testers) - instruments for TE Coolers quality control
TE Cooler three key parameters to check and control