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TEC Elements, Resistive Heaters, Thermistors, and Thermocouples
Thorlabs offers a wide range of thermal management accessories, including thermoelectric coolers, resistive heaters, thermistors, and temperature transducers. Thermoelectric coolers are ideal for total and precise temperature regulation. These devices can both cool and heat, allowing for quick response to thermal drift or shock. For applications that require only heating or steady-state regulation slightly above room temperature, resistive heaters are a reliable and easily regulated heat source. Regardless of application, temperature monitoring is essential for any temperature regulation system. Thorlabs' thermistors and thermocouples provide precise and accurate temperature measurements.
We offer three different thermoelectric coolers (TEC3-2.5, TEC3-6, and TEC1.4-6), all of which are ideal for medium to large heat-pumping applications. These work well with both our TED200C 12 W Benchtop Laser Diode Temperature Controller and our rack-mountable temperature controllers, which are compatible with the PRO800 Chassis. When using a TEC for thermal regulation, care should be taken to electrically isolate both sides of the TEC.
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TEC Element Dimensional Drawing
Performance values of the TEC are given above as a function of TH, the temperature of the hot surface of the TEC. Imax is the maximum allowed current across the TEC element and Vmax is the maximum allowed voltage difference. These values should not be exceeded. Qmax is the maximum heat load that the TEC can handle; Tmax is the maximum temperature difference between the hot and cold surfaces of the TEC in a dry nitrogen environment.
When choosing a TEC, it is important to know the heat load of the system (how much heat must be transferred away from the device) and to match that load with a capable TEC. The TEC should be rated for a maximum heat load above that which is emitted by the system. Proper thermal contact is necessary for optimal heat transfer. Ensuring that the TEC is of proper size for the system is important as well as using thermal tape or grease to help facilitate heat transfer. It is important to note that the heat transfer efficiency is affected by the ambient environment. Large changes in background temperature or significant humidity can hamper heat flow. These factors should be taken into account when choosing an appropriate TEC.
These 1" x 3" (25.4 mm x 76.2 mm) foil heating elements are useful for many lab applications. They have an integrated thermistor for closed-loop temperature control and an acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive backing for easy installation. Both models use the same heating element and are compatible with our TC200 temperature controller. Additionally, the TLK-H includes a 6-pin hirose connector for direct connection to the TC200 with no soldering. Both heaters are flexible for use in applications such as heating lens tubes, as shown in the photo to the right. In this application, the lens tube can be isolated from the rest of the system using a Thermally Insulating Adapter.
The HT15W is a 15 W cartridge-shaped resistive heater. It is compatible with our TC200 temperature controller.