Peltier coolers keep machine vision systems cool

High-end machine vision imaging systems – for object detection, recognition and collision avoidance systems for next-generation autonomous vehicles, drones and robotics – require active cooling to optimise image resolution, which has prompted Laird Thermal Systems to introduce the HiTemp ET series Peltier thermoelectric module.

Using temperature-sensitive imaging sensors and cameras, machine vision systems require active cooling to deliver optimal image resolution independent of the operating environment. The HiTemp ET Series Peltier thermoelectric module is designed to keep sensors cool and operating at peak performance in machine vision applications.

Sensors in machine vision applications convert photons to electrons for digital processing. Thermal noise can negatively affect image resolution as the temperature of the sensor assembly increases, for example where heat generated by surrounding electronics or in the environment exceeds the maximum operating temperature of the sensor. To prevent image quality from deteriorating, solid-state thermoelectric coolers can reduce the sensor’s temperature to meet proper design specifications, to maintain acceptable noise levels.

Thermoelectric cooler modules use the Peltier effect to create a temperature differential to transfer heat from one side of the device to the other. A standard single-stage Peltier cooler can achieve temperature differentials of up to 70 degrees C, while a multi-stage Peltier module can achieve much higher temperature differentials. Thermoelectric modules are integrated directly into the sensor assembly and typically require a heat sink or other heat exchanger to dissipate heat into the surrounding environment.

Supporting applications which operate in temperatures ranging from 80 to 150 degrees C, the single-stage HiTemp ET series offers a cooling capacity of more than 300W in a compact form factor. There are over 50 models available, designed to meet a range of emerging applications. The HiTemp ET series has a variety of heat pumping capacities, form factors and input voltages. In high temperature environments, enhanced module construction prevents copper diffusion and degradation in performance, which can occur in standard grade thermoelectric modules.

Laird Thermal Systems provides design, prototyping, testing and global manufacturing services to help integrate thermoelectric cooling into machine vision applications.

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