Title:
Thermoelectric Refrigerating Modules
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a thermoelectric refrigeration module, comprising a TEC refrigerating piece (8) having a top surface and a bottom surface, a radiator (16) closely contacted to the bottom surface of the TEC refrigerating piece (8), and a cold eliminator (18) including a brick body (4) having a bottom surface adhered to the top surface of the TEC refrigerating piece (8), characterized in that a thermal insulation frame structure (7) is disposed between the radiator (16) and the cold eliminator (18); the brick body of the cold eliminator and the TEC refrigerating piece are located within thermal insulation frame structure (7); the radiator and the cold eliminator are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure (7) via a connecting piece respectively; the cold eliminator has an end portion at which a plurality of cold aluminum fins are provided; a locating frame structure (1) having an inside frame, within which the end portion of the cold eliminator is located, is provided; the inside frame of the locating frame (1), the cold eliminator (18), and the thermal insulation frame structure (7) are sealed by a sealing device; and the locating frame structure provides a plurality of screw rods at sides thereof. The cold eliminator according to the present invention together with the TEC refrigeration piece is located within the thermal insulation frame structure which improves the refrigerating effect of the refrigeration piece.



Inventors:
Wen, Yaosheng (Guangdong, CN)
Application Number:
11/571355
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
12/20/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25B21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, GEORGE BINH MINH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Perkins Coie LLP - SHA General (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A thermoelectric refrigeration module, comprising a TEC refrigerating piece having a top surface and a bottom surface, a radiator closely contacted to the bottom surface of the TEC refrigerating piece, and a cold eliminator including a brick body having a bottom surface adhered to the top surface of the TEC refrigerating piece, characterized in that a thermal insulation frame structure is disposed between the radiator and the cold eliminator; the brick body of the cold eliminator and the TEC refrigerating piece are located within thermal insulation frame structure; the radiator and the cold eliminator are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure via a connecting piece respectively; the cold eliminator has an end portion at which a plurality of cold aluminum fins are provided; a locating frame structure having an inside frame, within which the end portion of the cold eliminator is located, is provided; the inside frame of the locating frame, the cold eliminator and the thermal insulation frame structure are sealed by a sealing device; and the locating frame structure provides a plurality of screw rods at sides thereof.

2. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 1, characterized in that the thermal insulation frame structure provides by injection molding a plastic guide rod having a threaded portion therein, the radiator and the cold eliminator are respectively connected to the thermal insulation frame structure by screws being screwed up to the threaded portion, and plastic spacers are provided between the screws and the radiator and the cold eliminator.

3. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 1, characterized in that the sealing device comprises a silicone rubber sealing ring and a plastic support frame providing a groove formed along the periphery thereof to receive the silicone rubber sealing ring.

4. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 3, characterized in that the radiator comprises a base at which a plurality of recesses in parallel are provided, and a plurality of radiating fins each having an end portion which is inserted into one of the plurality of recesses to fix the same to the base.

5. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 4, characterized in that the radiator further comprises an air guide plate having a U-shaped profile, and the U-shaped air guide plate houses another end portion of each of the radiating fins such that a plurality of air channels for heat radiating are formed among the U-shaped air guide plate, the base and the radiating fins.

6. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 2, characterized in that the sealing device comprises a silicone rubber sealing ring and a plastic support frame providing a groove formed along the periphery thereof to receive the silicone rubber sealing ring.

7. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 6, characterized in that the radiator comprises a base at which a plurality of recesses in parallel are provided, and a plurality of radiating fins each having an end portion which is inserted into one of the plurality of recesses to fix the same to the base.

8. The thermoelectric refrigeration module according to claim 7, characterized in that the radiator further comprises an air guide plate having a U-shaped profile, and the U-shaped air guide plate houses another end portion of each of the radiating fins such that a plurality of air channels for heat radiating are formed among the U-shaped air guide plate, the base and the radiating fins.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a thermoelectric refrigeration module for a refrigeration apparatus and belongs to the technical field of refrigeration.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Thermoelectric refrigeration technology is also referred to as semiconductor refrigeration technology or temperature difference electric refrigeration technology. Thermoelectric refrigeration achieves a refrigeration effect by means of a thermoelectric effect of special semiconductor materials. A core for this technique is utilizing a thermoelectric chip (TEC). A conventional TEC has a width of 40 mm, a length of 40 mm and a thickness of 5 mm. After a thermoelectric refrigeration chip is electrified, one side surface of the refrigeration chip will absorb heat and the other side surface thereof will emit heat. A thermoelectric refrigeration module is obtained by mounting a plurality of heat-emitting fins to the two sides of a TEC.

Usually TEC fails to operate efficiently and reasonably due to an improper assembly and arrangement in an object. TEC shall be assembled by a person with high professional knowledge. Since the heat and cold side surfaces of the TEC are made from ceramic, while it is equipped to an object, it needs the strict requirements for a pressure to apply to, flatness and smoothness of contact surfaces of the object, selection of heat dissipation coefficients of the heat and cold side surfaces and thermal insulation of the object. If one of the requirements is not met, the total refrigeration effect will be reduced.

Most of the existing refrigeration modules mainly consist of a thermoelectric refrigeration chip, a heat dissipation aluminum body, an aluminum brick and a cold dissipation aluminum body. The heat dissipation aluminum body is mounted to the heat side surface of the TEC, and the aluminum brick and the cold dissipation aluminum body are mounted in turn to the cold side surface of the TEC. Refrigeration performance of a refrigeration structure is subject to the insulation effect between the heat and cold side surfaces in addition to a thermoelectric performance of the TEC itself and a heat dissipation effect of the heat side surface. Since a distance between the heat and cold side surfaces of the TEC is only 4-5 mm while a temperature difference between the heat and cold side surfaces of the TEC can reach up to 40-50° C., a thermal short will occur between the heat and cold side surfaces where the insulation performance between the heat and cold side surfaces is poor. Therefore, an insulation structure shall be provided for a TEC refrigeration module to improve the refrigeration performance.

As shown in FIG. 1, most of the existing thermoelectric refrigeration insulation structures comprise a thermal insulation foaming layer structure. The thermal insulation foaming layer structure comprises a heat side plastic housing a21, a cold side plastic housing a22 and a thermal insulation foaming layer a23. A refrigeration structure (chip) is mounted within a mounting hole of the thermal insulation foaming layer structure. However, this structure has the following shortcomings.

Firstly, the plastic housings themselves can conduct heat. When the cold side plastic housing a22 is connected to the heat side plastic housing a21, because the contact area between the heat and cold side surfaces can reach up to 100 cm2 but the distance between the heat and cold side surfaces is normally only about 4-5 cm, and also because the thermal conductive coefficient of some plastic is 0.2, the insulation performance will be affected. Further, since the refrigeration structure is arranged within the mounting hole providing gaps in which air can fill to conduct heat.

Secondly, since the heat dissipation aluminum body a11 and the cold dissipation aluminum body a12 are directly fastened to the aluminum brick a14 by fastening screws a13 and the fastening screws a13 are separated from the heat dissipation aluminum body a11 and the cold dissipation aluminum body a12 only by spacers a16, the fastening screws a13 become thermal conductive media which counterbalance the thermal potential difference between the heat side and the cold side surfaces of the TEC a1.

In addition, since an interface between the cold dissipation aluminum body a12 and the cold side plastic housing a22 is only sealed by sponge a15, when the TEC module works, condensed water will permeate into the sponge a15 and come into gaps of the cold dissipation aluminum body a12, resulting in heat-transferring between the heat and cold side surfaces by means of the condensed water, which indirectly counterbalances the thermal potential difference between the cold and heat side surfaces reducing the refrigeration effect.

The shortcomings of the insulation structure of the existing TEC module in the art mentioned above significantly affect the refrigeration effect thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A technical problem to be solved in the present invention, i.e. an object of the present invention, is to provide a thermoelectric refrigeration module improving the refrigeration effect.

In order to solve the technical problem of the present invention, a thermoelectric refrigeration module is provided, which comprises a TEC refrigerating piece; a radiator; a cold eliminator; and the TEC refrigerating piece having a top surface adhered to a bottom surface of a brick body of the cold eliminator, and a bottom surface closely contacting the radiator, wherein between the radiator and the cold eliminator is provided a thermal insulation frame structure, within which the brick body of the cold eliminator together with the TEC refrigerating piece is positioned, both the radiator and the cold eliminator are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure via a connecting piece respectively, the cold eliminator provides an end portion at which a plurality of cold aluminum fins are provided, the end portion is located within an inside frame of a locating frame structure, the inside frame is respectively sealed by a sealing device to the cold eliminator and the thermal insulation frame structure, and a plurality of screw rods are provided at the locating frame structure along sides thereof.

Embodiments according to the present invention can be provided as follows.

The thermal insulation frame structure provides by injection molding a plastic guide rod having a threaded portion, to which the radiator and the cold eliminator are connected by screws, and a plastic spacer is provided between the screws and the radiator and the cold eliminator.

The sealing device comprises a silicone rubber sealing ring and a plastic support frame providing a groove formed along the periphery thereof to receive the silicone rubber sealing ring.

The radiator comprises a base at which a plurality of recesses in parallel are provided, and a plurality of radiating fins, each, with an end portion, being inserted into one of the recesses, thereby fixing the end portion to the base.

The radiator further comprises an air guide plate having a U-shaped profile, which houses another end portion of the plurality of radiating fins so that a plurality of heat radiating channels are formed among the air guide plate, the base and the plurality of radiating fins.

The present invention has the following prominent technical effects:

1. Since the brick body of the cold eliminator according to the present invention together with the TEC refrigerating piece is located in the thermal insulation frame structure, this causes that the thermal conduction between the heat or cold side surface of the TEC refrigerating piece and the outside can be carried out only via the brick body of the cold eliminator and the radiator. Further, the thermal insulation frame structure has such a height that a thermal short between the heat and cold side surfaces of the TEC refrigerating piece can be avoided in a relative long distance so that the refrigerating effect of the TEC refrigerating piece is improved.

2. The radiator and the cold eliminator according to the present invention are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure via a connecting piece respectively and the thermal insulation frame structure has the thermal insulation function. As a result, direct or indirect thermal conduction occurring between the cold eliminator and connecting pieces connected thereto or between the radiator and connecting pieces connected thereto in the prior art can be eliminated and the refrigerating efficiency of the TEC refrigerating piece can be increased, which helps improve the refrigerating effect of the TEC refrigeration module.

3. Since the inside frame of the locating frame structure, the cold eliminator, and the thermal insulation frame structure are sealed by a sealing device which can prevent permeation of condensed water, the thermal conduction between the radiator and the cold eliminator through condensed water can be prevented, which helps improve the refrigerating effect of the TEC refrigeration module.

4. Since a plurality of recesses in parallel are provided at the base of the radiator and a plurality of radiating fins are inserted into the recesses with one end portion to fix the same to the base, such a structure makes the fins greatly thinned so that more radiating fins can be mounted to the base to increase the area of thermal radiation. Consequently, heat radiation efficiency of the radiator can be improved.

5. The TEC module according to the present invention can be applied to various products flexibly and be assembled easily thereto. Where the module according to the present invention is applied to a product, the product only needs to be pre-provided with corresponding mounting holes to fix the locating frame structure of the invention. Further, the requirements for mounting the module of the invention to a product are not strict so that the product can be volume-produced in pipelining.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of the structure of a refrigeration module in the prior art;

FIG. 2 is a section diagram of the structure of one embodiment according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged diagram of the structure of a sealing device in the embodiment as shown in FIG. 2 according to the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded diagram of an embodiment according to the present invention.

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will be described in detail in connection with the following preferred embodiments with reference to the companying drawings.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 show an embodiment according to the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, a refrigeration module of the embodiment comprises a TEC refrigeration piece 8 having a top surface and a bottom surface, a radiator 16 and a cold eliminator 18 including a brick body 4 with a bottom surface. The top surface of the TEC refrigeration piece 8 is adhered to the bottom surface of the brick body 4, and the bottom surface of the TEC refrigeration piece 8 is closely contacted to the cold eliminator 18. The radiator 16 comprises a base 10, a plurality of radiating fins 15 each having an end portion and a top portion, and an air guide plate 13 with a U-shaped profile. The base 10 provides a plurality of recesses 19 in parallel. The end portions of the plurality of radiating fins 15 are inserted into the respective recesses so that the end portions are fixed to the base 10. The top portions of the radiating fins 15 are housed within the U-shaped air guide plate 13 so that a plurality of air channels for heat radiating are formed among the U-shaped air guide plate 13, the base 10 and the radiating fins 15. A fan for radiating heat may be mounted to one end of the plurality of air channels for heat radiating.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, a thermal insulation frame structure 7 is disposed between the radiator 16 and the cold eliminator 18. The brick body 4 of the cold eliminator 18 together with the TEC refrigeration piece 8 is located within the thermal insulation frame structure 7. The radiator 16 and the cold eliminator 8 are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure 7 via connecting pieces respectively. The thermal insulation frame structure 7 provides by injection molding plastic guide rods 9 having threaded portions 14. The radiator 16 and the cold eliminator 18 are connected to the thermal insulation frame structure 7 respectively by fastening screws 2, 12 that are screwed up to the threaded portions 14. Plastic spacers 3 are provided between the screws and the radiator 16 or the cold eliminator 18, and plastic spacers 11 are provided between the screws 12 and the cold eliminator 18.

A locating frame structure 1 can be provided in the invention, which includes an inside frame. An end portion of the cold eliminator 18 to which cold aluminum fins are provided is located within the inside frame of the locating frame 1. The inside frame of the locating frame structure, the cold eliminator, and the thermal insulation frame are sealed by a sealing device. The sealing device comprises a silicone rubber sealing ring 6, and a plastic support frame 5 providing a groove formed along the periphery thereof to receive the silicone rubber sealing ring 6. The inside frame of the locating frame is pressed onto the sealing ring 6. A plurality of screw rods 17 can be provided at sides of the locating frame 1 to fix the module of the present invention to an object.

When a refrigeration module in the prior art is applied to a product with a volume of 30 L, a temperature difference between the inside and outside is generally lower than 20° C., whereas a temperature difference can reach 32° C. where the module described above according to the invention is applied to a product having a volume of 30 L.