Peltier coolers provide thermal stability in DLP automotive headlights

September 09, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Peltier coolers provide thermal stability in DLP automotive headlights
The HiTemp ET Series of Peltier cooler modules from Laird Thermal Systems operate in elevated temperatures providing spot cooling for sensitive electronics that require temperature control below 70°C.

Digital light processing (DLP) technology is increasingly used in smart automotive headlight systems to cast sharper and brighter light in front of a vehicle. These automotive headlight systems operate in temperature environments that can reach 110°C. However, the maximum operating temperature of a DLP is only 70°C. Going beyond the temperature limits of a DLP risks non-operation or failure. Implementing a HiTemp ET Series thermoelectric cooler module protects the sensitive DLP electronics and ensures optimum performance. 

The HiTemp ET Series delivers active spot cooling It can lower the control temperature by as much as 40°C below ambient dependent on active heat load. The Peltier cooler offers reliable solid-state construction, long life operation, and a compact form factor that fits into tight space constraints commonly found in automotive headlights. In addition, Peltier coolers do not outgas, eliminating the coating build up on lens surfaces that can occur over time.

Compared to passive cooling solutions, the active HiTemp ET Series can be integrated similarly into a DLP automotive headlight system. A cold block and interface material are typically used on the cold side and comes in direct contact with the DLP. The cold block then comes in contact with the Peltier Cooler. When power is applied to the HiTemp ET Series, heat is absorbed by the Peltier Module and pumped to the hot side. A heat dissipation mechanism, which is typically a heat sink and fan, then rejects the heat into the surrounding environment.

The HiTemp ET Series is designed to operate in temperatures between 80 and 150°C. This product series is available in a large breadth of models, (53) to accommodate a wide number of applications with various heat-pumping requirements, geometric form factors, and input power available to cover the wide range of DLP design requirements. 

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