High-temperature thermoelectric coolers cool optical sensors in ADAS

ADAS employ a mixture of imaging sensors, cameras and lasers to enhance vehicle safety and create better driving conditions. Most of these optical devices are heat sensitive and rely on high-resolution images for proper operation. In ADAS applications, where temperatures can get as high as 85C, passive cooling of laser and CMOS sensor utilising thermal greases and heat sinks is inadequate and can lead to pre-mature system failure and dangerous scenarios on the road. The new HiTemp ETX series of thermoelectric coolers are particularly created to function in high-temperature environments encountered by ADAS and other autonomous systems applications.

Thermoelectric coolers are solid-state heat pump devices without any moving parts, fluids or gasses. Employing the Peltier Effect, thermoelectric coolers provide an efficient cooling system for a broad variety of optical sensors utilised in ADAS, collision avoidance and other autonomous system technologies. With a cooling capacity from 7W to 322W, the new thermoelectric cooler series can effectively cool components in temperatures up to 120C. While standard thermoelectric materials can reach temperature differentials up to 78C with Th=50C, the cooler creates a maximum temperature differential (?T) of 83C.

“ADAS systems cannot operate without the continuous capture of high-resolution images. In autonomous vehicle applications, for example, as many as 12 imaging sensors are operating simultaneously to create a 360-degree view around the vehicle, so failure is not an option,” said Andrew Dereka, product director at Laird Thermal Systems. “Our new HiTemp ETX thermoelectric cooler is assembled with robust thermoelectric materials that boost performance and allows it to survive in high-temperature environments where passive cooling fails.”

To satisfy a wide range of application requirements, the series includes more than 50 models with a broad variety of heat pumping capacities, sizes and voltage inputs.