Global Thermoelectric Refrigerator Market: Overview
Thermoelectric refrigerators, the cooling systems that work based on the Peltier effect—creating heat flux between the junctions of two types of materials—have a much smaller coefficient of performance as compared to the conventional compressor-style refrigerators, especially when the cooling capacity is large. Nevertheless, owing to the small size of cooling units, their silent nature, the absence of any moving parts in them or any gases or liquids, and their long life, thermoelectric refrigerators are used in a vast set of applications.
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Applications of these refrigerators span areas such as medical, military, consumer goods, telecommunications companies, and industrial. Unlike the conventional heat sinks, thermoelectric refrigerators allow lowering the temperature of the products inside the cooler below ambient temperatures while also permitting stabilizing the temperature of objects that are subject to a wide range of varying ambient conditions. Thus the use of thermoelectric refrigerators is common in applications that require the proper maintenance of a specific temperature, such as biological samples or medicines. In fact, thermoelectric assemblies are considered to be the only effective thermal management systems for a wide range of medical applications. With a thriving medical research sector, the demand for thermoelectric refrigerators has increased at a promising pace in the past few years and continues to rise at a steady pace globally.
A recent Fact.MR research report offers valuable insights on growth of the global thermoelectric refrigerator market for the period 2018 to 2027. Quantitative data and qualitative information have been provided by the report, which tracks the growth of global thermoelectric refrigerator market in the foreseeable future. The report also provides an array of objective information on the way manufacturers of thermoelectric refrigerator (TER) are developing and implementing novel strategies for capturing untapped opportunities across the global landscape.
Thermoelectric Refrigerators in Medical Science Applications
In the field of medical science, refrigerators are employed to cool specimens or samples for the purpose of preservation. These include refrigeration units to store blood products such as blood plasma, and several other pharmaceutical or medical supplies such as vaccines. Reliability and hygiene are among top considerations while procuring refrigerators for the aforementioned applications.
Problems incurred in transportation of these perishable pharmaceutical components has led to the adoption of portable refrigeration systems, where thermoelectric refrigerators have gained paramount importance. This niche concept of refrigeration enables leveraging waste electricity for efficient cooling, thereby playing a vital role in catering current fossil fuel depletion challenges.
Combination of TER with Other Systems to Attain Better COP
Developments in thermoelectric refrigeration system over the years has made technology a novel and better alternative to conventional refrigeration systems. Several research & development activities have been carried out by researchers worldwide for making enhancements in coefficient of performance (COP) of thermoelectric refrigerators. For example, researchers from the Universidad Pública de Navarra have developed a thermoelectric domestic refrigerator, with its cooling system comprising two equal thermoelectric components.
Each of these components comprise a Peltier module with its cold side connected to two-phase & capillary lift thermosyphon (TPM), and the hot side to two-phase & natural convection thermosyphon (TSV). By leveraging a computational model for simulating and designing this thermoelectric refrigerator, and carrying out experimental optimization phase of thermosyphons, the electric power consumption was reduced. Moreover, incorporation of the two-phase thermosyphons in thermoelectric refrigerator enabled enhancement of COP by 66%. Such thermoelectric refrigerators can be of high use for consumers in developing countries where cost of electricity are relatively higher.
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Development of Smart, Eco-Friendly Refrigerators for Rural Areas
Complications related to the disposal of hydro chlorofluoro carbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluoro carbons (CFCs) have led adoption of conventional energy sources in refrigeration systems, in a bid to reduce environmental degradation. With abundant availability of solar energy, thermoelectricity is being leveraged for generating power for heating and cooling applications. Recently, researchers from SB Jain Institute of Technology, Management and Research (SBJITMR) have demonstrated an innovative, eco-friendly, and smart thermoelectric refrigeration system that is solar-powered.
This Peltier-based solar-powered thermoelectric refrigerator is highly beneficial for consumers in rural areas, where electricity supply remains uncertain. This proposed thermoelectric refrigerator claims greater reliability than other portable refrigerators, and it caters to prime requirements of current world – eco-friendliness and cost-effectiveness. With the provision of temperature range control over the cooling unit, the solar-powered thermoelectric refrigerator can be employed across various applications that include
- Storage of dairy products that require greater emphasis
- Coastal areas, wherein marine edibles are transported to the marketplace
- Medical sector for storing pharmaceutical and blood products
Implication of Thermoelectric Refrigeration Technology for Future of Refrigeration
Thermoelectric refrigeration has sought use in compact fridge units having minimum temperature of 4 degree celcius. However, opportunities exist for technological advancements to pick up pace, for implementation into both supermarket as well as home refrigeration equipment. Numerous benefits asoociated with thermoelectric refrigeration will drive their proliferation in the upcoming years. Some of these benefits include
- Lesser vibration and noise pollution compared to their compressor-dependent counterparts
- Lower emission of harmful refrigerants, thereby resulting into reduced carbon footprint
- More energy-efficient, as these are devoid of pumps or coolers for squeezing refrigerants and converting them into liquid
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