This paper documents an experiment designed to evaluate the effect of heat sink location on cooling system efficiency. Increasing cost and regulation of CFCs, as well as environmental concerns, have resulted in the widespread use of alternative cooling systems, including Thermoelectric Coolers (TECs). These small, solid state heat pumps require heat sinks to increase their effective surface area. Their physical geometry precludes the use of more efficient flow-through heat exchangers. This fact encourages designs in which the cooling process occurs in a duct, raising the question, “How does the position of the heat sinks in a cooling duct affect system efficiency?”

This experiment documents a difference in cooling efficiency between identical sets of four thermoelectrically cooled heat sinks mounted serially in a duct and four similarly cooled heat sinks mounted peripherally in the duct.

This experiment proves that heat sink location in duct cooling applications should be optimized to increase system efficiency and reduce operating costs.

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