The most usual way is to check TEC AC Resistance (ACR) and to compare with initial ACR value specified by TEC manufacturer. This method is quick and easy, and usually enough to understand if TEC is damaged or not. But it gives only a partial info about TEC condition. Z-Meters give more info about TEC actual quality and performance level by direct measuring three TEC key parameters: ACR, Figure-of-Merit (Z) and Time Constant. The combination of these three parameters gives a detailed info about TEC quality, performance level and operating conditions. It can be used for detailed TEC quality control (income and outcome), TEC R&D analysis, developments and analysis of TEC integrating/mounting processes and even a comparison of same TEC solution provided by different vendors.
Thermoelectric coolers are solid-state devices with a very long and maintenance-free lifetime. If properly installed in a final product, thermoelectric coolers may provide more than 25 years of continuous operating in normal conditions. However, mounting procedures and improper handling may increase the risks of TEC damages. Thus the reliable quality control for thermoelectric coolers is required during and after mounting procedures. Z-Meters™ are the best solution for thermoelectric coolers express quality control and performance testing.
Z-Meters provide fast and accurate measurements to get the complete info about the thermoelectric cooler. The measuring process is based on Harman Method. The following parameters are measured directly: AC Resistance (with reference to required ambient temperature); Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit (Z) to show TEC material and assembly quality; and Time Constant. The combination of these three parameters gives complete information about TEC materials, quality and performance level. It can be used for performance analysis, dTmax estimations (for single-stage TECs) and the essential thing - quick detection of damaged or failed thermoelectric coolers during manufacturing or handling processes.
TEC Measuring Process
With Z-Meter you can quickly test thermoelectric cooler parameters and compare them with TEC manufacturer's batch specification. Thus the income TEC quality control (QC) becomes fast and easy with Z-Meter. But the best way to use Z-Meter is the step-by-step control of TEC during your mounting procedures and integration into final assembly. Thermoelectric coolers may pass through various processes with mechanical and thermal impacts during TEC integration into a final design. Soldering, baking/annealing, mechanical pressure and shear forces, various thermal shocks and temperature cycling - after each stage it's better to check and control all TEC parameters and conditions to be sure that TEC is not damaged.
The testing can be done simply by ACR only or with full control of all three TEC key parameters. The accurate and precise control of TEC parameters based on "before-after" comparisons saves time and money. Any potential risk of TEC failure can be identified at early stage, so you can be sure that TEC is fully functional after all mounting processes and has can provide the required cooling performance.
Z-Meter helps to identify quickly the reasons of TEC failure in the final device. You may quickly understand that TEC is mechanically damaged by ACR measuring, or identify TEC detachment inside a package by Time Constant parameter measurement. Z-Meter is specially developed for thermoelectric coolers and gives considerably more possibilities with TEC quality control than any standard device like LC meters.
DX4190 - 10position Z-Meter for volume manufacturers
Z-Meter DX4190 is the must-have device for TEC manufacturers or consumers with serious TEC volumes. DX4190 provides 100% Quality Control for thermoelectric coolers in all stages of mass production with no compromises. The device measures TEC key parameters for up to 10 thermoelectric coolers simultaneously. DX4190 can be used with separate (not mounted) TECs by manufacturers or consumers at income/outcome control, or TECs quality control and performance testing in the end-product with thermoelectric cooler integrated.
DX4085 TEC Tester - compact stand-alone Z-Meter
DX4085 Z-Meter Tester is a portable measuring device for thermoelectric coolers express analysis. The device measures directly three key parameters (AC Resistance, Figure-of-Merit and Time Constant) of separate or integrated (mounted) thermoelectric coolers. DX4085 has 2.4" LCD screen, built-in Li-Ion battery for up to 8 hours operating, it is autonomous and doesn't require a constant connection to PC. All necessary settings, measuring process results and history are displayed and adjusted on LCD screen. The device has a miniature, pocket size form-factor and it's ideal for engineers and researchers dealing with TECs every day.
DX4090 Z-Meter Classic
DX4090 device has two measurement interfaces - an internal chamber (works as a passive thermostat) with connectors and an external interface with clips. DX4090 has also a built-in temperature sensor for accurate TEC ACR calculations and a heating element for TEC quick polarity. DX4090 is recommended for regular express quality control of small and mid-size TEC batches, R&D analysis and TEC integrating/assembly process control and optimization.
DX4095 Mini - Z-Meter in USB-stick
Z-Meter Mini DX4095 is a portable TEC tester for thermoelectric coolers express analysis. The device has ultra-miniature, pocket size form-factor and it's ideal for engineers and researchers dealing with TECs. Due to a very small size DX4095 has only external measurement interface - external clips - connected to Z-Meter. DX4095 has also a built-in temperature sensor for accurate TEC ACR calculations. DX4095 is recommended for regular express quality control of small TEC batches, occasional QC testing, R&D analysis and TEC integrating/assembly process control and optimization.
DX4091 Pellet Tester
Z-Meter model DX4091 stays separate from the rest devices in our Z-Meter family. While the rest devices measure thermoelectric coolers as assembled units, DX4091 uses a unique and innovative methodic to test a single BiTe pellet (post). The compact table-top device measures Resistance (R), Conductivity (σ) and Figure-of-Merit (Z) of a single BiTe pellet. DX4091 is recommended mainly for thermoelectric modules manufacturers and R&D specialists interested in thermoelectric materials analysis and QC.