Thermoelectric cooler aids remote, hazardous spectroscopy

Truly new technologies are rare. So innovation usually means adapting familiar methods and equipment to improve quality and cut costs.Thermoelectric cooling, for example, has long used dissimilar semiconductor materials and dc current to create temperature differentials without compressors, fluorocarbons, and piping.

04/01/1999


Truly new technologies are rare. So innovation usually means adapting familiar methods and equipment to improve quality and cut costs.

Thermoelectric cooling, for example, has long used dissimilar semiconductor materials and dc current to create temperature differentials without compressors, fluorocarbons, and piping. It's been refined over the decades and is now used in many applications, such as cooling electronic enclosures in hazardous locations, including NEC Class 1, Division 2. These environments are typical in oil and chemical refineries, foundries, and other places adjacent to gases or vapors.

To improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs, Guided Wave Process Analytical Systems (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) recently installed an AHP-1200XP solid-state cooling system from ThermoElectric Cooling America Corp. (TECA, Chicago, Ill.) to cool its near-infrared (NIR) radiation remote spectroscopy system. A division of UOP LLC, Guided Wave's spectroscopy equipment collects real-time data from liquids, gases, slurries, and polymer-based films during on-line production processes. Its spectrophotometer transmits radiation through fiber-optic cables to a probe installed in a reactor or process line. Data are interpreted by the system's software to determine composition or physical characteristics of materials being processed.

Protection, maintenance

Though it sometimes can be installed further away from the probe, the spectrophotometer often must be installed in hazardous environments. Its electronics are protected in a sealed enclosure, which is purged with dry nitrogen to create positive pressure and a safe environment for the spectrophotometer's internal equipment. However, this sealed enclosure also traps heat from the electronics, which are now cooled with TECA's ThermoElectric system.

Because AHP-1200XP doesn't use air or water filters, Guided Wave's personnel are spared previously required maintenance. 'Because the UOP system can be located in hazardous and frequently inaccessible locations in the facility, there had been a tendency to ignore the need for filter replacement. This affected efficiency and often the operation of conventional cooling systems,' says Cal Reynolds, Guided Wave's project engineering group supervisor. 'The thermoelectric cooling system's lack of moving parts also enabled us to minimize other maintenance concerns.'

One AHP-1200XP unit operates at a standard capacity of up to 1,000 Btu/hr. However, added units can be installed to accommodate applications with higher heat loads.



In thermoelectric cooling, semiconductor materials with dissimilar characteristics are
connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel so two junctions are created.

For more information, visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again