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ACTIVE COOLING FOR OPTICAL SENSORS: THE CHALLENGE OF THERMAL MANAGEMENT IN AUTOMATED PRODUCTION

Malfunction of optical sensors by overheating could compromise production and cause financial losses for companies.

 

Optical distance and position sensors, laser-based or as a camera, are an integral part of today's world of automated production. Often such equipments are installed in areas with difficult or extreme environmental conditions. Now, imagine the financial losses due to the malfunction of these sensors or cameras due to overheating.

Extreme environments with dust loaded ambient air or salt mist, high ambient temperature, mechanical influence such as acceleration forces or vibrations could harm an efficient thermal management.

Laser-based sensors heat up naturally due their own power loss. Under harsh operating conditions, the sensors tend to overheat especially if, as in many cases, they are installed in an enclosure with a high IP protection class. The energy loss generated must be dissipated to the ambient air in order to avoid overheating of the laser and thus production downtime. The power loss of camera systems is usually lower than of lasers. However, every optical sensor, no matter what type, must be kept within its operating temperature range defined by their manufacturer.

In areas where the ambient temperature partially or completely exceeds the maximum working temperature of the equipment, it’s necessary to actively cool down the sensor, in order to prevent a malfunction due to the overheating and thus significant financial losses.

EuroPeltier technology offers the best solution for these cases. If the waste heat from the sensor is dissipated to a contact surface, a Peltier Surface Cooler can be applied on it, which transports the heat from this surface to the ambient air, and thus lowers the temperature of the sensor, even below ambient temperature. If the sensor is installed inside an enclosure, its internal air can also be kept below the ambient temperature using an “air-to-air” Peltier cooler.


Difficult environmental conditions are generally not a problem, because EuroPeltier Coolers can be used in ambient temperatures from -40°C up to 70°C, or sometimes even higher. They can also be designed in degree of protection IP67 or IP68, which allows easy cleaning with water or compressed air. A further advantage is the possibility to stabilize the sensor temperature with high accuracy or heating the sensor using the Peltier device, in the case of an outdoor application in low temperatures.

EuroPeltier devices are resistant to acceleration forces or vibrations and can be easily and precisely adapted to the sensor and its use conditions.

A factory building, for instance, that uses many sensors, it would alternatively be possible to lead cold air from a central air conditioning system to the sensor using pipe or hose systems. The disadvantage in this case is the difficulty to change the position of a sensor. In addition, a failure of the air conditioning system also results in the failure of the cooling of all sensors, whereas a decentralized cooling using individual EuroPeltier system would affect only a single sensor, in the event of failure.


Europeltier Thermotechnology develops and manufactures Peltier systems for cooling, heating and dehumidification (even combined in one single device) according to your thermal management needs: from the first analysis, prototyping until a series production of the final product. Get in touch with us and we will be happy to talk with you about all the possibilities of EuroPeltier technology.


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