Thermoelectrics in Consumer Industry

At the cusp of innovation, market leaders in the commercial space require an agile and resourceful supplier who can deliver reliability in volume production, guarantee product reliability and still achieve the required target price for the consumer market.
II-VI is currently working with Fortune 100 companies to develop unique solutions for the consumer market, including product displays, home theater seating, personal climate-controlled beds, wine chillers and more.
Read more on our commercial applications:
Cordless Mosquito Traps
II-VI develops thermoelectric power generation applications for commercial/consumer applications such as cordless mosquito traps.
This product utilizes a II-VI thermoelectric module to capture heat from the propane combustion process, which releases warm CO2 – a known attractant for mosquitoes. Power developed by the TEG module operates a small fan that creates suction, drawing nearby mosquitoes into a net where they suffocate and die. If equipped with a propane tank, this device can run independently from outside electrical power.
Point-Of-Purchase Displays
II-VI develops small, refrigerated point-of-purchase (POP) displays for commercial vendors. Thermoelectric coolers offer unique advantages over compressor-based refrigerators when the application is smaller in size.
Thermoelectric technology offers a cost-effective, lightweight and compact solution to enable small counter or drawer displays cooling. POP displays created by II-VI are temperature-controlled, with built-in condensation management and an environmentally-friendly, frost-free design. II-VI also provides integrated power supplies for converting wall AC electricity to DC power.
II-VI’s advanced engineering staff will develop an optimized thermal solution to complement the design and development of POP displays to suit your requirements.
Wine Chillers
Perhaps the most well-known applications for thermoelectric modules are small refrigerators, beer chillers and wine cellars.
Thermoelectric modules are quieter, more compact and more cost effective than compressors in smaller refrigeration applications. Thermoelectric modules also allow for temperature stabilization and variation of temperature control of wine and beer chillers.
Temperature Controlled Products For Personal Comfort
This growing market, initiated in part by automotive seat heating/cooling applications, offers personalized comfort. Potentially any surface your body contacts can be temperature-controlled for customized comfort. Potential applications in this market include bedding, office chairs, home theater seating and more.
II-VI’s team of accomplished engineers works hand-in-hand with OEMs to develop an optimized thermal solution, including heat sink, blower, power supply design and sourcing to fit a new product or application. From concept to completion, II-VI offers state-of-the-art thermoelectric solutions to meet your requirements.
Gesture Recognition Technology
Most home appliances such as the television, stereo and telephone require remote or application control. While functional, this method still limits user control possibilities.
II-VI now provides thermoelectric modules to stabilize lasers used in gesture recognition technology. This technology utilizes an infrared laser to create an image map of the human body, thereby replacing the remote control with human gestures to perform identical functions. The technology enables a machine to recognize its user, interact with gestures, and even decipher changes in facial expressions to sense mood fluctuation The concept applies to everyday applications, including video games, televisions and personal computers.
Selected for unparalleled product quality and high-volume production capability, the II-VI thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is embedded in the sensor device to remove waste heat created during the lasing process. Thermoelectric solutions, when applied to the infrared laser, prevent wavelength shift, extend lifetime and increase the accuracy of detection. The II-VI thermoelectric cooler plays a critical role in expanding your control options and gesture recognition capability.
Cooking/Camping Stoves
Cooking and camping stoves commonly burn propane or organic fuel. These fuel sources can cause complications in both convenience and health. Propane is a costly solution that requires frequent fueling, and camping with propane stoves requires the transportation of heavyweight fuel storage units. The inefficient manner in which organic materials burn causes the emission of unhealthy carbon and soot, thereby damaging the lungs of those consistently exposed. This situation proves especially harmful in Third World countries where organic fuel sources burn in enclosed homes, often decreasing life expectancy due to lung disease.
A II-VI thermoelectric solution harnesses the heat created by a burner or fire to drive a fan that supplies more oxygen to the fuel-air mixture. This system increases burn efficiency, which burns fuel to completion and eliminates the emission of harmful by-products. Efficient burning also dramatically increases the burn rate of a stove or burner. A campfire might take 30 minutes to boil water, but a thermoelectric burner achieves the same boil point in a fraction of the time. Subsystem designs from II-VI provide a small, self-contained, self-powered unit that requires no maintenance. The inherent ruggedness of a II-VI TEG-based solution ensures reliability for the life of the stove.
The II-VI military cooking equipment application shares a similar function and technology, but with key differences. Fuels available on the battlefield such as diesel or JP-8 typically power military cooking equipment. These large cooking appliances also require one to carry an external power source to run blowers, control electronics and fuel pumps. Currently, the military’s smallest battlefield fuel-compatible power source produces 2kW of power; a gross overkill for the 40-60W typically needed to power appliances such as a large tray heater. Thermoelectric generators equip military cooking equipment with a self-powered capability, thereby eliminating the need for an oversized secondary generator, and eliminating the expensive maintenance associated with running these generators far from their designed load.