A Peltier module must always be operated with direct current. The polarity controls the heat flow, with the upper side of the module being the cold side when the leads are facing the viewer and the red (+) terminal is on the right. The voltage can be arbitrarily small, whereby the power of the element decreases as the voltage decreases. A voltage reversal also reverses the heat flow within the peltier module. If several modules are used in one application, they can be connected either in parallel or in series. Connected in parallel, the necessary voltage remains the same, multiplying the currents according to the number of modules. With the series connection, the necessary current remains the same, but a multiple of the voltage corresponding to the number of modules is required. However, it is important here that the modules have as equal an internal resistance as possible. For parallel connection, the cable cross-sections must be taken into account for large currents. When designing the control loop, it is essential to consider and analyze the controlled system. Thermal systems are usually sluggish, since heat capacities first balance out and, compared to an engine control, settle very slowly. A large distance between the Peltier module and the actual value sensor can lead to a very large time constant, which results in slow settling behavior. The actual value sensor should be very close to the Peltier module for good control results.
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