I'm developing a product that cools beverages and trying to decide what peltier modules to choose.

I've noticed that some companies like Laird Technologies, CUI inc and TE technology offer expensive coolers, while there are many generic offerings form china that come in at a fraction of the cost such as the TEC1-127XX series devices.

I'm just wondering if anyone has experience in comparing the value from the expensive manufacturers and the cheap generic ones. Have the Chinese mastered thermoelectric coolers and saturated the market with competitive prices or are there significant performance gains to be had from the expensive manufacturers?

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    \$\begingroup\$ None of them are efficient. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2015 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep. But 10% efficiency would be significantly better than 5% even though neither are efficient if you know what I mean. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know exactly what you mean, which is why I made a comment rather than an answer. I expect they would be quite similar (the technology is no different at all), but without datasheets and guaranteed performance numbers.. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2015 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clarifying comments vs answers. AFAIK, they're all bismuth telluride based, the datasheet specs are comparable (if you trust them) but they don't mention thermal cycling or any other factors that might influence one's preference. I think I'll stick with the cheapies unless someone can advise why this is a bad idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael
    Jul 27, 2015 at 1:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Quality and reliability (eg. from thermal cycling) issues are more likely than great differences in nominal performance, in my opinion and experience in that part of the world. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 27, 2015 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


The cheap Chinese peltier modules are more or less exactly the same as the expensive ones. The Chinese ones are cheaper because they get cheap postage, and often come from a nearby factory.

Next, peltier modules are VERY inefficient. At the best of times they use around half of their supplied wattage, and can be expensive to run. This disadvantage however is offset by just how cheap they are (Around ~1£ on eBay).

To decide what version of the TEC1-127XX series, you can look at the last 2 digits to determine how much it consumes and moves. For example, the TEC1-12706 moves 60W, the TEC1-12707 moves 70, the TEC1-12715 is around 150W and TEC1-12730 is about 250W.


There's little difference. Just buy the cheapest.


There is a big difference between Chinese manufacturers, but in general my experience is they aren't as good for long term reliability and there is less production consistency from lot to lot.

If you are making a cooled cup holder for a senior design project they are probably fine. If you are putting them in an expensive bit of medical, industrial or laboratory equipment I would prove your source out before depending on them.

Thermally there can be some difference as well (slightly lower DT max), but that may not be significant unless you are operating them at higher DT's, probably 50°C or more across the device. At that point the by the time you subtract off the parasitic (internal) losses withing the cooling assembly the reduced performance may have a significant impact on the net cooling capacity of the assembly.


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