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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\$ – Spehro Pefhany Jul 26 '15 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 '15 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\$ – Spehro Pefhany Jul 26 '15 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 '15 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\$ – Spehro Pefhany Jul 27 '15 at 1:07
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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.

TL;DR

There's little difference. Just buy the cheapest.

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