I am building a DSLR cooler (something I actually started last year, and ended up shelving when winter hit, and which I've picked up again for this coming summer), and I'm trying to regulate the power to one or two TECs via PWM outputs on an Arduino. I'll be using a few sensor inputs to the arduino as well as a pot to control the PWM level to the TEC(s).
The TECs require 12V power, however depending on the exact Arduino unit I end up using, I may be limited to 5V for the Arduino (i.e. Arduino Mini). So I've put together a circuit diagram that uses an LM7805 to regulate the voltage down. I am trying to build a pretty compact cooler, and while I am not going to be drawing a lot of amperage (130mA tops I think, given the various sensors and LEDs I'm going to be using, and accounting for the 12-15mA the Arduino itself will draw) , I am worried that a 7V voltage drop in the regulator will produce a lot of heat. It's just shy of 1W energy dissipated in the regulator itself.
The datasheet for the LM7800 series regulators states that the maximum thermal resistance junction-ambient for a TO-220 package is 50°C/W (interestingly, a TO-3, which seems a good deal larger in terms of footprint, is only 35°C/W). Assuming I experience the maximum, that would mean a 1W dissipation would increase the temperature of the unit by 50°C? If I'm running at 25°C, then I'd have a 75°C regulator temperature?
Or is there a lower actual operational temperature, below 50°C, that I should take into account? I've scoured various forums, mostly audio forums, and I've seen members throw out junction-ambient temps of 10°C or 25°C for TO-220 packages before, and I'm curious why. It seems like a 50°C increase for just 1W thermal dissipation is a lot, but maybe that's just the reality of things.