If I put a Peltier device between a heat source and a heat sink (Peltier turned off), How well will it conduct heat? as opposed to lets say a copper block?

Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ Everything conducts heat. It's a matter of how much. In my experience thermal resistance tends to be higher than ceramic of equivalent thickness. You can usually model it and with temp sensors figure the equivalent properties to fit the model to what you measure. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


Most thermometric cooling modules (Peltier devices) are made out of Bismuth Telluride which has a thermal conductivity of 1.20 W/(m·K), similar to ordinary glass.

From this wiki list of thermal conductivities:
Copper, 401 W/(m·K)
Aluminum, 237 W/(m·K)

So for a given temperature differential, a thermometric cooling module in the off state would conduct 334 times less heat than copper and 197 times less heat than aluminum.

  • $\begingroup$ I'd expect some dependency of the thermal conductivity with the electrical load on the Peltier. See researchgate.net/publication/… $\endgroup$
    – D Duck
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 10:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DDuck what electrical load? The OP makes it clear it is off... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ You also have to figure in the contribution or the two ceramic layers, but otherwise a good answer. $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike If the Peltier leads are shorted, is it off? Or is it off when they're open circuit? $\endgroup$
    – D Duck
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @DDuck OP wrote “(peltier turned off)”, so you need to clarify with OP... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 18:58

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