Patent for Sale:

Nonpolluting, Noise-free Thermo-Electric Cooler Technology    

Solid-state thermoelectric coolers - provide unprecedented efficiency.

Overview

The global refrigeration and electronic cooling markets represents a huge growth opportunity for this innovative product portfolio. Each of these markets currently uses either conventional Freon-based compressor units or bulk TEC modules. These traditional TEC products have remained basically unchanged in the last four decades, which cannot serve the rising demand for smaller form factors and higher system efficiency. Environmental concerns for products that use Freon compressors are also increasing, creating an opportunity for innovative new designs. This novel technology replaces small Freon compressor systems with nonpolluting, noise-free TEC products. Additionally, small electronic device cooling market is emerging to cool LEDs, Laser diodes, RF power devices and spot cooling for VLSI components. Thin-film TEC technology is the only solution providing both small size and high thermal density required for these applications. How is this accomplished? In brief, the semiconductor wave that swept through the industry replacing older, incumbent technologies has not been applied to TEC devices due to the complexity of design and the difficulty of manufacturing thermoelectric material (bismuth telluride) on a single wafer. This technology perfects the semiconductor manufacturing techniques for these materials on a monolithic wafer, which enables system efficiencies that will literally reshape the staples of the cooling market.

Initial target markets will include small refrigeration units, portable coolers and electronics cooling. Market size, addressability, and capture rate will expand as new products offering broader performance characteristics, varying form factors and lower price points are introduced over the next two years.

By solving the tough R&D issues required to produce the industry's best-performing TEC coolers, this technology creates a unique position in the industry with the potential to immediately dominate the small footprint refrigeration markets and expand that lead into larger mainstream refrigeration markets and electronics cooling, including challenging spot-cooling and small footprint applications in the laser communications market. Incumbent competitors have not been able to cross the innovation chasm due to their lack of thin-film fabrication expertise utilizing thermoelectric materials. Emerging competitors have not been able to achieve monolithic deposition of both p-type and n-type materials which limit their product capabilities and success. Additional products are being developed that will further extend the market lead this technology has created. These new products will further enhance cooler efficiency and reduce costs, thereby allowing further penetration into larger markets.

Market size: the first generation products address a market that exceeds $1.2 billion in 2009 and is stable, growing, and desperate for innovation.

Applications

These inventions can be used in a range of existing thermoelectric applications to improve system performance, reduce size and improve system life-times including:

Laser temperature control in opto electronics.
Bio-medical / life sciences equipment.
Sensor & Electronics cooling.
Micro-refrigeration.
Aerospace / Military / Defense.
Portable coolers.
Refrigerators & Air conditioning.

Primary Application of the Technology

Global refrigeration, small refrigeration units, portable coolers, electronic cooling, optoelectronics, laser optical communications, integrated circuits, automotive, medical lab instrumentation and consumer products

Comments on Deal Structure, Potential Terms and Restrictions

A strong patent portfolio with 38 patents granted or pending covering aspects of TEC technology.

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 62: Refrigeration

(1) processes and apparatus peculiar to removing heat from a substance, usually by a change of phase of a coolant or refrigerant, as by evaporation, melting or sublimation, (2) the resultant product of part (1), e.g., ice, liquefied or solidified gases, and (3) processes and apparatus peculiar to handling the latter as a stored product, not elsewhere provided for.

Subclass 3.2: Thermoelectric; e.g., peltier effect
Subclass 3.7: Including specific circuitry or heat exchanger material