In this study, a smart heat pump, which could be used for the cooling of electronics, made of laminated structure of thermoelectric (TE) and electrocaloric (EC) materials, is studied. A simple arrangement of two TE layers sandwiched with one EC layer is modeled. This smart heat pump utilized the newly developed EC materials of giant adiabatic temperature change and the TE materials of high figure of merit. The system has the advantages of no moving parts, made of solid state, operable over large working temperature difference, and can be formed into very small size. The operation of the device is numerically modeled considering the three major parametric effects: EC operation as a function of time, electric current applied on TE, and temperature difference between the hot and cold sinks. The results on coefficient of performance (COP) and heat flow per unit area are discussed. This study is performed as an early attempt of analyzing the basic physical features of TE–EC–TE laminated structure heat pump and extends the understanding by further discussing the tradeoff between lower COP and larger overall temperature difference coverage in the TE/EC hybrid heat pump system with multilaminated structure.

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