Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. HoSung Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Cho

Third Advisor

Dr. Claudia Fajardo

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

In this work, optimal design of a thermoelectric device itself (element length, cross section area and number of thermoelements) applied in a car seat climate control (CSCC) is studied analytically using our newly developed optimization method. This method, which is based on the thermoelectric ideal equations along with dimensional analysis allows us to simultaneously obtain the best combination of the thermoelectric parameters in order to improve the performance of the thermoelectric device regarding the cooling/heating power and the coefficient of performance (COP). First, this method was implemented to investigate the optimal design of a readily existing air-to-air thermoelectric system. Then, a new system design which includes a fan, a thermoelectric device, and under-seat channels, was designed and tested toward the high system efficiency to validate the analytical model. Several experiments were conducted based on the optimal design model including heating and cooling operating conditions. This design also includes the initial (transient) startup warming and cooling before the car HVAC is active in the cabin. Although this approach is based on the simple thermoelectric ideal equations, the calculated results indicate a good agreement with the experiment.

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