Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. HoSung Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala

Third Advisor

Dr. Chris Cho

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Thermoelectric Devices are solid state devices which directly convert thermal energy to electrical energy and vice versa. In the recent past, a lot of effort has been made to improve the performance and also the power generated by a thermoelectric device. This is done by attaching heat sinks on either sides of the device. Optimizing heat sinks improves the overall efficiency of it but on the other hand the device also has to be optimized. TECs are mostly used for electronic cooling where the heated electronic devices serve as target that needs to be cooled while air acts as a heat sink with natural convection. In this project, maximizing the cooling power of a TEC has be studied and its effect with respect to variations in the TE geometry has been discussed. 1D analytical model has been developed using Mathcad and a 3D model of the same has been numerically simulated using ANSYS whose setup used has been explained in details. At low leg length of the TEC’s, the cooling power can be improved but a lot of other parameters have to be taken into account to accurately model the system. The contact materials used to electrically connect the device and the resistance of the conductor play a very important role while calculating the cooling power at low leg lengths and hence cannot be neglected. Results show that cooling power of the TEC can be dramatically improved at low leg lengths and with better heat sink material.

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