Date of Award

12-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. HoSung Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. Javier Montefort-Sanchez

Third Advisor

Dr. Ikhlas Abdel-Qader

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The use of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for producing electric energy from low grade “waste heat” has been theorized to provide a sustainable and low-cost energy source for electric power plants. The purpose of this study is to model and experimentally validate a TEG device that takes advantage of low grade waste heat (approximately 100-150 degrees Celsius) in liquid form in order to generate power that can be used for various applications in the surrounding environment. This research aims to demonstrate that optimized TEG designs bear the potential to compete with other methods of low grade waste heat energy harvesting in both output and efficiency, while taking advantage of the comparatively low maintenance and environmental costs of thermoelectric devices. The TEG is modeled in MathCAD with a test setup consisting of a two-channel loop heat exchanger where a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol flowing through two separate loops is used to establish a heat gradient between the hot (110o C) and cold (10o C) sides of a bismuth telluride TEG. A TEG device is tested experimentally in a laboratory setting and the results of the mathematical model and experimental device are compared.

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