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Research Papers

Experimental Testing of a Thermoelectric-Based Hydronic Cooling and Heating Device With Transient Charging of Sensible Thermal Energy Storage Water Tank

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael J. Kazmierczak

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0072mike.kazmierczak@uc.edu

Sreenidhi Krishnamoorthy

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0072sreenidhik@gmail.com

Abhishek Gupta

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0072talkabhishek@yahoo.com

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 1(4), 041005 (May 24, 2010) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001456 History: Received February 17, 2009; Revised March 15, 2010; Published May 24, 2010; Online May 24, 2010

Experiments were performed to charge either cold or hot water thermal energy storage tanks using a heat exchanger equipped with multiple thermoelectric (TE) modules. The primary objective was to design a simple, but effective, modular Peltier heat pump system component to provide chilled or hot water for domestic use at the appliance level, and when arranged in multiple unit combinations, a system that can potentially satisfy small home cooling and heating requirements. Moreover, when the TEs are directly energized using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the system provides a renewable, pollution-free, and off-the-grid solution to supplement home energy needs. The present work focuses on the design and testing of a thermoelectric heat exchanger component that consists of two water channels machined from two aluminum plates with an array of three, five, or eight thermoelectric modules placed in between to transiently cool and/or heat the water in the thermal energy storage tank. The water passing over either the cold or hot side of the TE modules is recirculated to charge the cold or hot thermal storage tank, respectively. The temperatures in the prototype Peltier heat exchanger test component and thermal energy water storage tank were measured during both cold and hot tank charging operations. The thermal efficiencies of the TE heat pump cooling/heating system are reported. The effects of the TE power input, number of TE units, rate of fluid flow, and heat sink/source temperature are studied.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Assembled drawings of TE-HX test section shown in (a) standard three planar and (b) isometric views

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Figure 2

Dimensions of the test section water channel sketched with five thermoelectric modules shown in (i) top view (ii) side view (iii) end view with Sec. A-A in (iv) exploded and (v) assembled views with the top Plexiglas cover.

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Figure 3

Thermoelectric module (a) photographed showing relative size and (b) characteristic curves supplied in Ref. 6 for module number C1-1.4-219-1.14

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Figure 4

Schematic diagram of the test flow circuits for (a) tank charging and (b) single-pass experiments

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Figure 5

Results of the cold tank charging tests: (a) cold tank and hot side bulk outlet temperatures versus time, and (b) steady-state axial hot and cold side bulk waters and plate surface temperatures

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Figure 6

Results of the hot tank charging tests: (a) hot tank and cold side bulk outlet temperatures versus time and (b) steady-state axial hot and cold side bulk waters and plate surface temperatures

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Figure 7

Plots of the hot and cold side plate surfaces and bulk water temperatures versus distance for single-pass tests for different numbers of TEs at a 2 gpm flow rate

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Figure 8

Plots of the hot and cold side plate surfaces and bulk water temperatures versus distance for single-pass test with five TEs at two different flow rates

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Figure 9

COP for different runs: (a) comparison between three and five TEs; (b) plotted versus plate ΔTs

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Figure 10

Transient tank charging tests at seasonal temperatures: (a) water chilling with heat sink at warm summer temperature; (b) tank heating using winter ground water source

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Figure 11

TE–HX systems: (a) Laboratory experiments operating directly on solar power; (b) Scale-up equivalent of 1 ton air-conditioning system with sensible TES chilled water tank (heat sink loop not shown)

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Figure 12

Sketch of the proposed home cooling/heating system using thermoelectrics with building supply/drain water as possible heat sink/source: (a) summer cooling mode; (b) winter heating mode

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