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Research Papers

Effect of Longitudinal Vortex Generator Location on Thermoelectric-Hydraulic Performance of a Single-Stage Integrated Thermoelectric Power Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
Samruddhi Deshpande

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: sdesh@vt.edu

Bharath Viswanath Ravi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: bharvish@vt.edu

Jaideep Pandit

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: jpandit@vt.edu

Ting Ma

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an 710049, Shaanxi, China
e-mail: mating715@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

Scott Huxtable

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: huxtable@vt.edu

Srinath Ekkad

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: sekkad@vt.edu

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received May 15, 2017; final manuscript received March 15, 2018; published online June 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(5), 051016 (Jun 14, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: TSEA-17-1163; doi: 10.1115/1.4040033 History: Received May 15, 2017; Revised March 15, 2018

Vortex generators have been widely used to enhance heat transfer in various heat exchangers. Out of the two types of vortex generators, transverse vortex generators and longitudinal vortex generators (LVGs), LVGs have been found to show better heat transfer performance. Past studies have shown that the implementation of these LVGs can be used to improve heat transfer in thermoelectric generator systems. Here, a built in module in COMSOL Multiphysics® was used to study the influence of the location of LVGs in the channel on the comprehensive performance of an integrated thermoelectric device (TED). The physical model under consideration consists of a copper interconnector sandwiched between p-type and n-type semiconductors and a flow channel for hot fluid in the center of the interconnector. Four pairs of LVGs are mounted symmetrically on the top and bottom surfaces of the flow channel. Thus, using numerical methods, the thermo-electric-hydraulic performance of the integrated TED with a single module is examined. By fixing the material size D, the fluid inlet temperature Tin, and attack angle β, the effects of the location of LVGs and Reynolds number were investigated on the heat transfer performance, power output, pressure drop, and thermal conversion efficiency. The location of LVGs did not have significant effect on the performance of TEGs in the given model. However, the performance parameters show a considerable change with Reynold's number and best performance is obtained at Reynold number of Re = 500.

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Figures

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Fig. 3

Numerical simulation domain and boundary conditions

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Fig. 2

Schematic diagram of the placement of LVGs in the flow channel

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Fig. 1

Thermoelectric leg model with LVGs. The hot gas passes through the center of the interconnector, and the LVGs are used to increase heat transfer from the gas to the thermoelectric legs.

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Fig. 4

Grid independence for heat input

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Fig. 5

Grid independence for power output

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Fig. 6

Grid independence for pressure

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Fig. 7

Power output as a function of Reynolds number for a benchmark case. The results are nearly identical to those from Reddy et al. [19]

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Fig. 8

Heat input as a function of Reynolds number in comparison with results from Reddy et al. [19]

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Fig. 9

Comparison between heat input with a model with LVGs and same model without LVGs. The results enhancement in heat transfer due to LVGs.

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Fig. 10

Heat input as a function of the distance, s, that the LVG is placed from the leading edge of the channel

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Fig. 14

Net power output of the thermoelectric generator as a function of the LVG distance from the leading edge of the channel

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Fig. 15

Ratio of pumping power to power output as a function of the LVG distance from the leading edge of the channel. The increase in pumping power is only a small fraction of the total thermoelectric power produced.

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Fig. 16

Thermal efficiency of the thermoelectric generator as a function of the LVG distance from the leading edge of the channel

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Fig. 17

Heat input as a function of distance from the leading edge of the channel for pitch distances of 1 and 2 mm and a Reynolds number of 400

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Fig. 18

Pressure drop as a function of distance from the leading edge of the channel for pitch distances of 1 and 2 mm and a Reynolds number of 400

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Fig. 19

Power output as a function of distance from the leading edge of the channel for pitch distances of 1 and 2 mm and a Reynolds number of 400

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Fig. 20

Thermal efficiency as a function of distance from the leading edge of the channel for pitch distances of 1 and 2 mm and a Reynolds number of 400

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Fig. 11

Velocity profile of the middle cross sections of the thermoelectric modules for various LVG locations at Re = 500

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Fig. 12

Pressure drop as a function of the LVG distance from the leading edge of the channel

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Fig. 13

Pressure drop across the whole fluid domain along the central line

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