Research Papers

Design and Optimization of Thermoelectric Cooling System Under Natural Convection Condition

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaoyuan Ying

University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong
University Joint Institute,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
No.800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: Jessica.Ying@sjtu.edu.cn

Fangming Ye

GE Grid Solution Technology Center Co., Ltd.,
No.500 Jiangyue Road,
Shanghai 201114, China
e-mail: Fangming.ye@ge.com

Ruitao Liu

GE Grid Solution Technology Center Co., Ltd.,
No.500 Jiangyue Road,
Shanghai 201114, China
e-mail: Raymond.liu@ge.com

Hua Bao

University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong
University Joint Institute,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
No.800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: Hua.bao@sjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received December 3, 2017; final manuscript received February 23, 2018; published online May 21, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Wei Li.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(5), 051008 (May 21, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-17-1468; doi: 10.1115/1.4039926 History: Received December 03, 2017; Revised February 23, 2018

A design method for the thermoelectric cooling system is improved in this work based on a graphical approach. It is used to select an appropriate thermoelectric cooler (TEC) and determine the value of optimum input current. Theoretical analysis has been conducted to investigate the cooling performance of the system using the design method. Numerical simulation and experimental tests for the entire cooling system validate the calculation result, which indicates the high reliability of the theoretical design method. The temperature dependence of the heat sink resistance and the contact resistance are the major reasons for the small discrepancy. Research is then conducted based on the design method to investigate how a thermoelectric cooling system under natural convection performs, where the optimization of heat sinks at hot side of TEC is done by using the generalized correlations in the previous studies. Comparison is made between the thermoelectric cooling system and the bare-heat-sink system under natural convection. Results show that the thermal resistance of the heat sink attached to TEC is critical to the cooling performance of the whole system. Besides, TEC under natural convection can perform better than the passive cooling if the heat load is not very high (qc20,000W/m2). The design process and results can provide a useful guidance for other thermal engineers.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Parameters (Qc, Qh, Tc, Th, Ta, and I) in the design process for the thermoelectric cooling system with a TEC sandwiched between the heat source and a heat sink

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Fig. 2

Performance curves of five TECs (CP12703, CP19908, GLACIER-1,5, CHILL, and STORM-71) with a 2 K/W heat sink calculated by the graphical approach and the cooling requirement for the case where the heat load qc″=3750 W/m2

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Fig. 3

Determination of optimum current for a lowest heat source temperature for CP12703 when θk= 2 K/W (almost a constant in the range of Qc = 0–15 W): (a) Qc = 6 W and (b) Qc = 0–15 W

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Fig. 4

The calculated cooling performance ΔTca presents an increasing trend in the whole with 18 TECs' maximum cooling capacity Qmax under two cases Qc = 2 W, θk = 2 K/W and Qc = 6W, θk = 3 K/W

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Fig. 5

The calculated cooling performance ΔTca presents a downward trend with 18 TECs' maximum cooling capacity Qmax when Qc=50 W and θk=0.1 K/W

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Fig. 6

Schematic and related parameters (input parameters Qmax,Umax,Imax, and ΔTmax to calculate the properties of k, ρ, and α, and finally, get cooling performance Tc and Th of the compact model for CP12703 in numerical simulation)

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Fig. 7

Components of the test block for the experiment (two PEEK plates, a heat source, an aluminum plate, TEC CP12703, a plate fin heat sink, and thermocouples)

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Fig. 8

Schematic of the experimental devices

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Fig. 9

Comparison of cooling performance ΔTca for CP12703 among different methods when different heat fluxes qc″=0−12,000 W/m2 are applied. Inset: the thermal resistance values of heat sink from numerical simulation are adopted for the analytical calculation.

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Fig. 10

Temperature differences between the TEC (both cold and hot sides) and the ambient under different heat fluxes qc″

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Fig. 11

Thermal resistance θk of heat sinks under natural convection (horizontally and vertically based) after optimization of spacing and thickness with length L=0.03−0.05 m and height H=0.03−0.1 m

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Cooling performance ΔTca of thermoelectric cooling system changing with different heat flux qc″ and thermal resistance θk of heat sinks (the curve represents the identical points, where the thermoelectric cooling systems perform the same as the bare-heat-sink systems)



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