PERFORMANCE OF A MICROCHANNEL-THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR WITH ALUMINA-IN-WATER NANOFLUIDS AS COOLANTS
Ahuja, Herwin Singh
In the past two decades, the rapid advancement of military aircraft in terms of performance and power consumption in order to accomplish evermore demanding missions has introduced new challenges, namely, having to conserve of non-renewable petroleum, minimize carbon emissions, and accomplish more mission per unit energy. This thesis describes the work done to evaluate the performance of a renewable-energy device termed the microchannel-thermoelectric power generator (MC-TEPG), which uses alumina-in-water nanofluids as coolants, that is intended to replace or supplement current non-renewable power supplies such as battery packs in order to contribute to overcoming the abovementioned challenges. The MC-TEPG recovers waste heat internally generated by motors of military aircraft and converts it to usable electric power via the Seebeck effect. This thesis studies nanofluid flow and heat transfer in the MC-TEPG microchannels, and thermoelectric power generation under varying conditions. Current results show MC-TEPG feasibility and suggest future promise.