JP2009544929A - Large capacity thermoelectric temperature control system - Google Patents

Large capacity thermoelectric temperature control system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
JP2009544929A
JP2009544929A JP2009521857A JP2009521857A JP2009544929A JP 2009544929 A JP2009544929 A JP 2009544929A JP 2009521857 A JP2009521857 A JP 2009521857A JP 2009521857 A JP2009521857 A JP 2009521857A JP 2009544929 A JP2009544929 A JP 2009544929A
Authority
JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
thermoelectric
heat transfer
working fluid
te
elements
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
JP2009521857A
Other languages
Japanese (ja)
Inventor
ダグラス トッド クレーン
ロバート ダブリュー. ディラー
フレッド アール. ハリス
ロン イー. ベル
Original Assignee
ビーエスエスティー エルエルシー
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US83400506P priority Critical
Priority to US83400706P priority
Priority to US60/834,007 priority
Priority to US60/834,005 priority
Application filed by ビーエスエスティー エルエルシー filed Critical ビーエスエスティー エルエルシー
Priority to PCT/US2007/016924 priority patent/WO2008013946A2/en
Publication of JP2009544929A publication Critical patent/JP2009544929A/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L35/00Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L35/28Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof operating with Peltier or Seebeck effect only
    • H01L35/32Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof operating with Peltier or Seebeck effect only characterised by the structure or configuration of the cell or thermo-couple forming the device including details about, e.g., housing, insulation, geometry, module
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B21/00Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B21/02Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effect; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effect

Abstract

A thermoelectric system includes a first plurality of thermoelectric elements and a second plurality of thermoelectric elements. The thermoelectric system further includes a plurality of heat transfer devices. Each heat transfer device has a first side in thermal communication with two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements and a second side in thermal communication with one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements, so as to form a stack of thermoelectric elements and heat transfer devices. The two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements are in parallel electrical communication with one another, and the two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements are in series electrical communication with the one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements.

Description

Information on continuing applications

  This application is a continuation-in-part of US Patent Application No. 11 / 136,334, filed May 24, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety and is a US patent filed on August 18, 2003. No. 6,959,555, which is a continuation application, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and is a partial continuation application of US Pat. No. 7,231,772 filed on August 23, 2002 Which is incorporated herein in its entirety and is a continuation-in-part of US Pat. No. 7,111,465 filed on Mar. 31, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. No. 6,539,725, filed on May 27, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, and US Provisional Patent Application No. 60 / 267,657, filed February 9, 2001. Related to, claims the benefit its entirety by reference is incorporated herein. Further, this application claims the benefit of US Provisional Application No. 60 / 834,005 filed July 28, 2006 and US Provisional Application No. 60 / 834,007 dated July 28, 2006, Both are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Background of the Invention

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosure herein relates to an excellent configuration for a semiconductor cooling / heating / power generation system.
Description of Related Art A thermoelectric device (TE) utilizes the properties of a particular material to create a temperature gradient across the material in the presence of an electric current. A typical thermoelectric device uses P-type and N-type semiconductors as thermoelectric materials in the device. These are physically and electrically constructed in such a way that the desired heating or cooling function is obtained.

  The most common configuration used in thermoelectric devices today is shown in FIG. 1A. In general, P-type and N-type thermoelectric elements 102 are arranged in a rectangular assembly 100 between two substrates 104. Current I flows through both types of elements. The elements are connected in series by a copper shunt 106 disposed at the end of the element 102. When a DC voltage 108 is applied, a temperature gradient occurs across the TE element. TE is commonly used to cool liquid, gas, and solid objects.

  Semiconductor cooling / heating / power generation (SSCHP) systems have been used since the 1960s in military and aerospace equipment, temperature control, and power generation applications. Such systems are too expensive for the functions they perform and have low power density, so commercial use is limited, and SSCHP systems are too large and costly to accept commercially. Too high, efficiency too low and too heavy.

  Recent material improvements are expected to increase efficiency and power density up to 100 times that of current systems. However, the use of thermoelectric (TE) devices is limited by low efficiency, low power density, and high cost.

  In today's TE materials, the TE design guide (Mercor Corporation's “Thermoelectric Handbook”, 1995) shows that the cooling power at peak efficiency produced by a module with ZT = 0.9 is about 22% of the maximum cooling power. 16-17). That is, to achieve the highest possible efficiency, several TE modules are required compared to the number required in operation with maximum cooling. As a result, the cost of the TE module for efficient operation is significantly increased and the resulting system is significantly larger.

  From the literature (see, for example, Goldsmid, HJ, “Electronic Refrigeration”, 1986, page 9,)

Where q COPT is the optimal cooling heat output,
I OPT is the optimum current,
α is the Seebeck coefficient,
R is the electrical resistance of the system,
K is the heat conduction of the system,
ΔT is the difference between the high temperature side temperature and the low temperature side temperature,
T C is the cold side temperature.

  In addition, from Goldsmid

Where Z is the thermoelectric figure of merit of the material,
T AVE is the average of the high temperature side temperature and the low temperature side temperature,

It is.

  Substituting equation (2) into (1),

It is.

The term in parentheses on the right side of equation (3) is independent of the size (or dimension) of the TE system, so the amount of cooling q OPT is a function of the material properties and K only. For the configuration of FIG.

And can be described, wherein, lambda is the average thermal conductivity of the N and P of the material, A C is the area of the element, L is the length of each element.

Since α is an intrinsic property of the material, the optimal thermal output q OPT is the same as long as the ratio L C / AC is constant. At a current equal to I OPT , the resistance is

Where ρ TE is the intrinsic average resistivity of the TE element, R OC is the resistance of the TE material, and R PC is the parasitic resistance.

For the time being, assuming that R P is zero, R is constant. When L C / A C is fixed, I OPT is constant. Only when the ratio L C / A C changes, K and therefore q COPT change, and R OC and thus I OPT change.

Usually it is convenient to make the device smaller at the same cooling power. Important limitation in the thermoelectric system, for example, when the length L C is small relative to a fixed A C, the ratio phi C loss of parasitic resistance to loss of the TE material lies in that relatively large.

  This can be understood by referring to FIG. 1C which shows a typical TE pair. Although some parasitic losses occur, the largest parasitic loss in a well-designed TE is the parasitic loss from the shunt 106. The resistance of the shunt 106 for each TE element 102 is approximately

, And the where, G C is the gap between the TE elements, B C is the TE elements and shunts spread, W C is the TE element and the shunt width, T C is the shunt is the thickness, P SC is the resistivity of the shunt.

  In the configuration of FIG. 1, the resistance of the TE element is

Where L C is the length of the TE element.

  Therefore, using equations (7) and (8) for (6),

It is.

  In certain embodiments, a thermoelectric system is provided. The thermoelectric system includes a first plurality of thermoelectric elements and a second plurality of thermoelectric elements. The thermoelectric system further includes a plurality of heat transfer devices. A first side that is in thermal communication with two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements, each heat transfer apparatus forming a stack of thermoelectric elements and heat transfer devices; And a second side in thermal communication with one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements. The two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements are electrically connected to each other in parallel and are electrically connected to the one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements. In series.

  In certain embodiments, a thermoelectric system is provided. The thermoelectric system includes a plurality of thermoelectric modules and a plurality of heat transfer devices. Each heat transfer device comprises a housing and one or more heat exchanger elements inside the housing. Each heat transfer device receives and passes the working fluid. At least some of the heat transfer devices are sandwiched between at least two thermoelectric modules of the plurality of thermoelectric modules and are in thermal communication with the at least two thermoelectric modules, alternating thermoelectric modules and heat transfer devices Is formed to provide thermal insulation along the direction of movement of the working medium.

  In certain embodiments, a thermoelectric system is provided. The thermoelectric system includes a plurality of thermoelectric modules and a plurality of heat transfer devices. Each heat transfer device receives and passes the working fluid. At least some of the heat transfer devices are sandwiched between at least two thermoelectric modules of the plurality of thermoelectric modules and are in thermal communication with the at least two thermoelectric modules. A stack is formed in which the transmission device is arranged to provide thermal insulation along the direction of movement of the working medium. The first working fluid is cooled by flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices, and the second working fluid is heated by flowing through the second set of heat transfer devices.

  These and other aspects of the disclosure herein will become apparent from the drawings and the more detailed description that follows.

A conventional TE module is shown. A conventional TE module is shown. A conventional TE pair is shown. 1 shows the overall configuration of an SSCHP system with thermal insulation and counter-current movement of the working medium. Fig. 3 shows the temperature change that occurs in the medium as it travels through the system. FIG. 3 shows a system with three TE modules, four fin heat exchangers, and a liquid working medium. FIG. 3 shows a system with three TE modules, four fin heat exchangers, and a liquid working medium. 1 shows a system with two TE modules, a heat exchanger segmented to achieve some degree of thermal isolation with a single heat exchanger, and a counter flow of liquid medium. 1 shows a system with two TE modules, a heat exchanger segmented to achieve some degree of thermal isolation with a single heat exchanger, and a counter flow of liquid medium. FIG. 2 shows a gaseous medium system comprising two TE modules and a ducted fan for controlling fluid flow. Figure 2 shows a solid media system with counter flow to further improve performance. In order to achieve further thermal insulation, the ratio of TE element length to thickness is large. Figure 2 shows a solid media system with counter flow to further improve performance. In order to achieve further thermal insulation, the ratio of TE element length to thickness is large. Figure 2 shows a solid media system with counter flow to further improve performance. In order to achieve further thermal insulation, the ratio of TE element length to thickness is large. Figure 2 shows a solid media system with counter flow to further improve performance. In order to achieve further thermal insulation, the ratio of TE element length to thickness is large. In order to reduce cost, weight, and size while providing superior performance, a system with TE elements configured to pass current directly through the array is shown. 1 illustrates a system with TE elements, heat pipes, and heat exchangers that are simple and low cost. The high temperature side and the low temperature side are separated by heat transport by a heat pipe. FIG. 2 shows a fluid system in which fluid is routed through an array of heat exchangers and TE modules to achieve low temperatures at one end for condensation of moisture from gas or condensation from liquid or gas. The system includes a diversion of working fluid flow to improve efficiency by reducing the temperature differential across a portion of the array. Fig. 4 shows an array in which working fluid enters and exits at various locations, with part of the system operating in a counterflow manner and part operating in a parallel flow manner. 1 shows a stacked TE system with reduced parasitic electrical resistance loss. Fig. 4 shows details of TE elements and heat exchange members in a preferred embodiment for a stacked system. 13B shows a cross section of a stacked system made from the device shown in FIG. 13A. Fig. 3 shows another TE element and heat exchanger configuration. The structure of another TE element and a heat exchanger is shown. A stack configuration comprising two vertical rows of TE elements in electrical parallel is shown. Fig. 3 shows a cooling / heating assembly comprising two rows of TE elements in electrical parallel. 2 shows another configuration comprising two TE elements electrically in parallel. A heat exchanger element comprising one part electrically isolated from another part is shown. 3 shows another configuration of a heat exchanger element comprising one part electrically insulated from another part. 3 shows still another configuration of a heat exchanger provided with one part electrically insulated from another part. Fig. 4 shows a heat exchanger segment configured in an array of electrically and thermally isolated sites. FIG. 23 shows a cooler / heater fabricated according to the concept of FIG. Fig. 4 shows a heat exchange segment comprising TE elements aligned in the direction of fluid flow. FIG. 24B shows the segment of FIG. 24A configured as an isolated element heat exchanger array in which the current flows generally parallel to the working medium flow. Fig. 2 shows a segment of a design configured as an isolated element heat exchanger array in which current flows generally perpendicular to the direction of flow. FIG. 25B shows a top view of the assembly of FIG. 25A. Fig. 2 shows a TE heat exchanger module with reduced parasitic electrical resistance operating at a relatively high voltage. FIG. 26B shows a top view of a heat exchanger array using the TE module of FIG. 26A. Fig. 2 shows an isolated element and stack configuration with heat transfer to a moving solid member. Fig. 2 shows an isolated element stack array with heat transfer between liquid and gas. FIG. 29 illustrates a low parasitic electrical resistance heat exchanger module for use in the stack array of FIG. Fig. 2 shows a segment of an isolated element heat exchanger having a solid heat sink and moving gas working fluid. A heat exchanger element with a TE element in the middle is shown to approximately double the heat transfer from the element. Fig. 5 shows another heat transfer element, generally for liquids, having a TE element generally in the center. Fig. 4 shows a further heat exchanger having a TE element generally in the center. FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a partial cutaway view of an exemplary heat transfer device according to certain embodiments described herein. FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary thermoelectric system subassembly that is compatible with certain embodiments described herein. FIG. 2 schematically illustrates the working fluid paths and electrical connections of a heat exchanger subassembly or stack of a typical thermoelectric system compatible with certain embodiments described herein. Figure 2 shows a typical subassembly attached to a test fixture. FIG. 33 shows the measured performance results compared to the simulation model results for the subassembly test of FIG. Compare the COP of the subassembly of FIG. 33 at ΔT c = 10 ° C. and ΔT h = 5 ° C. (top curve of FIG. 36) with the performance of a conventional thermoelectric module-based design without thermal insulation. As shown. A thermoelectric device with multiple subassemblies is shown (front cover and insulator removed for illustration). 38 shows the measured experimental results compared to the calculated model results for the apparatus of FIG. Figure 3 schematically shows the temperature profile as the working fluid goes around the thermoelectric system for three thermoelectric systems. FIG. 5 shows the correlation between the measured temperature rise (ΔT = T OUT −T IN ) and the temperature rise calculated from the model. A typical thermoelectric system used to validate the model under various conditions is shown. The maximum ΔT c that can be achieved by varying the number of stages of thermal insulation is shown. It shows the effect of thermal insulation on the maximum output. 1 schematically illustrates an arrangement that utilizes fluid interconnections consistent with certain embodiments described herein. FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the effect of introducing a medium temperature fluid to the heating side at a temperature point that matches the original stream temperature, in accordance with certain embodiments described herein. FIG. 4 illustrates a typical temperature profile of a typical thermoelectric system for removing vapor from a gas (eg, dehumidifying air) in accordance with certain embodiments described herein. Figure 2 shows the relative ability of conventional thermoelectric systems and thermoelectric systems to use thermal insulation to remove water from an air stream. A comparison of dehumidification capabilities is shown for an expanded conventional thermoelectric system and an expanded thermoelectric system with thermal insulation.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment

  In the context of this specification, the terms “thermoelectric module” and “TE module” are (1) conventional thermoelectric modules (such as those manufactured by Hi Z Technologies, Inc., San Diego, Calif.), (2 Utilizing one or any combination of:) quantum tunnel converter, (3) thermionic module, (4) magnetocaloric module, (5) thermoelectric, magnetocaloric, quantum, tunneling, and thermionic effects It is used in a broad sense consisting of the usual and familiar meanings of these terms: element, (6) any combination of (1)-(6) above, arrays, assemblies, and other structures. The term “thermoelectric element” more specifically refers to an individual element that operates using thermoelectric, thermionic, quantum, tunneling, and any combination of these effects.

  In the following description, a thermoelectric or SSCHP system will be described as an example. However, such techniques and descriptions encompass all SSCHP systems.

  Accordingly, the present invention is introduced using examples in specific embodiments for purposes of explanation and illustration. Various embodiments described below can be used to describe various configurations and achieve the desired improvements. According to this specification, specific embodiments and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to limit the present invention presented. In addition, terms such as cooling side, heating side, low temperature side, high temperature side, lower temperature side, and higher temperature side do not indicate any specific temperature and are relative terms. Should be understood. For example, the “hot” side of a thermoelectric element or array or module may be at room temperature and the “cold” side may be a temperature below room temperature. The opposite may also be true. That is, these terms are relative to each other, indicating that one side of the thermoelectric is a higher or lower temperature than the opposite specified temperature side.

  The increased efficiency for the shape described in US Pat. No. 6,539,735, entitled Improved Thermoelectrics Utilityizing Thermal Isolation, provides an additional 50% to 100% improvement for a number of important applications. In combination with the material improvements that are made, it seems possible to increase the efficiency of systems with a factor of 4 or more in the near future. Such significant improvement expectations have led to new interest in technology and efforts to develop SSCHHP systems for new applications.

  Broadly, the disclosure herein describes a novel group of SSCHHP configurations. These configurations can achieve compact and highly efficient energy conversion and can be relatively low cost. In general, specific embodiments are disclosed in which TE elements or modules (collectively referred to herein as elements) are sandwiched between heat exchangers. The TE element is conveniently oriented so that the same temperature type side faces the heat exchanger for any two elements sandwiching the heat exchanger. For example, the cold side of each TE element sandwiching the heat exchanger faces the same heat exchanger or shunt and thus faces each other. In one group of configurations, at least one working medium passes in sequence through at least two heat exchangers so that the cooling or heating provided is additive to the working medium. This configuration takes advantage of thermal isolation, as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725, in manufacturable systems that exhibit high system efficiency and power density as described in the above references. Has the additional benefit of As described in this patent, in general, in TE devices, increased or improved efficiency is achieved by dividing the entire assembly of TE elements into thermally isolated subassemblies or sections. . For example, the heat exchanger can be divided to provide thermal insulation in the direction of working medium flow. For example, a TE system has a plurality of TE elements that form a TE array having a cooling side and a heating side, the plurality of TE elements being substantially isolated from each other in at least one direction across the array. The Preferably, the thermal insulation is in the direction of working medium flow. This thermal insulation can be provided by having a heat exchanger configured in sections such that the heat exchanger has a thermally insulated portion in the direction of working medium flow.

  In the present disclosure, the sequential use of the same temperature type heat exchanger for the working fluid itself provides a kind of thermal insulation. In addition, the working fluid above or above the thermal insulation provided by having a series or sequential heat exchanger through which at least one working fluid is passed in sequence through a heat exchanger or TE element, or TE module or any combination. Can be configured to provide thermal insulation in the direction of flow.

  The principles disclosed for cooling and / or heating applications are equally applicable to power generation applications, and any configuration, design details that can be combined in any way to produce an assembly for power generation , And similar sites are also applicable. The system can be tuned in such a way as to maximize efficiency for a given application, but the overall principle is utilized.

  The embodiments described in this application still maintain or improve the efficiency gain from thermal isolation while reducing the complexity and cost of SSCHHP device configuration.

  Furthermore, certain embodiments for reducing costs by reducing the TE material used and facilitating operation closer to peak efficiency are also disclosed. A number of embodiments achieve a significant reduction in parasitic losses (see, eg, FIGS. 12-31).

  One aspect of the embodiments disclosed herein includes a thermoelectric system having a plurality of N-type thermoelectric elements and a plurality of P-type thermoelectric elements. Preferably, a plurality of first shunts and a plurality of second shunts are provided. At least some of the first shunts are sandwiched between at least one N-type thermoelectric element and at least one P-type thermoelectric element, and at least some of the second shunts are at least one P-type thermoelectric element. A stack of thermoelectric elements sandwiched between the thermoelectric element and at least one N-type thermoelectric element and comprising alternating first and second shunts is formed, wherein at least some of the first shunts and the second shunt At least some of them protrude in different directions away from the stack.

  Preferably, the thermoelectric elements are constructed very thin, such as 5 microns to 1.2 mm, 20 microns to 200 microns for superlattice and heterostructure thermoelectric designs, and 100 to 600 microns in other embodiments. These designs result in a significant reduction in the use of thermoelectric materials.

  In one embodiment, the thermoelectric system further comprises a current source electrically connected to the stack, and the drive current passes across the series heat transfer devices and thermoelectric elements. In other embodiments, the heat transfer device thermally insulates at least some of the P-type thermoelectric elements from at least some of the N-type thermoelectric elements.

  In one embodiment, the heat transfer device receives the working fluid to flow past the heat transfer device in a predetermined direction. Preferably, the heat transfer device is a heat exchanger and can have a housing with one or more heat exchanger elements inside.

  In another embodiment, a first electrode portion in which at least some of the first shunts are electrically isolated from the second shunt portion but are thermally connected to the second shunt portion. It consists of

  FIG. 2 shows a first general embodiment of an advantageous arrangement for the thermoelectric array 200. The array 200 includes a plurality of TE modules 201, 211, 212, 213, 218, a plurality of first side heat exchangers 202, 203, 205 and a plurality of second side heat exchangers 206, 207, 209. Have good thermal contact with. The designation of the first side heat exchanger and the second side heat exchanger does not imply or suggest that the heat exchangers are on one side or the other side of the entire SSCHP system, It simply implies and suggests that the heat exchanger is in thermal communication with either the cold or hot side of the thermoelectric module. This is evident from the figure in that the heat exchanger is actually sandwiched between the thermoelectric modules. In that sense, the heat exchanger is in thermal communication with the first side or the second side of the thermoelectric module. The low temperature side of the first TE module 201 is in thermal contact with the heat exchanger 205 on the first side, and the high temperature side of the TE module 201 is in thermal contact with the heat exchanger 206 on the second side of the entrance. ing. A second working medium 215, such as a fluid, enters the array 200 through the heat exchanger 206 on the second side of the inlet in the upper right corner of FIG. Exits the heat exchanger 209 on the side. The first working medium 216 enters through the heat exchanger 202 on the first side of the inlet at the upper left and exits the heat exchanger 205 on the first or final side near the lower right. An electrical wire 210 (same for other TE modules) connected to a power source (not shown) is connected to each TE module 201. Passing through the various heat exchangers 202, 203, 205, 206, 207, and 209 in sequence as shown, a first conduit 208 (represented as a line in FIG. 2) is a second working medium. The second conduit 204 carries the first working medium 216.

  In operation, the second working medium 215 absorbs heat from the TE module 201 as it passes downward through the heat exchanger 206 on the second side of the inlet. The second working medium 215 passes upwardly through the conduit 208 to the second side heat exchanger 207 and passes through the second side heat exchanger 207. The high temperature sides of the TE modules 211 and 212 facing each other so that the high temperature sides sandwich the second side heat exchanger 207 are in good thermal contact with the heat exchanger 207. The second working medium 215 is further heated as it passes through the second-side heat exchanger 207. Next, the second working medium 215 passes through the second side heat exchanger 209, where the high temperature side of the TE modules 213 and 218 again has the second side heat exchanger 209 sandwiched therebetween. Heat is transferred to the heat exchanger 209 on the second side, and the working medium 215 on the second side is further heated. From the heat exchanger 209, the second side working medium 215 exits the array 200 from the outlet or the final second side heat exchanger 209.

  Similarly, the first working medium 216 enters the heat exchanger 202 on the first side of the inlet in the upper left corner of FIG. This heat exchanger 202 is in good thermal communication with the low temperature side of the TE module 218. The first working medium 216 passes through the heat exchanger 202 on the first side of the inlet, passes through the heat exchanger 203 on the other first side, and finally heat exchanges on the first side of the outlet. As it passes through the vessel 205, it is cooled and exits the heat exchanger 205 on the first side of the outlet as a cold working medium 217.

  Thermoelectric cooling and heating is provided by power to the TE module 218 by wiring 210 and similar power to all remaining TE modules.

  Thus, in summary, the working medium is placed in good thermal contact with the cold side of the TE module on the left side of the array and heat is removed from the medium. The medium then contacts the second and third TE modules, where more heat is removed and the medium is further cooled. This gradual cooling process continues as the media progresses through the desired number of stages to the right. The medium exits the right side after an appropriate amount of cooling. At the same time, the second medium enters the system from the rightmost side and is gradually heated as it passes through the first stage. The medium then enters the next stage and is further heated, and so on. The heat input at the stage is a result of the heat extracted from the cold side of adjacent TE modules and the power to those modules. The medium on the high temperature side is gradually heated as it moves from the right to the left.

  In addition to the shape described above, this system provides benefits when both media enter at the same temperature and gradually become hot or cold. Similarly, the media can be removed from the cold or hot side at any location in the array, or can be added to the cold or hot side at any location in the array. The array may consist of any useful number of segments, such as 5, 7, 35, 64, and many more segments.

  In addition, the system can be operated by moving the hot and cold media from opposite ends by reversing the process with respect to the hot and cold media in contact with the TE module (as in FIG. 2). However, a hot medium is entered as medium 216 and a cold medium is entered as medium 215). The temperature gradient thus created across the TE module creates current and power, i.e. converts thermal power into electrical power. All of these operational aspects and the operational aspects described herein are part of the present invention.

  As shown in FIG. 2, dividing the heat exchanger into a series of stages provides thermal insulation in the direction of working medium flow from the TE module to the TE module. U.S. Pat. No. 6,539,725, entitled “First Improved Efficiency Thermoelectrics Thermal Isolation”, filed Apr. 27, 2001, is described throughout this description by way of specific and practical examples for easy manufacturing. It explains in detail the principle of thermal insulation presented. This patent application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

  As described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725, gradually heating and cooling a medium in a counter-flow configuration as described in FIG. 2 has no thermal insulation benefit. Higher thermodynamic efficiency can be produced compared to thermodynamic efficiency under the same conditions in a single TE module. Thus, the configuration shown in FIG. 2 provides an SSCHP system 200 that obtains thermal insulation by a segment or stage of a heat exchanger sandwiched between thermoelectric modules in a compact and easily manufacturable design.

  In addition to the features described above, the thermoelectric module itself can be configured to provide thermal insulation in the direction of the media flow, and some of the respective heat exchangers or heat exchangers are further illustrated in FIG. It can be configured to provide thermal isolation in individual heat exchangers by the described configuration or other suitable configuration. In general, the heat exchanger can be segmented in the direction of flow to increase thermal insulation along the flow of a single TE module such as TE module 218 and the inlet heat exchanger 202.

  FIG. 3 shows an array 300 of the same overall design as FIG. 2, which is composed of a plurality of TE modules 301 and low temperature side heat exchangers 302, 305, and 307. , And 307 are connected so that the first working medium 315 follows the path from the sequential heat exchanger to the heat exchanger shown. Similarly, a plurality of hot side heat exchangers 309, 311 and 313 carry the hot side working medium 317 in the direction indicated by the arrows in a sequential or stepwise manner. The TE module 301 is arranged in the same manner as described in FIG. 2 and is electrically driven.

  The lower half of FIG. 3 shows the low temperature or the temperature change 303, 304, 306, 308 of the low temperature working medium and the high temperature 310, 312, 314 of the high temperature working medium.

The low temperature side working medium 315 enters the low temperature side heat exchanger 302 at the entrance and passes through this heat exchanger. The decrease 303 of the temperature of the working medium when passing through the low temperature side heat exchanger 302 at the entrance is indicated by the decrease 303 of the low temperature side temperature curve Tc. The cold side working medium 315 is further cooled as it passes through the next stage cold side heat exchanger 305, as indicated by a temperature drop 304, and is further accompanied by a temperature drop 306 with a third cold side heat. Pass through the exchanger 307. The cold side working medium 315 exits as a cold fluid 316 having a temperature 308. Likewise, the working medium 317 on the high temperature side enters the first or inlet of the high-temperature side heat exchanger 309 and exits at a first temperature 310 as indicated by the upper temperature curve T H in FIG. The hot side working medium proceeds stepwise through the array 300 as described in FIG. 2 and gradually increases in temperature, and finally passes through the outlet hot side heat exchanger 313 at 318. At a higher temperature 314, it exits as a hot working fluid. By increasing the number of stages (ie, TE modules and heat exchangers), the magnitude of cooling and heating power can be increased, the temperature changes produced by each heat exchanger can be reduced, and / Or it can easily be seen that the amount of media passing through the array can be increased. As taught in US Pat. No. 6,539,725, increasing the number of stages gradually reduces the degree, but it is also possible to increase efficiency.

  Experiments and the above description indicate that the thermal insulation and gradual heating and cooling that can be achieved with the configurations of FIGS. 2 and 3 can provide significant efficiency gains and are therefore important. With such a system, an improvement of over 100% has been achieved in laboratory tests.

  FIG. 4A shows an array 400 comprising three TE modules 402, four heat exchangers 403, and two conduits 405 configured as described in FIGS. The low temperature side and high temperature side working fluids enter at the low temperature side inlet 404 and the high temperature side inlet 407, respectively, and exit at the low temperature side outlet 406 and the high temperature side outlet 408, respectively. FIG. 4B is a more detailed view of one embodiment of the heat exchanger 403. It is illustrated as a type suitable for the fluid medium. The heat exchanger assembly 403 includes an outer housing 412 having an inlet 410 and an outlet 411, heat exchanger fins 414, and a fluid distribution manifold 413. The operation of the array 400 is basically the same as that described in FIGS. In FIG. 4, the number of TE modules 402 is three, but may be any number. Conveniently, the housing 412 is fabricated from a suitable material such as copper or aluminum that is protected against corrosion and is thermally conductive. In one embodiment, the heat exchanger fins 414 are conveniently folded copper to achieve good thermal conductivity across the boundary to the TE module, or soldered to the housing 412 or It is brazed aluminum. The fins 414 may be of any form, but preferably may be of a suitable design to achieve the desired heat transfer characteristics for the system. For detailed design guidelines, M.M. Kays and A.M. L. It can be found in London's “Compact Heat Exchangers”, 3rd edition. Alternatively, any other suitable heat exchanger such as perforated fins, parallel plates, louver fins, wire mesh, etc. can be used. Such a configuration is known in the art and can be used in any of the configurations of FIGS.

  FIG. 5A shows an alternative configuration to the configuration of FIG. 4 for connection of conduits to provide flow from the heat exchanger stage to the heat exchanger. Array 500 includes first and second TE modules 501 and 510, three heat exchangers 502, 503, and 506, and a conduit 504. Of course, as with previous embodiments and configurations, the specific number of two first side heat exchangers 502, 503 and one second side heat exchanger 506 is not limited to this. Other numbers are possible.

  FIG. 5B shows an enlarged view of a preferred embodiment of heat exchangers 502, 503, 506. The configuration of the heat exchanger as shown in FIG. 5B is considered to be appropriate in the other embodiments, and can be used in any of the configurations of FIGS. This advantageous embodiment for one or more of the heat exchangers in such a configuration includes an outer housing 516 that includes segmented heat exchanger fins 511 separated by a gap 513. Working fluid enters through inlet 505 and exits through outlet 508. As an alternative to the gap, rather than having a heat exchanger with an actual physical gap between the heat exchanger fins, the heat exchanger is thermally conductive for one section but for another section It can be made anisotropic so that it is not thermally conductive. The point is to obtain thermal insulation between the stage of one single heat exchanger segment and the other single heat exchanger segment in the direction of flow. This is considered thermal insulation provided in addition to the thermal insulation provided by having the stage of the heat exchanger in the embodiments described in FIGS.

  Conveniently, for example, the first working fluid 507 to be heated enters the inlet 505 and enters the inlet or first heat exchanger 502 in thermal communication with the first TE module 501. Pass down through. The working fluid 507 exits at the bottom and is routed through the conduit 504 to the next heat exchanger 503 where it passes down the second TE module 510 again to reach the hot working fluid. Exit as 508. Preferably, the second working fluid 517 enters from the bottom of FIG. 5A through the inlet 518 and passes the third heat exchanger 506 past the cold side (in this example) of the TE modules 501 and 510. Pass through. The heat exchanger 506 is in good thermal communication with the low temperature side of the TE modules 501 and 510. According to this arrangement, working fluids 507 and 517 form a counterflow system in accordance with the teachings of US Pat. No. 6,539,725, discussed above.

  Preferably, the heat exchangers 502, 503, and 506, shown in detail in FIG. 5B, are connected to the heat exchanger fins 511 (four separate segments) through the housing 516 from the face of the TE modules 501, 510, 510. It is configured to have high thermal conductivity. However, it is desirable that the thermal conductivity be low in the direction of flow in order to thermally isolate each heat exchanger segment from the remaining heat exchanger segments. If the insulation is tight and the TE modules 501 and 510 do not exhibit a large internal thermal conductivity in their vertical direction (the direction of the working fluid flow), the array 500 will benefit from thermal insulation and more It can operate with high efficiency. In fact, the array 500 can respond as if it were an array composed of more TE modules and more heat exchangers.

  FIG. 6 shows yet another heater / cooler system 600 designed to operate beneficially with working gas. The heater / cooler 600 has TE modules 601, 602 in good thermal communication with the first side heat exchangers 603, 605 and the second side heat exchanger 604. A first working fluid 606, such as air or other gas, is contained by ducts 607, 708, 610, and a second working fluid 616 is contained by ducts 615, 613. Fans or pumps 609, 614 are mounted in the ducts 608, 615.

  First working fluid 606 enters system 600 through inlet duct 607. The working fluid 606 passes through the first heat exchanger 603 where it is heated (or cooled), for example. The working fluid 606 then passes through a fan 609 that functions to route the working fluid 606 through the duct 608 and through the second heat exchanger 605 where it is further heated (or cooled) to the outlet duct. Exit from 610. Similarly, a working fluid such as air or other gas enters through the inlet duct 615. The working fluid is pushed by the second fan or pump 614 and passes through the third heat exchanger 604 where it is cooled (or heated) in this example. Cooled (or heated) working fluid 616 exits through outlet duct 613.

  System 600 can have additional TE modules and multiple segments composed of heat exchangers and segmented heat exchangers as shown in FIG. 5B. It can also have multiple fans or pumps to provide additional feed force. Further, one duct (eg, 607, 608) can have one fluid and the remaining ducts 613, 615 can have a second type of gas. Alternatively, one side can have a liquid working fluid and the other can have a gas. As such, the system is not limited to whether the working medium is a fluid or a liquid. Furthermore, it should be noted that the outlet duct 613 can be routed around the fan duct 609.

  FIG. 7A shows a heating / cooling system 700 for beneficial use in fluids. The assembly includes a plurality of TE modules 701 with a plurality of first side working media 703 and a plurality of second working media 704. In this example, the first side working medium 703 and the second side working medium 704 form a disk. The first side working medium 703 is attached to the first side shaft 709, and the second side working medium 704 is attached to the second side shaft 708. The shafts 708, 709 are then attached to the first side motor 706, the second side motor 705 and the corresponding bearing 707, respectively. The preferred direction of rotation of the motor is indicated by arrows 710 and 711.

  A separator 717 positions the TE module 701 at the same time as dividing the array into two parts. The TE modules 701 held in place by the separators 717 are spaced apart so as to alternately sandwich the first side working medium 703 and the second side working medium 704. For any two TE modules 701, the modules are oriented so that their cold and hot sides face each other, as in the previous embodiment. The working media 703 and 704 are in good thermal communication with the TE element 701. Thermal grease or the like is conveniently provided at the boundary between the thermoelectric element 701 and the working medium 703, 704. The purpose of grease will become apparent in the following discussion regarding the operation of the working media 703, 704. First side housing portion 714 and second side housing portion 715 contain fluid conditioned by system 700. Electrical wires 712, 713 are connected to the TE module 701 to supply drive current for the TE module.

  7B is a cross-sectional view 7B-7B through a portion of the system 700 of FIG. 7A. A first fluid 721 and a second fluid 723 are indicated by arrows 721 and 723 along with their flow directions. The first fluid exits as represented by arrow 722 and the second fluid exits as represented by arrow 724. System 700 operates by passing current through electrical wires 712 and 713 to TE module 701. The TE module 701 is arranged in the manner shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and has their cold side and hot side facing each other. For example, their adjacent cold sides both face the first side working medium 703 and their hot sides face the second side working medium 704. Separator 717 serves the dual function of positioning TE module 701 and separating the high temperature side from the cooled side of array 700.

  To understand the operation, for example, assume that the second fluid 723 is cooled. Cooling occurs by heat exchange with the second side medium 704. As the second side medium 704 rotates, the portion of the second side medium 704 that contacts the cold side of the TE module 701 at any given time is cooled. When this site is rotated away from the TE module 701 by the operation of the second motor 705, the second medium 704 cools the second side fluid and the second side fluid then exits the outlet. Exit 724. The second fluid is confined within the array 700 by a housing portion 715 and a separator 717.

  Similarly, the first fluid 721 is heated by the first side medium 703 that is in thermal contact with the hot side of the TE module 701. Rotation (indicated by arrow 711) moves the heated portion of the first medium 703 through which the first fluid 721 can pass and is heated by thermal contact. The first fluid 721 is sealed between the housing portion 714 and the separator 717 and exits the outlet 722.

  As described above, a liquid metal such as thermally conductive grease or mercury can be used to provide good thermal contact in the area of contact between the TE module 701 and the media 703,704.

  As described above, the configuration of FIGS. 7A and 7B can also be advantageously used to cool or heat external components such as microprocessors, laser diodes, and the like. In such cases, the disk may transfer heat to such components or use thermal grease or liquid metal, etc., to transfer heat to such components. You can touch.

  FIG. 7C shows a variation of the system 700 where the TE module 701 is segmented to achieve thermal isolation. FIG. 7C shows a detailed view of a portion of array 700 in which TE modules 701 and 702 transfer thermal forces to heat transfer media 704 and 703 (in this example, a rotating disk). Moving media 704 and 703 rotate about axes 733 and 734, respectively.

  In one embodiment, advantageously, the working media 704 and 703 rotate in opposite directions as indicated by arrows 710 and 711. As the moving media 704, 703 rotate, different portions of the TE modules 701 and 702 thermally contact and transfer heat to the moving media 704, 703, gradually increasing the temperature of the moving media 704, 703. Change. For example, the first TE module 726 heats the moving medium 704 at a specific location. The material of the moving medium 704 at this position contacts the second TE module 725 as the moving medium 704 rotates counterclockwise. The same portion of the moving medium 704 then continues to move to the TE module segment 701. The opposite action occurs when the moving medium 703 rotates counterclockwise to engage the TE module 701 and subsequently engage the TE modules 725 and 726.

  Conveniently, the moving media 704, 703 have good thermal conductivity in the radial and axial directions and have poor thermal conductivity in the angular direction, ie the direction of movement. This property minimizes heat transfer from one TE module 725 to another TE module 726 due to conductivity through the moving media 704 and 708 and achieves effective thermal isolation.

  As an alternative to TE modules or segments 701, 725, 726, only one TE element or several TE element segments can be substituted. In this case, if the TE element 701 is extremely thin compared to the length in the direction of movement of the moving media 703, 704 and is relatively poor in thermal conductivity in this direction, the TE element will be at the length of the TE element. It will exhibit substantial thermal insulation. The TE element conducts heat and therefore will respond thermally as if it were composed of a separate TE module 701. This property, in combination with the low thermal conductivity in the direction of movement in the moving media 704, 703, can achieve effective thermal insulation, thus leading to improved performance.

  FIG. 7D shows another configuration of the moving media 704, 703, where the media is configured in the shape of wheels 729 and 732 having spokes 727 and 731. Heat exchanger materials 728 and 730 are located in the space between the spokes 727 and 731 and are in good thermal contact with the spokes 727 and 731.

  System 700 can operate in yet another aspect illustrated in FIG. 7D. In this configuration, working fluid (not shown) moves axially along the axis of the array 700, with the last medium 704 axially in the order of one medium 704 to the next moving medium 704. Passing through the moving media 704 and 703 in sequence until exiting. Similarly, another working fluid (not shown) passes through the array 700 axially through the individual moving media 703. In this configuration, ducts 714 and 715 and separator 717 are shaped to form a continuous ring that surrounds moving media 704, 703 and separates media 704 from media 703.

  As the working fluid flows axially, heat forces are transferred to the working fluid via the heat exchanger materials 728 and 730. Conveniently, for example, the hot working fluid moves through the array 700 in the opposite direction of the working fluid passing through the heat exchanger 728 and moving through the heat exchanger 730. In this mode of operation, the array 700 functions as a countercurrent heat exchanger, and a series of successive heat exchangers 728 and 730 progressively heat and cool the respective working fluid passing therethrough. As described with respect to FIG. 7C, the thermally active component may be a TE module 701 that can be configured to have effective thermal insulation in the direction of movement of the moving media 704, 703. Alternatively, the TE modules 701 and 702 may be segments as shown in FIG. 7C. In the latter case, it is further advantageous that the thermal conductivity of the moving media 704, 703 is small in the direction of movement in order to thermally insulate the portions of the outer disks 729 and 732 of the moving media 704, 703. .

  Alternatively, this design may further include radial grooves (not shown) in sites 729 and 732 that receive heat transfer from TE modules 701 and 702 to achieve thermal isolation in the direction of motion. .

  FIG. 8 shows a thermoelectric system 800 having a plurality of TE elements 801 (shaded) and 802 (no hatched) between a first side heat exchanger 803 and a second side heat exchanger 808. Figure 3 shows another embodiment of the invention. A power source 805 supplies a current 804 and is connected to the heat exchanger 808 by wires 806 and 807. The system 800 includes conduits and pumps or fans (shown for moving hot and cold working media through the array 800 as described, for example, in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Not).

  In this design, the TE module (having multiple TE elements) is replaced by TE elements 801 and 802. For example, the shaded TE element 801 may be an N-type TE element, and the shaded TE element may be a P-type TE element. In this design, it is advantageous to configure the heat exchangers 803 and 808 to have very high conductivity. For example, the housings of heat exchangers 803, 808, and their internal fins, or other types of heat exchanger members can be made of copper or other highly heat and electrically conductive materials. Alternatively, heat exchangers 803 and 808 are in very good thermal communication with TE elements 801 and 802, but may be electrically isolated. In that case, the electric shunt (not shown) is replaced with a TE element 801 in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 1 (but the shunt is routed through heat exchangers 803 and 808). To electrically connect 802, it can be connected to the faces of TE elements 801 and 802.

  In any configuration, the DC current 804 passing from the N-type TE element 801 to the P-type TE element 802 is, for example, on the first side sandwiched between the TE element 801 and the TE element 802. A heat exchanger on the second side in which a current 804 that cools the heat exchanger 803 and passes from the P-type TE element 802 to the N-type TE element 801 is sandwiched between the TE element 802 and the TE element 801. 808 is heated.

  The array 800 can exhibit minimal size and heat loss because standard TE module shunts, substrates, and numerous electrical connector wirings can be removed or reduced. Furthermore, if the TE elements 801 and 802 are designed such that the parts have high conductivity and capacitance, they may be heterostructures that can accommodate large currents. In such a configuration, the array 800 can produce a high thermal power density.

  FIG. 9 shows a thermoelectric system 900 having the same overall format as the thermoelectric system shown in FIG. 8. The P-type TE element 901 and the N-type TE element 902 are connected to the first-side heat transfer member 903 and the second type. The heat transfer member 905 is provided in good thermal contact with these heat transfer members. In this configuration, the heat transfer members 903 and 905 have the form of heat conducting rods or heat pipes. Heat exchanger fins 904, 906, etc. are attached to the heat transfer members 903 and 905 and are in good thermal communication. A first conduit 907 confines the flow of the first working medium 908 and 909 and a second conduit 914 confines the flow of the second working fluid 910 and 911. Electrical connectors 912 and 913 direct current to the stack of alternating P-type and N-type TE elements 901, 902 as shown in FIG.

  In operation, for example, current enters the array 900 through the first connector 912, passes through alternating P-type TE elements 901 (with diagonal lines) and N-type TE elements 902 (without diagonal lines), and the second Exit through electrical connector 913. In this process, since the first working medium 908 is heated by conduction from the heat transfer fin 904 (heated by conduction through the first heat transfer member 903), the temperature gradually increases. A first conduit 907 surrounds and confines the first working medium 908 so that the first working medium 908 exits as a working fluid 909 at the changed temperature. A portion of the first conduit 907 thermally isolates the TE elements 901 and 902 and the second side heat transfer member 904 from the first (in this case hot) working medium 908 and 909. . Similarly, the second working medium 910 is cooled (in this example) as it enters the second conduit 914 and passes through the second side heat exchanger 906 as cooled fluid 911. Get out. TE elements 901, 902 provide cooling to the second side heat exchange member 905, and thus heat exchanger fins 906. A second side conduit 914 serves to confine and insulate a second (cooled in this example) working medium 910 from other parts of the array 900.

  Although the individual TE elements have been described in the embodiment of FIGS. 8-9, the TE elements 901 and 902 may be replaced with TE modules. Further, in certain situations, it may be advantageous to electrically isolate the TE elements 901, 902 from the heat transfer members 903, 905 and to pass current through a shunt (not shown). Also, the heat exchangers 904, 906 may be of any design that is convenient for the function of the system. It will be appreciated that, like other embodiments, the configuration of FIGS. 8 and 9 provides a system that is relatively easy to manufacture and also provides increased efficiency from thermal isolation. For example, in FIG. 8, heat exchangers 808 and 803 that are alternately located between P-type and N-type thermoelectric elements are types of lower or higher temperature heat exchangers, but can be heated from each other without difficulty. P and N type thermoelectric elements are thermally insulated from each other without difficulty.

  FIG. 10 illustrates another thermoelectric array system (1000) that provides thermal isolation. Conveniently, this configuration is suitable for dehumidification or removal of condensate, mist, condensable vapors, reaction products, etc. to return the medium to a slightly higher temperature than the original temperature. Functions of the system that utilize cooling and heating can be performed.

  The system 1000 includes a stack of alternating P-type TE elements 1001 and N-type TE elements 1002 that incorporate a low-temperature side heat transfer element 1003 and a high-temperature side heat transfer element 1004. In the illustrated embodiment, heat exchanger fins 1005 and 1006 are provided on both the low temperature side heat transfer element 1003 and the high temperature side heat transfer element 1004. Cold side conduit 1018 and hot side conduit 1019 guide working fluids 1007, 1008, and 1009 in array 1000. Fan 1010 pulls working fluids 1007, 1008, and 1009 through array 1000. Preferably, the cold side insulation 1012 thermally insulates the working fluid 1007 moving through the cold side from the stack of TE elements, and the hot side insulation 1020 preferably operates through the hot side. The fluid is thermally isolated from the stack of TE elements. A baffle 1010 or the like separates the low temperature side from the high temperature side. In one preferred embodiment, the baffle 1010 has a passage 1010 for passing the working fluid 1021. Similarly, in one embodiment, a fluid passageway 1017 allows fluid 1016 to enter the hot side flow path.

  A screen 1011 or other porous working fluid flow restrictor separates the cold side of the array 1000 from the hot side. Condensate, solid coagulum, liquid 1013, etc. can accumulate at the bottom of the array 1000 and exit the mouth 101 through valves 1014.

  A current (not shown) passing through the TE elements 1001 and 1002 cools the low temperature side working medium heat transfer element 1003 and heats the high temperature side heat transfer element 1004 as described in the description of FIG. . In operation, when the working fluid 1007 goes down the cold side, condensate, moisture, or other condensate 1013 from the working fluid 1007 can be collected at the bottom of the array 1000. If desired, the valve 1014 can be opened and condensate, moisture, or condensate 1013 can be removed through the mouth 1015 or extracted by any other suitable means.

  Conveniently, a portion of the working fluid 1021 may pass through the bypass passage 1020 from the cold side to the hot side. According to this design, not all of the cold side fluid 1007 passes through the flow restrictor 1011; instead, the temperature of the hot side working fluid is locally reduced to cause the array 1000 under some circumstances. Can be used to improve the thermodynamic efficiency. The proper proportion of flow between the bypass passage 1020 and the flow restrictor 1011 is achieved by properly designing the flow characteristics of the system. For example, valves can be incorporated to control flow and certain passages can be opened or closed. In some applications, the flow restrictor 1011 can also function as a filter to remove condensate from the liquid or gaseous working fluid 1008 or to remove mist or mist from the gaseous working fluid 1008.

  Conveniently, additional hot side coolant 1016 may enter the array 1000 through the side passages 1017 for the purpose of again reducing the temperature of the hot side working fluid or increasing the efficiency of the array 1000.

  This configuration can create a very cool condition for the flow restrictor, and the working fluid 1008 can have a significant amount of condensate, condensate, or moisture removal capability. In another mode of operation, the power to the fan 1010 can be reversed to operate the system to heat the working fluid and return it to a cold state. This may be advantageous to remove reaction products, condensates, condensates, moisture, etc. formed by the heating process. In one advantageous embodiment, the flow restrictor 1011 and / or heat exchangers 1005 and 1006 enhance, change, enable, prevent, or otherwise affect catalyst processes that may occur in the system. Can have. In liquid working fluids, one or more pumps can replace the fan / motor 1010 to achieve convenient performance.

  FIG. 11 shows a thermoelectric array 1100 that is similar in design to FIGS. 2 and 3 but has alternating paths through which the working medium passes through the system. The array 1100 has TE modules 1101 distributed between the heat exchangers 1102. A plurality of inlet ports 1103, 1105, and 1107 guide the working medium through the array 1100. A plurality of outlet ports 1104, 1106, and 1108 guide the working medium from the array 1100.

  In operation, for example, the working medium to be cooled enters the first inlet port 1103 and is gradually cooled (in this example) by passing through several heat exchangers 1102, the first outlet port Exit through 1104. Part of the working medium that removes heat from the array 1100 enters through the second inlet port 1105, passes through the heat exchanger 1102, is gradually heated in this process, and passes through the second outlet port 1106. Get out.

  The second portion of the working medium that removes heat enters the third inlet port 1107 and is heated as it passes through some of the heat exchangers 1102 and exits through the third outlet port 1108.

  In this design, the working medium on the high temperature side enters at two locations in this example, and the temperature difference obtained across the TE module 1101 is on average lower than when the working medium enters at only one port. Therefore, the low-temperature working medium passing from the first introduction port 1103 to the first outlet port 1104 can be efficiently cooled. On average, if the average temperature gradient is smaller, in many situations the resulting system efficiency will be higher. The relative flow rates through the second and third inlet ports 1105 and 1107 can be adjusted to achieve the desired performance or to respond to changes in external conditions. As an example, the flow rate through the third inlet port 1107 is higher, and most efficiently, the direction of flow through this site is reversed, ie the third outlet port 1108 is the inlet. The outlet temperature of the working medium on the low temperature side exiting the first outlet port 1104 can be further lowered.

  The basic connections underlying the conventional thermoelectric 100 are shown in more detail in FIG. 1C. As described above, P-type element 110 and N-type element 112 are types of elements well known in the art. A shunt 106 is attached to the P-type and N-type TE elements 110 and 112 and is in good thermal communication. In general, as shown in FIG. 1A, a number of such TE elements and shunts are connected together to form a TE module.

The lengths of the TE elements 110 and 112 in the current direction are L C 116. Its depth is B C 117, its width is W C 118, and its separation distance is G C 120. The thickness of the shunt 106 is T C 109.

As is well known in the art, the dimensions B C , W C , and L C , as well as the TE material figure of merit Z, current 122 and operating temperature determine the amount of cooling, heating, or amount of power generated. (See, eg, “Direct Energy Conversion” by Angrist, SW, 3rd edition, 1997, Chapter 4).

The design shown in FIG. 12 is a modification of the conventional configuration of FIG. 1 to reduce the amount of thermoelectric material and the magnitude of parasitic resistance in the shunt 106. The TE configuration 1200 has a plurality of first side TE elements 1201, 1202 of alternating conductivity type sandwiched in series between a shunt 1203 and a plurality of second side shunts 1204, so that the current 1209 is As shown in FIG. 1C, it is not substantially parallel to the depth, but passes perpendicular to the depth B B and the width W B of the shunt. In the design of FIG. 12, the ratio φ B of R PB to R OB is

And here

And therefore

Because
T B is the thickness of the shunt,
L B is the length of the TE elements,
ρ SB is the resistivity of the shunt,
B B is the effective depth of the TE element and shunt,
W B is an effective width of the TE elements and shunts.

If φ C is set equal to φ B , the parasitic electrical resistance loss has the same proportional effect on the performance of the configurations of FIGS. 1C and 12. For comparison purposes, assuming that the material properties of the two configurations are the same:

Or using equations (9) and (12) for B,

It is.

  In today's typical thermoelectric module,

And

Assuming

It is.

Therefore, the length L B can be 1 / 6.4 of L C and the resulting resistance loss in the design of FIG. 12 does not exceed the resistance loss of the conventional TE module. This is the case, whether all other losses negligible, or in the case of reduced proportionally, the TE system using the configuration of FIG. 12 has the same operation effectiveness as the design of FIG. 1C, L B = L C /6.4.

The volume of this new configuration can be compared with the volume of FIG. 1C. For the same q OPT , the area ratio must remain the same, so

And

Because

It is.

  The volume ratio of the two thermoelectric materials is

And

It is.

  Therefore, according to these assumptions, the TE material required is 1/41. This possibility of significant reduction may not be fully realized due to the precision of the assumptions made, but it can still be very advantageous in reducing the amount of TE material used, and hence cost and size.

The TE stack configuration 1200 of FIG. 12 includes a P-type TE element 1201 and an N-type TE element 1202 having a length L B 1205. The direction of current flow is indicated by arrow 1209. The TE element has a depth B B and a width W B. A second side shunt 1204 (“PN shunt”) is located between the P-type TE element 1201 and the N-type TE element 1202 in the direction of the current. A first-side shunt 1203 (“NP shunt”) exists between the N-type TE element 1202 and the P-type TE element 1201 in the direction of current. The PN shunt 1204 extends from the stack 1200 in a direction generally opposite to the NP shunt 1203. Angles other than 180 ° are also convenient.

If the appropriate current 1209 passes in the direction shown, the NP shunt 1203 is cooled and the PN shunt 1204 is heated. With this configuration, the parasitic electrical resistance loss in configuration 1200 is typically small compared to the conventional configuration 100 of FIG. 1 where the dimensions of the TE elements are the same. Therefore, if the TE length L B 1205 is shortened to match the ratio of parasitic electrical losses in the two configurations, the TE length L B 1205 will be shorter and the configuration of FIG. Advantageously, it can operate at a higher power density than the configuration of FIG. As a result, the configuration 1200 of FIG. 12 uses less thermoelectric material and can be more compact than the conventional design of FIG.

  The shunts 1203, 1204 can perform two functions: a function of transferring heat output away from the TE elements 1201, 1202, and a function of exchanging heat output with an external object or medium such as a working fluid.

  A diagram of a preferred embodiment 1300 of shunts that are combined to form a heat exchanger 1302 is shown in FIG. 13A. Preferably, at least one TE element 1301 is electrically connected to the raised electrode surface 1303 of the heat exchange shunt 1302 by solder or the like. Conveniently, the shunt 1302 can be constructed primarily from a good thermal conductor, such as aluminum, and constructed of a highly conductive material, such as copper, to facilitate the attachment of the TE element 1301 and current flow with low resistance. Can have an integral coating material 1304, 1305.

  FIG. 13B shows a detailed side view of a portion of the stacked thermoelectric assembly 1310 comprised of the thermoelectric shunt 1302 and TE element 1301 of FIG. 13A. A plurality of shunts 1302 having raised electrode surfaces 1303 are electrically connected in series to alternating conductivity type TE elements 1301.

  When an appropriate current is applied, the shunt 1302 is alternately heated and cooled. The generated heat output is carried away from the TE element 1301 by the shunt 1302. Conveniently, the raised electrode 1303 provides a reliable, low cost, stable surface for mounting the TE element 1301. In practice, a stack of a plurality of these assemblies 1310 can be provided. Thermal insulation can also be further promoted using an array of stacks.

  Electrode 1303 can be conveniently shaped such that solder does not short circuit TE element 1301. The electrode 1303 can also be conveniently formed to control the contact area and thus the current density through the TE element 1301.

  An example of a portion of a shunt heat exchanger 1400 is shown in FIG. This portion 1400 has an increased surface area to facilitate heat transfer. TE element 1401 is preferably attached to a shunt 1402 configured as shown in FIG. 13A or configured as in other embodiments herein. Heat exchangers 1403, 1404 such as fins are attached to the shunt 1402 by good thermal contact such as by brazing to the shunt 1402. In this embodiment, working fluid 1405 passes through heat exchangers 1403 and 1404.

  Conveniently, the shunt portion 1400 is configured to efficiently transfer heat output when the working fluid 1405 passes through the heat exchangers 1403, 1404. Further, when incorporated into a stack as described in FIGS. 12 and 13B, the material size and ratio of shunt 1402 and heat exchangers 1403, 1404 are designed to optimize operating efficiency. Conveniently, the heat exchangers 1403, 1404 may be louvered, porous, or M.M. Kays and A.M. L. It may be replaced by any other heat exchanger design that achieves the above objectives, such as those described in London's “Compact Heat Exchangers”, 3rd edition. The heat exchangers 1403, 1404 can be attached to the shunt 1402 by epoxy, solder, brazing, welding, or any other attachment method that provides good thermal contact.

  Another embodiment of the shunt segment 1500 is shown in FIG. The shunt segment 1500 is composed of a plurality of shunt elements 1501, 1502, 1503, and 1504. Shunt elements 1501, 1502, 1503, and 1504 may be folded over each other, brazed, riveted, or routed through a low electrical resistance to pass current 1507. And may be connected in any other manner that provides a path to reduce thermal resistance from the TE element 1506 to the shunts 1501, 1502, 1503, and 1504. The TE element 1506 is conveniently attached to the segment 1500 at or near the base portion 1505.

  Shunt segment 1500 shows an alternative design of shunt segment 1400 of FIG. The shunt segments 1500 can be configured in a stack as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, and then can be configured in an array of stacks if desired. Both configurations of FIGS. 14 and 15 can be automatically assembled to reduce the labor costs of TE systems made from these designs.

  The shunt segments can also be formed into a stack assembly 1600 as shown in FIG. The central shunt 1602 has the same conductivity type first at each end of the opposite conductivity type first side and second side TE element 1605 at each end of the opposite side of the center shunt 1602. The TE element 1601 on the side is provided. To form a stack of shunts 1602, a right shunt 1603 and a left shunt 1604 are disposed between each central shunt 1602, as shown in FIG. The right shunt 1603 is arranged so that the left end portion is sandwiched between the TE elements 1601 and 1605 with good thermal contact and electrical contact. Similarly, the left shunt 1604 is arranged such that the right end is sandwiched between the TE elements 1601 and 1605 with good thermal contact and electrical contact. Shunts 1602, 1603, and 1604 are stacked alternately and electrically connected to form shunt stack 1600. First working fluid 1607 and second working fluid 1608 pass through assembly 1600. Of course, in the stack configuration embodiment shown in FIG. 16 and described herein, the stack can be configured with more shunt elements in the stack, and perhaps so. Only a portion of the stack assembly 1600 is shown for the reader's understanding. It is clear from the figure that such a stack is repeated further. Furthermore, it is possible to provide further stacks that are thermally insulated in the direction of the working fluid.

  When an appropriate current is applied in one direction through TE element 1601, shunts 1605, 1604, central shunt 1602 is cooled and left and right shunts 1604 and 1606 are heated. As a result, the first working fluid 1607 passing through the central shunt 1602 is cooled, and the second working fluid 1608 passing through the right and left shunts 1603, 1604 is heated. The stack assembly 1600 forms a semiconductor heat pump for regulating fluids. The stack 1600 can comprise a small or large number of segments, thereby operating at various power levels depending on the amount of current and voltage applied, component dimensions, and the number of segments incorporated into the assembly. It is important to note that you can. Such an array of stacks may also be advantageous. In situations where such an array of stacks 1600 is used, it is preferable to provide thermal insulation in the direction of fluid flow, as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725, to improve efficiency. it is conceivable that.

  It should also be understood that the shunts 1602, 1603, 1604 can be replaced by other shapes to improve performance, such as, but not limited to, the shapes shown in FIGS.

  A variation of the stack assembly 1600 shown in FIG. 16 is shown in FIG. In this configuration, the TE assembly 1700 is comprised of a right shunt 1703 and a left shunt 1704 to form a generally circular shape. Conveniently, the right shunt 1703 is configured to form a partial circle, as is the left shunt 1704. In a preferred embodiment, the shunt that cools down during operation may be larger or smaller than the shunt that goes hot, depending on the particular purpose of the device. It should be noted that a substantially circular configuration is not necessary to form the central flow portion, and other configurations of the shunt segment shown in FIG. 17 can be used. For example, the right shunt may be a half rectangle or a square, and the left shunt 1704 may be a half rectangle or a rectangle. Similarly, one side may be multifaceted and one side may be arched. The specific shape of the shunt can be changed. As described with reference to FIG. 16, TE elements 1701 and 1702 of alternating conductivity types are electrically connected in series in stack assembly 1700. The fluid 1712 preferably flows through a central region formed by the shunts 1703, 1704. A first portion 1707 of fluid 1712 passes between the right shunts 1703 and a second portion 1706 of working fluid 1712 passes between the left shunts 1704. A power source 1708 is electrically connected to the TE element by wires 1712, 1713, which are connected to the stack at contacts 1710 and 1711. A fan 1709 can be attached to one end (or both ends) of the stack. A pump, a blower or the like can be used similarly.

  When power is applied to fan 1709, fan 1709 sends working fluid 1712 through assembly 1700. When current is supplied with a polarity such that the right shunt 1703 is cooled, the first fluid portion 1707 of the working fluid 1712 is cooled as it passes through the right shunt 1703. Similarly, the second portion 1706 of working fluid is heated as it passes through the heated left shunt 1704. The assembly 1700 forms a single compact cooler / heater and the capacity and overall size can be adjusted depending on the number of shunts 1703, 1704 used in the configuration. Obviously, the shunts 1703, 1704 may be square and may be oval or any other convenient shape. Further, the shunt may be of the design shown in FIGS. 14 and 15 or any other useful configuration.

  In one embodiment of the thermoelectric system of FIGS. 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, more than one TE element can be used in one or more portions of the array as shown in FIG. In this embodiment, the TE elements 1801 and 1804 are connected to electrode surfaces 1804 raised on the respective sides of the shunts 1802 and 1803.

  Multiple TE elements 1801 that are electrically in parallel can increase mechanical stability, better distribute heat output, and add electrical redundancy to the system. Three or more TE elements 1801 can be used in parallel.

  In certain applications, it is desirable to electrically isolate the exposed portion of the shunt according to FIGS. 12-13 from the electrode portion. One example of such a shunt is shown in FIG. In this embodiment, the electrical insulator 1905 separates the electrode portion 1903 of the shunt 1900 from the heat exchange portion 1904 of the shunt 1900. The TE elements 1901 and 1902 are preferably attached to the electrode portion 1903.

  In operation, it is advantageous to apply a potential between opposing conductive TE elements 1901, 1902 via electrode portions 1903 made of a material having high electrical conductivity and conductivity such as copper. The heat output generated by the TE elements 1901, 1902 is conducted along the shunt electrode, through the electrical insulator 1905, and to the heat exchange portion 1904 of the shunt 1900. Electrical insulator 1905 is advantageously a very good thermal conductor such as alumina, thermally conductive epoxy or the like. As shown, the shape of the interface formed by the electrical insulator 1905 is a shallow “V” shape to minimize thermal resistance. Any other shape and material combination with a suitably low interfacial thermal resistance can also be used. A stack of such shunts 1900 can be used as described above.

  Another form of electrical isolation is shown in another shunt segment assembly 2000 shown in the plan view of FIG. The first TE element 2001 is connected to the left shunt 2003 of the shunt segment array 2000, and the second TE element 2002 is connected to the right shunt 2004 of the shunt segment array 2000. The electrical insulator 2005 is disposed between the left shunt segment 2003 and the right shunt segment 2004.

  The configuration shown in FIG. 20 provides electrical insulation between TE element 2001 and TE element 2002 while maintaining the mechanical integrity of the entire shunt 2000. In this configuration as shown, the electrical insulator 2005 need not provide particularly good thermal conductivity. If the electrical insulator 2005 is disposed approximately in the middle between the TE element 2001 and the TE element 2002, the TE elements 2001 and 2002 as the heat output sources are different in level from the left shunt segment 2003 and the right shunt segment 2004. This is because it can be cooled or heated. It should be noted that although two TE elements 2001 and two second TE elements 2002 are shown, larger or more TE elements can be used on each side. Two first TE elements 2001 and two second TE elements 2002 are only selected to illustrate a sufficiently stable mechanical structure. It should also be noted that the first TE element 2001 and the second TE element 2002 need not be of different conductivity types depending on the desired current path, but may be of different conductivity types.

  Another way of achieving electrical isolation within shunt 2100 is shown in FIG. A shunt portion 2103 having two first TE elements 2101 is mechanically attached to a second shunt portion 2104 having two second TE elements 2102. Electrical insulator 2106 is mechanically attached to shunt portions 2103 and 2104 that are separated from each other by gap 2105.

  If the mechanical attachment 2106 is located approximately in the middle between the TE element 2101 and the TE element 2102 and the TE elements 2101 and 2102 produce approximately equal heat output, the electrical insulator 2106 is superior in heat. It need not be a conductor. TE elements 2101 and 2102 provide thermal output to respective shunt portions 2103 and 2104, respectively. The electrical insulator 2106 may be back-faced adhesive Kapton tape, injection molded plastic, hot melt adhesive or any other suitable material. As shown in the plan view of FIG. 21, the shunt portions 2103, 2104 do not overlap to form a lap joint. Such joining by epoxy or other electrically insulating binder is also possible.

  Another shunt segment array 2200 shown in the plan view of FIG. 22 has shunt segments electrically isolated in a rectangular TE array 2200. The first TE element 2201 is in thermal contact with the first shunt portion 2202 and the second TE element 2203 is in thermal contact with the second shunt portion 2204. Each shunt portion is electrically isolated from the other shunt portions by gaps 2210, 2211. Preferably, an electrical insulator 2208 on the left side of the assembly, an insulator 2207 in the center, and an insulator 2209 on the right side are provided. Arrow 2212 indicates the direction in which the working fluid flows. This configuration can operate at higher voltages and lower currents than a similar array without electrical isolation. As described with reference to FIG. 20, the first TE element 2201 and the second TE element 2203 do not have to be of different conductivity types, but may be of different conductivity types. This depends on the direction of the desired current. However, the TE elements 2202 and 2203 may be at different potentials.

  The gap 2210 functions to efficiently thermally insulate the first shunt portions 2202 from each other and to efficiently insulate the second shunt portions 2204 from each other. Similarly, the side insulators 2208, 2209 are both mechanically attached to the shunt while providing both thermal and electrical insulation. A central insulator 2207 provides electrical and thermal insulation along its length. Accordingly, the array 2200 is configured to form thermal insulation in the direction of arrow 2212 as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725. This configuration can operate at higher voltages and lower currents than a similar array without electrical isolation.

  A cooling system 2300 that generally uses a shunt segment array of the type shown in FIG. 22 is shown in FIG. The cooling system 2300 has inner shunt segments 2301, 2302 that are mechanically connected by an electrically insulating material 2320, such as tape. Inner shunt segments 2302 are mechanically connected by an electrically and thermally insulating material 2321. Similarly, the inner segments 2301 are mechanically connected by an electrically and thermally insulating material 2307. The inner shunt segments 2301 and 2302 are separately connected to end TE elements (not shown) in the embodiment described in FIG. TE is sandwiched between the inner shunt segments 2301, 2302 and the respective outer shunt segments 2303, 2305. The central shunt segment 2301 is separately connected to the left outer shunt segment 2305 and the inner shunt segment 2302 is connected to the right outer shunt segment 2303. The right outer shunt segment 2303 is also preferably mechanically connected by an electrically and thermally insulating material 2322 similar to the electrically insulating material 2321 connecting the inner shunt segment 2302. The left outer shunt segment 2305 is similarly mechanically connected. Housing 2311 holds a shunt segment and a stack array of TEs. Terminals 2312 and 2314 are electrically connected to internal segment 2301. Similarly, terminals 2315 and 2316 are connected to inner shunt segment 2302. Thermal and electrically insulating spacers 2309, 2310 are preferably disposed between the respective inner and outer segments.

  The first working fluid 2317 passes through the inner region, and the second working fluids 2318 and 2319 pass through the outer region. When a voltage of the appropriate polarity and magnitude is applied between terminals 2312 and 2314, and between terminals 2315 and 2316, the inner shunt segments 2301, 2302 are cooled. Also, the outer shunt segments 2303 and 2305 are heated. Thus, the working fluid 2317 flowing through the inner region is cooled and the working fluids 2318, 2319 flowing through the outer shunt segments 2303, 2305 are heated. The housing 2311 and insulators 2309 and 2310 contain and separate the fluid 2317 that is cooled from the fluids 2318 and 2319 that are heated.

  The electrical connections for applying a voltage to each stack in system 2300 may be in series to operate at a high voltage, and may be in series / parallel to operate at about half the voltage, It may be in parallel to operate at about 1/4 voltage. The polarity may be reversed in order to heat the inner working fluid 2317 and cool the outer working fluids 2318, 2319. It is possible to operate at higher voltages with more segments in the direction of working fluids 2317, 2318, 2319 and to achieve higher efficiency with the resulting more effective thermal insulation.

  Another compact design that achieves improved performance through thermal insulation uses a combined shunt and heat transfer segment 2400 as shown in FIGS. 24A and 24B. This design is very similar to the design of FIG. 14, except that the TE elements 2401, 4022 are aligned in the general direction of fluid flow. Opposing conductive TE elements 2401 and 2402 are connected to the extension 2403 of the shunt 2404. Preferably, heat exchangers 2405, 2406, such as fins, are in good thermal contact with the shunt 2404. The working fluid 2409 is heated or cooled as it flows through the heat exchangers 2405 and 2406 depending on the direction of current.

  FIG. 24B shows a portion of a stack 2410 comprised of TE shunt segments 2400 as shown in FIG. 24A. Current 2417 flows in the direction indicated by the arrow. A plurality of first side shunts 2400 and a plurality of second side shunts 2400 a are connected to the TE element 2411. The first working fluid 2418 flows through the heat exchanger in the second side shunt 2400a of FIG. 24A along the lower portion of the stack 2410, and the working fluid 2419 passes through the heat of the first side shunt 2400. It is advantageous to flow in the reverse direction through the exchanger.

  When an appropriate current 2417 is applied, the upper portion of the stack 2410 gradually cools the fluid 2419 as it flows from one shunt segment to the next shunt segment, and the lower portion from the one shunt segment 2400a to the next. The fluid 2418 is gradually heated as it flows into the shunt segment.

  An alternative TE stack configuration 2500 is shown in FIG. 25A. This TE stack achieves the advantage of thermal isolation with respect to working fluid 2513 that flows substantially perpendicular to the direction of current 2512. The first shunt 2502 is electrically connected to the first TE element 2501 and is in good thermal contact with the heat exchangers 2503 and 2504. The second shunt 2506 on the first side is also in good thermal contact with the heat exchanger 2508 and the third shunt 2505 on the first side is in good thermal contact with the heat exchanger 2507. . Between each first side shunt 2502, 2506 and 2505 are interleaved types of TE elements 2501 and, similar to FIG. 12, the second side shunts 2509, 2510 and 2511 are , Projecting in approximately reverse direction. The second side shunts 2509, 2510 and 2511 are not fully shown, but are generally the same shape and have the same spatial relationship as the first side shunts 2502, 2506 and 2505. The working fluid 2513 passes through the stack assembly as indicated by the arrows. When an appropriate current is applied vertically through the TE element, the first side shunts 2502, 2505 and 2506 are heated and the second side shunts 2509, 2510 and 2511 are cooled. The working fluid 2513 is gradually heated as it flows first through the heat exchanger 2507, then through the heat exchanger 2508, and finally through the heat exchanger 2503. A complete stack assembly has repeating portions of the array 2500 in the direction of current, with the top of the heat exchanger 2503 closely spaced below the next consecutive heat exchanger 2504 of another array portion. Assembled. Thermal insulation in the direction in which the working fluid 2513 flows is readily apparent.

  FIG. 25B is a plan view of the array portion 2500 shown in FIG. 25A. Since the cooling of the plurality of TE elements 2501 of alternating conductivity type is distributed by the plurality of first side shunts 2502, 2506, 2505 and the plurality of second side shunts 2511, 2509, 2510, The first side shunts 2502, 2506 and 2505 are alternately arranged with the second side shunts 2511, 2509 and 2510. The shunts are separated by a gap 2534 and are in good thermal contact with the heat exchanger for each shunt. Advantageously, the first working fluid 2531 flows along the upper portion from right to left and the working fluid 2532 flows along the lower portion from left to right. Except when current flows through the TE and shunt, a thermal and electrical insulator 2533 is preferably provided between each pair of shunts.

  When a suitable current flows through the array 2500, for example, the working fluid 2531 is gradually heated and the working fluid 2532 is gradually cooled. The insulator 2533 prevents unnecessary heat loss and prevents the working fluids 2531 and 2532 from mixing. As shown, the array 2500 operates in a counterflow mode and uses thermal insulation to improve performance. The same array 2500 can be operated by working fluids 2531, 2532 moving in the same direction in a parallel flow mode and still have the advantage of thermal isolation to improve performance. In either case, the TE elements 2521 are not all the same resistance, but as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725, the resistance varies depending on the temperature difference and output difference between individual TE elements. It is advantageous to have

  Another TE module 2600 is shown in FIG. 26A. The TE module 2600 uses the principles described in this description to achieve operation at higher voltages and, if possible, other advantages of higher power density, compact size, durability, and higher efficiency. To do. The first TE element 2601 is sandwiched between the first end shunt 2603 and the second shunt 2604. A second TE element 2602 of the opposite conductivity type is sandwiched between the second shunt 2604 and the third shunt 2605. This pattern continues until the last end shunt 2606. Current 2607 passes through the TE module, as indicated by arrows 2608 and 2609, exits the first end shunt 2603, and flows into the last end shunt 2606. The gap 2611 prevents electrical connection between adjacent shunts and reduces heat conduction. In one embodiment, the first end shunt 2603 and the last end shunt 2606 have an electrode surface 2612. Other shunts have a shunt surface 2614 that conducts heat from the shunt body but is electrically isolated.

  In operation, the appropriate current 2608 passes through the TE module 2600 to heat the top surface and cool the bottom surface (or vice versa). The TE module 2600 shown in FIG. 26A consists of five TE elements and six shunts. Advantageously, as shown, any odd number of TE elements separated by shunts can be used. In addition, two or more TE elements (a TE element of the same type as described with respect to FIG. 18) may be connected in parallel between each pair of shunts. An even number of TEs can be used to achieve another functionality, such as confining power to an electrically isolated portion of one surface.

  An array 2620 of TE modules 2600 is shown in FIG. 26B. FIG. 26B shows the two TE modules 2600 stacked on top of each other with respect to the central heat transfer member 2635 sandwiched between the first side shunts 2604 in the form shown in FIG. 26A. Outer heat transfer members 2632 and 2636 are in thermal contact with second side shunt 2605. The shunt and heat transfer member may also be any other suitable type, such as, for example, the type shown in FIGS. The first end shunt 2603 of the first TE module is electrically connected to the outer heat transfer member 2632. Similarly, the shunt 2606 at the other end of the first or upper TE module is electrically connected to the central heat transfer member 2635. Similarly, the second end shunt 2606a of the second TE module is electrically connected to the central heat transfer member 2635 and the first end shunt 2603a of the second TE module at the bottom of FIG. Electrically connected to outer heat transfer member 2636. Other shunts 2604, 2605 other than end shunts 2603, 2606, 2606 a, and 2603 a have a thermally conductive electrical insulator 2612. Further, as in the arrangement of FIG. 26A, the shunts have gaps 2611 to electrically isolate each other. The current is indicated by arrows 2628, 2629, 2630, 2631 and 2637. As shown, the TE elements 2601 and 2602 are alternately arranged in conductivity type.

  As appropriate current passes through array 2620, second side shunt 2605 and outer heat transfer members 2632 and 2636 are heated. The first side shunt 2604 and the central heat transfer member 2635 are cooled. In the case of reverse current, the reverse is true. By adjusting the dimensions and number of TE elements 2601 and 2602, the operating current can be adjusted along with the corresponding voltage. Similarly, the power density can be adjusted. It should be noted that a larger number of shunts and TE elements can be used and made wider than the configuration shown in FIG. 26B. Furthermore, it is possible to stack further TE modules 2600 in the vertical direction. Furthermore, it is possible to form an array of such stacks in the plane of FIG. 26B or an array of such stacks that exit from the plane of FIG. 26B, and any combination of the above can be used. In a suitable array, the principle of thermal insulation in the direction of heat transfer or working fluid flow can be used as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725.

  Another embodiment of a TE module 2700 of a type similar to the TE module 2600 of FIG. 26A is shown in FIG. End shunts 2705 and 2704 are electrically connected to power supply 2720 and grounding conductor 2709. The TE elements 2701 and 2702 are electrically connected between a series of shunts 2703, 2704, 2705, and 2706. In this embodiment, all shunts 2703, 2704, 2705, 2706 are electrically isolated from the first heat transfer member 2708 and the second heat transfer member 2707 by insulators 2711. The shunt is in good thermal contact with the heat transfer members 2707, 2708. First side heat transfer member 2708 moves in the direction indicated by arrow 2712. Advantageously, the second side heat transfer member 2707 moves in the opposite direction as indicated by arrow 2710.

  When an appropriate current is applied to the TE module 2700, the second side heat transfer member 2707 is cooled and the first side heat transfer member 2708 is heated. The operation is similar to that associated with the description of FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D. The first heat transfer member 2708 and the second heat transfer member 2707 need not be rectangular as inferred from FIG. 27, but can be any other convenient, such as a disk shape or the shape described in FIG. 7A. It should be noted that the shape may be any shape. With an efficient design, the TE module 2700 can also achieve the performance benefits associated with thermal isolation as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725.

  In another embodiment, heat transfer components 2707 and 2708 do not move. In such a configuration, the TE module 2700 is similar to the standard module shown in FIG. 1, but can operate at high power density and use relatively thin TE elements 2701, 2702. It is different in point. The TE module 2700 advantageously induces low shear stress on the TE elements 2701, 2702. This shear stress is generated, for example, by the difference in thermal expansion between the first side shunt and the second side shunt. Since the shear stress is generated in the TE module 2700 by the temperature difference across the TE elements 2701, 2702 and is proportional to the width dimension, the shear stress is proportional to the overall width of the module and much more than the shear stress of a standard TE module. Can be smaller. The difference can be seen by comparing FIG. 12 with the standard module shown in FIG. A standard module with three or more TE elements of the same dimensions as in the configuration of FIG. 12 exhibits an undesirably high shear stress. Such stresses limit thermal cycle durability and module size.

  FIG. 27 also provides a good example showing how the embodiments described herein can also be used for power generation. In such a configuration, terminals 2709, 2720 are connected to the load rather than the power source to provide power to the load. The heat transfer members 2708, 2707 provide heat output in the form of a temperature gradient. Due to the temperature gradient between the first heat transfer member 2708 and the second heat transfer member 2707, the thermoelectric system 2700 generates current at the terminals 2709, 2720. Terminals 2709, 2720 will now be connected to a load or power storage system. Accordingly, system 2700 can operate as a power generator. Other configurations shown in this detail can also be coupled to similar aspects of providing a power generation system by using temperature gradients and inducing current.

  A TE heat transfer system 2800 using a gas working fluid 2810 and a liquid working fluid 2806 is shown in FIG. In this embodiment, the first side shunt heat exchanger 2803 has the configuration shown in FIGS. 24A and 24B. The shunt heat exchanger 2803 transmits heat output by the gas working fluid 2810. In this embodiment, the second side shunt heat exchangers 2804, 2805 transfer heat output by the liquid working medium 2806. A plurality of TE elements 2801 made of opposing conductive types are sandwiched between the shunts 2804 and 2805 on the second side and the shunt heat exchanger 2803. Similarly, the shunt heat exchangers 2804 and 2805 on the second side are sandwiched between TE elements 2801 having conductive types arranged alternately. Currents 2812, 2813 flow through the system 2800 as represented by arrows 2812, 2813. In this embodiment, tubes 2814, 2815 flow liquid working medium 2806 from one shunt heat exchanger 2804, 2805 to the next shunt heat exchanger.

  The operation of the TE heat transfer system 2800 is similar to that described in FIG. 24B, except that one working fluid 2810 is a gas and the other working fluid 2806 is a liquid. The benefits of thermal insulation as described in US Pat. No. 6,539,725 are also achieved with the design shown in system 2800.

  FIG. 29 shows details of the shunt heat exchanger 2900. The assembly includes a container 2901 made of a very good heat conducting material, an electrode 2902 made of a very good conductive material, heat transfer fins 2905 in good thermal contact with the top and bottom surfaces of the container 2901 and 2906 is advantageous. In one embodiment, the container 2901 and the electrode 2902 are made of a single material and can be integrated. Advantageously, the interface 2904 between the bottom surface of the container 2901 and the electrode 2902 has a very low electrical resistance. Fluid 2909 passes through shunt heat exchanger 2900.

  In operation, a TE element (not shown) is electrically connected to the top and bottom of the electrode 2902. Container 2901 and fins 2905, 2906 are heated or cooled when an appropriate current is applied through TE and electrode 2902. The working fluid 2909 flowing through the shunt heat exchanger 2900 is heated or cooled by the heat exchanger 2900. Advantageously, the shunt heat exchanger 2900 has a sufficiently high conductivity and does not contribute significantly to parasitic losses. Such losses can be reduced by minimizing the current path through electrode 2902, maximizing conductivity across the current path, and increasing the cross-sectional area of electrode 2902.

  The top and bottom surfaces of the container 2901 and the fins 2905 and 2906 provide sufficient conductivity in the direction of current to reduce the cross-sectional area of the solid electrode body 2902 as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4B. Or the solid electrode body 2902 can be completely eliminated.

  A heat sink and fluid system 3000 is shown in FIG. TE elements 3001 made of alternating conductivity types are interspersed between the fluid heat exchangers 3004, and each fluid heat exchanger 3004 has a shunt portion 3003 and shunts 3002 and 3005. Currents 3006 and 3007 flow through shunt portion 3003, shunts 3002 and 3005, and TE element 3001. The working fluid 3009 flows as indicated by the arrows. The heat sink 3010 is in good thermal contact with the shunt 3002 and is electrically isolated from the shunt 3002, and the heat sink 3011 is in good thermal contact with the shunt 3005 and is electrically isolated from the shunt 3005. In embodiments using metal or otherwise conductive heat sinks 3010, 3011, electrical insulators 3008, 3012, which advantageously have sufficient thermal conductivity, have currents 3001, Confine 3007.

  When an appropriate current 3006, 3007 is applied, heat output is transferred from the working fluid 3009 to the heat sink 3010, 3011. Since the shunt heat transfer members 3004 are thermally insulated from each other, this embodiment achieves improved performance due to thermal insulation.

  Another shunt heat exchanger embodiment 3100 is shown in FIG. 31A. The shunt portion 3101 has an electrode 3102 for connection to a TE element (not shown), and a heat transfer extension 3108 in good thermal contact with a heat exchanger 3103 such as a fin. The fluid 3107 passes through the heat exchanger 3103.

  The shunt heat exchanger 3100 preferably includes an electrode 3102 disposed substantially at the center between the heat transfer extension portions 3108. In this embodiment, the heat output can flow into and out of the TE assembly in two directions, increasing to about twice the heat transfer force per TE element compared to the embodiment shown in FIG. 24A. can do. The shunt side may improve heat transfer characteristics, for example, by incorporating a heat pipe, convective heat flow, or by using any other method that improves heat transfer.

  FIG. 31B shows a heat transfer shunt assembly 3110 comprising a shunt 3111, an electrode 3112, an inflow fluid port 3113, 3114 and an outflow fluid port 3115, 3116. The heat transfer shunt assembly 3110 can increase the heat transfer force per TE element and have more fluid transport capability than the system shown in FIG.

  FIG. 31C shows a shunt assembly 3120 having a shunt member 3121, an electrode 3122, and heat exchange surfaces 3123, 3124. The shunt assembly 3120 can have about twice the heat transfer force per TE element compared to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 26A and 26B. However, in contrast to the application shown in FIGS. 26A and 26B, the stacks of shunt assemblies 3120 are interleaved at substantially right angles to each other, and the opposing surfaces 3123, 3124 are both heated, for example, The next pair of faces of the stack that is approximately perpendicular to the heated pair is cooled. Alternatively, the surfaces 3123, 3214 may be at other angles such as 120 ° and may be interspersed with the shunt 2604 as shown in FIG. Any combination of polyhedral shunts is part of the present invention.

  It should be noted that the reduction of thermoelectric materials can be quite dramatic. For example, the thermoelectric elements described herein may be as thin as 5 microns to 1.2 mm in one general embodiment. In the case of superlattice and heterostructure configurations, such as can be realized using the embodiments of FIGS. 31A-31C, 26A-26B, and 27, the thermoelectric element is 20 microns to 300 microns thick. It may be 20 to 200 microns, more preferably 20 to 100 microns, and even more preferably 20 to 100 microns. In another embodiment, the thickness of the thermoelectric element is between 100 microns and 600 microns. These thicknesses for thermoelectric elements are substantially thinner than conventional thermoelectric systems.

  It should be noted that the described arrangement does not require the TE elements to be assembled into an array or module. In some applications, it is advantageous to attach the TE element directly to the heat transfer member, thereby reducing system complexity and cost. It should also be noted that the features described above may be combined in any convenient manner without departing from the invention. Further, although the TE elements are shown in various drawings as if they were of similar size, the TE elements may vary in size across the array or stack, and the final TE element type is a P-type TE element It should be noted that some TE elements may be heterostructures, and some TE elements may be designed as non-heterostructures.

In general, the systems described in these drawings operate in both a cooling / heating mode and a power generation mode. Advantageously, certain changes can be made to optimize performance for cooling, heating or power generation. As is known in the art, to achieve high efficiency in power generation, for example, a large temperature difference (200-2000 ° F.) is desirable, whereas a small temperature difference (10-60 ° F.) is a cooling system. And the characteristics of the heating system. Large temperature differences require TE components and TE elements of different construction materials, possibly different design dimensions and materials. However, the basic concept remains the same for the different modes of operation. The designs described in FIGS. 5, 8 and 9 are advantageous for power generation because they offer the possibility of creating a simple, simple and low cost design. However, all of the above designs can have advantages for specific power generation applications and cannot be ignored.
High-capacity thermoelectric temperature control systems Thermoelectric cooling, heating, and temperature control devices have important features that make them very interesting for use in several growing markets. For example, the increased cooling capacity required in an electronic chassis uses a small cooling system with a form factor that is not easily achieved with a two-phase compressor system. Similarly, local cooling and heating systems, quiet room heat pumps, and other applications will benefit from the transformation from two-phase compressor-based technology to technical solutions with quiet, vibration-free semiconductors. However, although successful in limited niche applications, the application of this technology has been slow, in part due to three drawbacks of such semiconductor systems.
-The efficiency of TE equipment is typically about 1/4 that of a two-phase compressor-based cooling system, resulting in quadruple operating costs and larger thermal isolation components.
• The expected initial cost is at least twice the cost of the competing system.
No simulation tools are available that can optimize the design of the TE system for cost, efficiency, size, and other important parameters.

  Certain embodiments described herein advantageously optimize another thermodynamic cycle that can double the efficiency in critical applications. The improved efficiency of certain embodiments is combined with the movement of the working fluid, as seen in HVAC and temperature control systems and the like. The results were verified by experiment in air-based and liquid-based devices. In addition, in certain embodiments described herein, high power density thermoelectric designs substantially reduce the use of thermoelectric materials under the constraints of current thermoelectric material manufacturing and heat transfer technology. Reduce to a minimum. Reduction of material usage is enabled by improved heat transfer technology and more accurate modeling software in the specific embodiments described herein. Certain embodiments described herein use these technological advances to achieve significant material savings. The specific embodiments described herein are modeled accurately and comprehensively by a simultaneous multidimensional optimization algorithm that efficiently optimizes complex designs. The model allows the design input variables to be constrained to a range suitable for easy manufacturing and other purposes. The design output can also be constrained by imposing limits on volume, pressure loss, flow rate, and other parameters.

  These advances are not limited to these, but are designed for specific embodiments described herein, such as thermoelectric-based semiconductor cooling, heating, and temperature control systems with 80 watt and 3500 watt heat outputs Used to make and test. Other specific embodiments described herein provide thermoelectric systems having other ranges of heat output.

Certain embodiments described herein include liquid-based heating, cooling, and temperature control systems. Particular embodiments described herein include one or more of the following specific technical design goals.
• The operating efficiency is at least 50% greater than the operating efficiency of conventional thermoelectric technology.
The thermoelectric material used is less than 25% of commercially available thermoelectric modules with the same heat output.
-It can be manufactured easily, and is expected to be low cost, small size, and minimum weight.
• Incorporate electrical redundancy.
-Nominal heat pump capacity of 3,500 watts in cooling mode.
• Scalability that can scale up and down between 50-5,000 watts thermal capacity.

  FIG. 32 schematically illustrates a partial cutaway view of an exemplary heat transfer device 3200 according to certain embodiments described herein, and FIG. 33 is compatible with certain embodiments described herein. FIG. 3 is a diagram of an exemplary thermoelectric system subassembly 3300. The thermoelectric system comprises a plurality of thermoelectric modules (not visible in FIG. 33) and a plurality of heat transfer devices 3200. Each heat transfer device 3200 includes a housing 3210 and one or more heat exchanger elements 3220 inside the housing 3210. Each heat transfer device 3200 receives and passes working fluid. At least some of the heat transfer devices 3200 are sandwiched between at least two of the plurality of thermoelectric modules to form a stack of alternating thermoelectric modules and heat transfer devices 3200, and these thermoelectric modules There is thermal contact with the module. The stack is configured to provide thermal insulation in the direction of working medium movement. In certain embodiments, compression is applied to the subassembly 3300 to ensure mechanical stability.

  In certain embodiments, the housing 3210 is made of copper and the one or more heat exchanger elements 3220 comprise copper fins. Certain embodiments of the housing 3210 include a plurality of portions (eg, a copper shell with a restriction) that are combined together to form the housing 3210. In another particular embodiment, the housing 3210 is a unitary structure and defines a volume through which the working fluid can flow by bending, folding, and / or removing material.

  In certain embodiments, the heat exchanger element 3220 comprises a plurality of copper fins. The heat exchanger element 3220 of the heat transfer device 3200 in certain embodiments is a unitary structure for heat transfer between the heat exchanger element 3220 and the working fluid by bending, folding, and / or removing material. A portion through which the working fluid can flow is formed. For example, the heat exchanger element 3220 can be provided with folded copper fins disposed inside the copper shell of the housing 3210. In certain embodiments, the heat exchanger element 3220 can comprise more than one fin assembly, as schematically illustrated by FIG. In certain embodiments, the housing 3210 and one or more heat exchanger elements 3220 are a unitary structure, and the heat transfer device 3200 is formed by bending, bending, and / or removing material.

  In certain embodiments, the housing 3210 includes a first surface 3212 and a second surface 3214 generally parallel to the first surface 3212. When assembled into a thermoelectric system, the first surface 3212 is in thermal and electrical communication with at least a first thermoelectric module of the plurality of thermoelectric modules. Further, when assembled into a thermoelectric system, the second surface 3214 is in thermal and electrical communication with at least a second thermoelectric module of the plurality of thermoelectric modules. The second thermoelectric module is further in thermal and electrical communication with at least the second thermoelectric module.

  For example, in certain embodiments, alternating N-type and P-type thermoelectric elements are soldered or brazed directly to first surface 3212 and second surface 3214 of heat transfer device 3200, respectively. In addition, alternating N-type and P-type thermoelectric elements are soldered or brazed directly to the heat transfer device 3200 next to the thermoelectric system. Such particular embodiments advantageously provide design features that eliminate the need for traditional thermoelectric module components, including substrates and other electrical circuit components.

  In a particular embodiment, each heat transfer device 3200 includes an inlet 3230 through which working fluid entering the heat transfer device 3200 passes and an outlet 3240 through which the working fluid exiting the heat transfer device 3200 passes. . In certain embodiments, working fluid flows through the inlet 3230 in a direction generally perpendicular to the first surface 3212 and flows through the outlet 3240 in a direction generally perpendicular to the second surface 3214. . As shown in the exemplary subassembly 3300 of FIG. 33, in certain embodiments, the outlet 3240 of the heat transfer device 3200 leads to an inlet 3230 of another heat transfer device 3200 (eg, a distribution duct). (Or by conduit 3250) to allow fluid to pass through. In certain embodiments, two heat transfer devices 3200 that are connected together so that fluid can flow through a fluid tube 3250 are separated by a thermoelectric module, another heat transfer device 3200, and another thermoelectric module. And the working fluid moves in a counter-flow manner with each fluid passing through every other heat transfer device 3200.

  FIG. 34 schematically illustrates working fluid paths and electrical connections of a heat exchanger subassembly 3300 (eg, stack) of a typical thermoelectric system that is compatible with certain embodiments described herein. Yes. In FIG. 34, current flows along the length of heat exchanger subassembly (eg, stack) 3300. In certain embodiments, subassembly 3300 achieves some degree of electrical redundancy by incorporating electrical circuits through parallel thermoelectric elements. The series-parallel redundancy shown in FIG. 34 can advantageously increase the durability, stability, and reliability of the devices of the thermoelectric system.

  Certain embodiments of the thermoelectric system include a first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410, a second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420, and a plurality of heat transfer devices 3200. Each heat transfer device 3200 has a first side 3432 in thermal communication with two or more thermoelectric elements 3410 of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410 to form a stack of thermoelectric elements and heat transfer devices. And a second side 3434 in thermal communication with one or more thermoelectric elements 3420 of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420. Two or more thermoelectric elements 3410 of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410 are in electrical communication with each other. Two or more thermoelectric elements 3410 of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410 are in electrical communication with one or more thermoelectric elements 3420 of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420. In certain embodiments, one or more thermoelectric elements 3420 of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420 include two or more thermoelectric elements 3420 in electrical communication with each other.

  In certain embodiments, the thermoelectric elements 3410 of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410 are P-type, and in such certain embodiments, the thermoelectric elements 3420 of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420 are: N type. In certain embodiments, each heat transfer device 3200 can connect two or more thermoelectric elements 3410 of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements 3410 to two or more of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements 3420. Thermal insulation from thermoelectric element 3420. In certain embodiments, the stack is configured to provide thermal insulation in the direction of movement of the working medium.

  In certain embodiments, each heat transfer device 3200 receives a working fluid and passes it in the general direction of the heat transfer device 3200. The general directions of two or more heat transfer devices 3200 of the plurality of heat transfer devices 3200 are substantially parallel to each other. For example, the arrows of the heat transfer device 3200 in FIG. 34 indicate the overall direction of fluid flow in the heat transfer device 3200. In certain embodiments, the overall directions of at least two of the plurality of heat transfer devices 3200 are substantially opposite to each other.

  As described above with respect to FIG. 33, the outlet 3420 of the heat transfer device 3430 is connected to allow fluid to flow to the inlet 3230 of the other heat transfer device 3430. For example, as schematically illustrated by FIG. 34, the first working fluid 3440 is cooled by flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices 3200, and the second working fluid 3450 is second It is heated by flowing through a set of heat transfer devices 3200. The first working fluid 3440 generally flows along the stack in a first direction, and the second working fluid 3450 generally flows along the stack in the second direction. The first direction and the second direction are generally parallel to each other. In certain embodiments, the first direction and the second direction are generally opposite to each other. In the exemplary configuration of FIG. 34, the working fluid moves in a counter-flow manner, and each fluid passes through every second heat transfer device 3200. The thermoelectric elements 3410, 3420 of certain embodiments are alternately P-type and N-type in the direction of current flow, so the alternating heat transfer device 3200 is a heat source and a heat sink. Accordingly, the cooled working fluid 3440 is gradually cooled as it passes through the heat transfer device 3200, and the heated working fluid 3450 is gradually heated as it passes through the heat transfer device 3200.

  In certain embodiments, the working fluids 3440, 3450 can flow in opposite directions as shown schematically in FIG. In other particular embodiments, the working fluids 3440, 3450 can flow in the same direction, and a similar improvement in performance can be achieved as compared to operation in a standard thermodynamic cycle. Under some circumstances, such as very small temperature differences, the efficiency can be slightly higher than that achieved by counterflow. In certain embodiments, this configuration satisfies the basic state of thermal insulation without requiring the addition of extra components, and in practice the components used to achieve the intended performance characteristics. The total number can be reduced.

A detailed simulation modeling the heat transfer device 3200 schematically illustrated by FIG. 32 was used to evaluate design trade-offs and basic device performance. As parameters used in the modeling process to define the final equipment parameters:
The area, thickness, and number of thermoelectric elements,
The number of segments thermally insulated in the direction of flow,
The thickness, length, width and constituent materials of the shell of the heat transfer device,
The thickness, length, width, spacing, and constituent materials of the fins of the heat transfer device,
The number of thermoelectric segments in parallel,
・ Thickness and material characteristics of brazing joint of heat transfer device,
The thickness and material properties of the solder layer, and the electrical and thermal properties of the interface of the thermoelectric electrode. The first four parameters described above (excluding the constituent materials) were simultaneously optimized to yield the design parameters described below. The material thickness and spacing parameters were constrained to ensure manufacturability. The liquid flow rate and temperature changes were fixed, ie, constraints imposed during the optimization procedure to optimize the coefficient of performance (COP). Simulation output includes operating current and voltage, liquid pressure drop, number of thermoelectric elements, amount of thermoelectric material, and equipment weight and volume (manifolds, electrical and mechanical interface components, external insulation, and mounting brackets Etc.).

A typical experimental circuit board subassembly 3300 shown in FIG. 33 was fabricated according to the model output for an optimized design. A typical subassembly 3300 is 87 mm × 39 mm × 15 mm. Each thermoelectric section sandwiched between two heat transfer devices 3200 has four thermoelectric elements, and each thermoelectric element has a cross-sectional area of 4 mm × 3 mm and is in the direction of current flow. The thickness is 0.6 mm. The four thermoelectric elements are electrically parallel to each other between the adjacent heat transfer devices 3200. Water was used as the working fluid for the performance verification test. The uniformity of heat transfer and heat capacity characteristics facilitated reproducible measurements of flow rate and inlet and outlet temperatures. Other sources of environmental heat exchange and experimental inaccuracies were addressed and minimized. The accuracy of the test results was analyzed by calculating performance using two independent calculation methods for the input Q in to the instrument.
Method 1: O in = Q heated -Q cooled
Method 2: Q in = IV
Here, the heat flow rate on the heating side is Q heated = Fm heated × Cp × DT heated , and the heat flow rate on the cooling side is Q cooled = Fm cooled × Cp × DT cooled . The flow rate is Fm heated and Fm cooled , and the temperature change between the corresponding inlet and outlet is DT heated and DT cooled . The current through subassembly 3300 is I and the voltage across subassembly 3300 is V. The results for Q in calculated by both methods were compared.

  The test methodology was developed so that the test values measured by the two methods were within at least 5% of each other. Subassembly 3300 was attached to the test fixture as shown in FIG. A sub-assembly 3300 is mounted between two electrodes maintained at the inlet water temperature, and liquid metal to simulate the electrical and thermal losses at the interface and typical overall system solder (PbSn) electrical connections. Minimized by using (GaInSn) external electrical interface. In order to reduce heat exchange with the surroundings, the subassembly 3300 was placed in a foam insulation structure.

  FIG. 36 shows the performance results measured in the testing of subassembly 3300 compared to the simulation model results. These results show a good correlation over a wide range of operating parameters. The accuracy of the model results was within a range of 4% for all temperature differences tested, at the peak COP point and to the right (higher current) operating conditions. The test point to the left of the peak COP is not included in this accuracy analysis. Such operating conditions are typically not of interest because they represent operating conditions that use devices that are much bulkier and more expensive than devices operating at the same COP to the right of the peak. In addition, the very large slope associated with this type of operation introduces both test error and operational instability.

Parameters that epsilon is the secret of the current I against the current I max The calculated result in maximum cooling power. In the thermoelectric subassembly 3300 tested, I max = 440 amps. Subassembly 3300 was tested with an input current of 30-150 amps. The temperature difference between the outlet on the heating side and the outlet on the cooling side was in the range of 15 ° C to 55 ° C. The input power to subassembly 3300 was varied from 4.89 to 87.49 watts.

FIG. 37 compares the COP of the subassembly 3300 (top curve in FIG. 36) at ΔT c = 10 ° C. and ΔT h = 5 ° C. with the performance of a conventional thermoelectric module based design without thermal insulation. As shown. Compared to this conventional design having a COP of 2.25, the configuration of FIG. 33 has a COP of 4.30, an improvement of about 91%. The rate of improvement increases with larger temperature differences and decreases slightly with smaller temperature differences.

  Based on the calculated results for a standard TE module system and stack design, a typical thermoelectric module configuration and the size, weight, column, and size of an exemplary subassembly 3300 according to certain embodiments described herein. And the output comparison is shown in Table 1. As shown in Table 1, in addition to the approximately 91% COP (efficiency) improvement, subassembly 3300 exhibits significant volume, weight, and cost reductions compared to standard thermoelectric module designs. . The volume and weight of the thermoelectric subassembly is reduced by about 15% and 70%, respectively. The amount of thermoelectric material used, and thus the cost of the material, was about a quarter, and the specific power increased by a factor of about 3.3.

  Based on this level of design confirmation, the design of a full-scale device was completed. The device is shown in FIG. 38 with the front cover and insulation removed. In this apparatus, the thermoelectric elements are changed to three elements for each layer in order to increase the area of each thermoelectric layer, the cross-sectional area of each element is 12 mm × 3 mm, and the thickness is 0.6 mm. It is. This was done to meet the needs for specific applications where the temperature difference is smaller by favorably using a larger thermoelectric area for each stage. As shown by comparing the results of FIGS. 36 and 37, the device was expected to have a slightly higher efficiency than the thermoelectric subassembly 3300 under the specific operating conditions plotted. The device was fabricated in a 9 × 3 array with 1.5 mm semi-rigid insulation between the thermoelectric subassemblies so that the central thermoelectric assembly was small. The ancillary parts were separated by a gap filled with an insulator to allow access for thermocouples and other monitoring devices. Ancillary parts include fluid manifolds, electrical connections between subassemblies, and springs for pressing the subassemblies uniformly. No attempt was made to minimize the weight or volume of ancillary parts.

The apparatus of FIG. 38 has the following nominal design characteristics:
-Current: 86 amps-Voltage: 8.7 volts-Thermal cooling power: 3500 watts-Liquid flow rate: 0.16 liters / second-Thermoelectric material weight: 306 grams-Equipment volume: 1.59 liters-Equipment dry weight A 4.33 kilogram thermoelectric subassembly (see, eg, FIG. 33) was connected in parallel for fluid flow and in series for current flow. The manifold that guides the fluid flow also served as the upper and lower structural members. In addition, electrical connections were housed in the manifold.

  The device was tested using water as the working fluid and a weighed amount of water was passed through the cooling side and exhaust heat (heating) side of the device. The voltage, voltage, flow rate, and inlet and outlet temperatures were monitored. FIG. 39 shows the measured experimental results in comparison with the calculated model results. The experimental results are in good agreement with the results of predictions based on simulations using design modeling tools.

  The complete device test of FIG. 38 shows accuracy comparable to that of a typical thermoelectric subassembly 3300 test, but because of the test facility power supply and working fluid flow capability, it tested to less operating conditions. Is limited. In the range of conditions tested, the results demonstrate the validity of model performance predictions. In addition, the performance of the complete equipment and thermoelectric subassemblies are consistent with the same predicted results for each subassembly, so that system level losses do not invalidate system level predicted performance. It was confirmed to be small. That is, the results for the complete device follow the predicted performance for the thermoelectric subassembly.

A thermoelectric cooler whose design and model results are compatible with certain embodiments described herein having a liquid working medium under conditions of a combination of cooling and heating temperature changes (up to 30 ° C.) , Which can have a high COP. In this range, for heat output levels between 50 and 3,500 watts, such a system is a promising candidate for liquid-based cooling applications. As many identical subassemblies were used to demonstrate operation at 3,500 watts, it would be expected that very similar results would be observed for devices with a thermal capacity of at least 5,000 watts. it can. Furthermore, similar performance and model accuracy is obtained for operation in the heating mode. Thus, the fields of cooling, heating, and temperature control applications may be the subject of certain embodiments of TE technology described herein.
Applications Using Flow Direction Thermal Insulation In certain embodiments described herein, at least a portion of a single working fluid is heated and cooled in a thermoelectric system using flow direction thermal insulation. Cycle both sides. The working fluid is cooled during the first pass on the cooling side and reheated to a temperature somewhat above the original temperature during the return pass on the heating side. In conventional thermoelectric devices, the heat conduction of the substrate and heat exchange member to which the thermoelectric circuit is attached attempts to make the temperature somewhat uniform across the entire surface of the device. Particular embodiments described herein minimize heat conduction in the direction of flow, cool the heat transfer fluid as it flows through the first side, and then flow the other side in counterflow By heating again advantageously reduces the temperature difference across all parts of the thermoelectric device, resulting in a significant improvement in COP, ΔT, or both.

  FIG. 4A schematically illustrates an exemplary thermoelectric system 400 that is compatible with certain embodiments described herein. In certain embodiments, the thermoelectric system 400 includes a plurality of thermoelectric modules 402 and a plurality of heat transfer devices 403. Each heat transfer device 403 receives and passes the working fluid. At least some of the heat transfer devices 403 are sandwiched between at least two of the plurality of thermoelectric modules 402 to form a stack of alternating thermoelectric modules 402 and heat transfer devices 403. , Are in thermal communication with these thermoelectric modules 402. The first working fluid is cooled by flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices 403, and the second working fluid is heated by flowing through the second set of heat transfer devices 403. . FIG. 33 illustrates an exemplary subassembly 3300 that is compatible with certain embodiments described herein.

FIG. 40 schematically shows the temperature profile as the working fluid goes around the thermoelectric system for the three thermoelectric systems. In certain embodiments, the second working fluid consists of the first working fluid after flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices. In certain such embodiments having a load of the cooling, the first working fluid is subjected to temperature rise of the cold end from load because Q L. Then, the first working fluid is returned to the heating side as a second working fluid, the sum because of the input IV and load forces Q L, exits the heating side at an elevated temperature from the inlet temperature.

In certain embodiments, the temperature of the first working fluid returned to the heating side depends on the relative size of the heat load and the ability to pump the heat of the coldest stage of the device. The three profiles in FIG. 40 show the range of possibilities for (i) small or no heat load, (ii) moderate heat load, and (iii) large heat load. First working fluid is introduced into the cooling side at the inlet temperature T IN, gradually cooled as to the final section thermal load is applied flows along the cooling side. The first working fluid is heated by the heat load, introduced to the heating side as the second working fluid, and further gradually heated as it flows along the heating side to the discharge port. The outlet temperature T OUT of the second working fluid is higher than the inlet temperature T IN of the first working fluid.

To compare the performance of a conventional thermoelectric device with a device according to certain embodiments described herein that uses thermal insulation and uses the same working fluid on both sides of the device, a liquid-liquid thermoelectric device computer -A model was used. FIG. 41 shows that the measured temperature rise (ΔT = T OUT −T IN ) correlates well with the temperature rise calculated from the model.

  FIG. 42 illustrates an exemplary thermoelectric system 4200 that was used to validate the model under various conditions. The thermoelectric system 4200 has an inlet 4210 in fluid communication with the cooling side of the thermoelectric system 4200, a heater 4220 attached to the cooling side end 4230 to provide a thermal load, and a heating side of the thermoelectric system 4200. An outlet 4240 communicated to allow fluid to pass through and a pair of electrodes 4250 for applying current to the thermoelectric elements of the thermoelectric system 4200. Insulating foam is used to insulate the thermoelectric system 4200 from the environment.

FIG. 43 shows the effect that thermal insulation has on ΔT c by plotting the maximum achievable ΔT c for various numbers of thermal isolation stages. FIG. 44 shows the effect that thermal insulation has on maximum output. For the purposes of these comparisons, the parameter N for the number of thermal insulation stages present in the thermoelectric system was used. A conventional thermoelectric system without thermal insulation is denoted by N = 1.

By further complicating the flow re-guide, improvements in both ΔT c and load force can be achieved. In certain embodiments, the second working fluid can include one or more portions of the first working fluid after passing through one or more portions of the first set of heat transfer devices. In certain such embodiments, the one or more portions of the first working fluid include portions of the first working fluid after passing through portions of the first set of heat transfer devices. . FIG. 45 schematically illustrates an arrangement that utilizes fluid interconnections that are compatible with certain embodiments described herein. Some portions of the first working fluid are diverted from the cooling side to the heating side second working fluid at several points along the thermally isolated stack. This configuration increases the flow at the inlet and outlet and reduces the flow at the cold end. A smaller temperature difference at the high flow end is a factor that improves performance.

  In certain embodiments, the second working fluid includes a portion of the first working fluid that does not pass through at least a portion of the first set of heat transfer devices. FIG. 46 schematically illustrates the effect of introducing a medium temperature fluid to the heating side at a temperature point that matches the temperature of the original stream, in accordance with certain embodiments described herein. . This introduction of the medium temperature first working fluid into the second working fluid substantially removes the equal flow constraint. The benefit of using a cooled flow in certain embodiments is to utilize a cold fluid to further improve performance beyond that of a simple independent flow.

  In certain embodiments, the thermoelectric system provides improved cooling capacity when the temperature difference from the surroundings is large in a much more efficient manner than is achieved by conventional cascade arrangements. In the cascade, the exhaust heat from each cold side device must be passed to all of the hotter support devices, which adds additional heat beyond the removal of heat from the cold side of the coldest device. Responsibility for removal is imposed. In the specific embodiments described herein, exhaust heat does not accumulate as it passes from one set of thermoelectric elements to the next set of thermoelectric elements. The use of the same fluid on both sides of the thermoelectric system advantageously removes the freedom with respect to different flow rates, so there is advantageously an external reason for applying this limitation. In certain embodiments, this reason can be attributed to the nature of the working fluid, the pump means, the efficiency or cost of the pump, or the containment properties required for the fluid.

  FIG. 47 illustrates an exemplary temperature profile of an exemplary thermoelectric system according to certain embodiments described herein for removing vapor from a gas (eg, dehumidifying air). FIG. 47 shows an example in which the first working fluid contains steam at a temperature above the condensation point of steam. The first working fluid is cooled to a temperature below the condensation point by passing through at least a portion of the first set of heat transfer devices (eg, the cooling side of the thermoelectric system), and at least a portion of the vapor condenses into a liquid. To do. The second working fluid includes a first working fluid that does not include at least a portion of the vapor.

Illustratively, first, a first working fluid consisting of moist air is introduced into the inlet of the thermoelectric system at a temperature TIN . As this moist air flows through the cooling side of the thermoelectric system, it is cooled to the condensation or dew point of the water vapor to be removed. Once the condensation point is reached, the humidity is 100% and the thermoelectric system not only cools the air conveniently but also begins to remove enough heat to condense at least a portion of the water vapor from the air. At the lowest temperature, the desired water vapor concentration is achieved and now the dehumidified air (which does not contain a portion of the water vapor) is guided to the heating side of the thermoelectric system and returned to a higher temperature (e.g. more Warmed as low humidity air). The outlet air temperature T OUT is raised above the inlet air temperature T IN to provide, for example, the warmth necessary for typical anti-fogging applications. Other gases and vapors are also compatible with the particular embodiments described herein.

  Using a mathematical model for an air-air thermoelectric system, the dehumidifying thermoelectric system was simulated as both a conventional thermoelectric system and a thermoelectric system with thermal insulation. As an example of analysis, a particular scenario was chosen, ie, reducing relative humidity from 90% in 40 ° C. air. The current and flow rate were varied to optimize the power available to cool and condense the moisture. A thermoelectric system that was identical except for thermal insulation (N = 7) was used for the simulation. The thermoelectric system was the equivalent of a 40 mm × 40 mm module with 127 sets. The number of stages of thermal insulation was conservative N = 7. FIG. 48 shows a comparison of the capabilities of conventional thermoelectric systems and thermoelectric systems using thermal insulation for the removal of water from an air stream.

  At 40 ° C., in certain embodiments, it is advantageous to condense about ½ grams of water per cubic meter per 1% reduction in relative humidity. By doing so, the dew point is lowered by about 1/4 ° C. It is clear that the capacity of the module simulated in FIG. 48 is too small by itself. However, as shown in FIG. 49, increasing the capacity (and size) by a factor of 5 provides the thermoelectric system with thermal insulation the ability to significantly reduce humidity. The straight line in FIG. 49 represents the above relationship between water removal and dew point reduction. The displayed range extends to a 10-20% reduction in relative humidity.

  It should also be noted that the disclosure of this patent presents the design, configuration, and application of the present invention. Although the above discussion has been analyzed with respect to properties in cooling, similar results apply for heating and power generation, leading to similar conclusions. Some systems, especially thermionic and heterostructure-type systems, are considered to be of higher power density, in which case the present invention addresses the characteristics of such systems and the potential for higher power densities Therefore, it may be more suitable.

  Although several examples have been illustrated and described above, these descriptions are merely illustrative of the broad concepts of the present invention as set forth in the appended claims. In the claims, all terms are attributed to their ordinary and familiar meanings, and the above description defines any special or specifically defined terms unless specifically stated clearly. The meaning is not limited.

Claims (28)

  1. A first plurality of thermoelectric elements;
    A thermoelectric system comprising a second plurality of thermoelectric elements and a plurality of heat transfer devices,
    A first side that is in thermal communication with two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements, each heat transfer apparatus forming a stack of thermoelectric elements and heat transfer devices; A second side in thermal communication with one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements, and the two or more of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements Thermoelectric elements that are in electrical communication with each other in parallel and that are in electrical communication with the one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements.
  2.   2. The thermoelectric system according to claim 1, wherein the one or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements include two or more thermoelectric elements in electrical communication with each other.
  3.   The thermoelectric system according to claim 1, wherein thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements are P-type.
  4.   The thermoelectric system according to claim 3, wherein thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements are N-type.
  5.   Each heat transfer device thermally insulates the two or more thermoelectric elements of the first plurality of thermoelectric elements from the two or more thermoelectric elements of the second plurality of thermoelectric elements. The thermoelectric system according to claim 1.
  6.   The thermoelectric system of claim 1, wherein the stack is configured to provide thermal isolation in the direction of working medium movement.
  7.   The thermoelectric system of claim 1, wherein each heat transfer device receives a working fluid and passes it in the general direction of the heat transfer device.
  8.   The thermoelectric system of claim 7, wherein the overall directions of two or more heat transfer devices of the plurality of heat transfer devices are substantially parallel to each other.
  9.   The thermoelectric system of claim 8, wherein the overall directions of at least two heat transfer devices of the plurality of heat transfer devices are substantially opposite to each other.
  10.   8. The first working fluid is cooled by flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices, and the second working fluid is heated by flowing through the second set of heat transfer devices. The described thermoelectric system.
  11.   The first working fluid generally flows in a first direction along the stack, the second working fluid generally flows in a second direction along the stack, and the first direction is the first direction. The thermoelectric system according to claim 10, which is generally parallel to the two directions.
  12.   The thermoelectric system of claim 11, wherein the first direction is generally opposite to the second direction.
  13.   The thermoelectric system of claim 1, wherein each heat transfer device comprises a housing and one or more heat exchanger elements inside the housing.
  14. A thermoelectric system comprising a plurality of thermoelectric modules and a plurality of heat transfer devices,
    Each heat transfer device comprises a housing and one or more heat exchanger elements inside the housing for receiving and passing the working fluid;
    At least some of the heat transfer devices are sandwiched between at least two thermoelectric modules of the plurality of thermoelectric modules and are in thermal communication with the at least two thermoelectric modules, alternating thermoelectric modules and heat transfer devices A thermoelectric system in which a stack is formed that is arranged to provide thermal insulation along the direction of movement of the working medium.
  15.   The thermoelectric system of claim 14, wherein the housing is made of copper, and the one or more heat exchanger elements include copper fins.
  16.   The thermoelectric system of claim 14, wherein the housing and the one or more heat exchanger elements are a unitary structure.
  17. The housing includes a first surface and a second surface generally parallel to the first surface;
    The first surface is in thermal and electrical communication with at least a first thermoelectric module of the plurality of thermoelectric modules, and the second surface is at least a first of the plurality of thermoelectric modules. The thermoelectric system of claim 14 in thermal and electrical communication with two thermoelectric modules.
  18.   The first thermoelectric module is soldered to the first surface of the first housing, and the second thermoelectric module is soldered to the second surface of the first housing. The thermoelectric system according to claim 17.
  19.   The thermoelectric system of claim 18, wherein the second thermoelectric module is soldered to the first surface of the second housing.
  20.   18. The thermoelectric system according to claim 17, wherein each heat transfer device includes an inlet through which a working fluid entering the heat transfer device passes and an outlet through which the working fluid exiting the heat transfer device passes.
  21.   21. The working fluid of claim 20, wherein the working fluid flows through the inlet in a direction generally perpendicular to the first surface and flows through the outlet in a direction generally perpendicular to the second surface. Thermoelectric system.
  22. A thermoelectric system comprising a plurality of thermoelectric modules and a plurality of heat transfer devices,
    Each heat transfer device receives and passes the working fluid,
    At least some of the heat transfer devices are sandwiched between at least two thermoelectric modules of the plurality of thermoelectric modules and are in thermal communication with the at least two thermoelectric modules. A stack is formed comprising the transmission device arranged to provide thermal insulation along the direction of movement of the working medium;
    A thermoelectric system in which a first working fluid is cooled by flowing through a first set of heat transfer devices and a second working fluid is heated by flowing through a second set of heat transfer devices.
  23.   23. The one or more portions of the first working fluid after the second working fluid has flowed through one or more portions of the first set of heat transfer devices. Thermoelectric system.
  24.   24. The one or more portions of the first working fluid comprise portions of the first working fluid after flowing through portions of the first set of heat transfer devices. Thermoelectric system as described in.
  25.   23. The thermoelectric system of claim 22, wherein the second working fluid includes a portion of the first working fluid that does not flow through at least a portion of the first set of heat transfer devices.
  26.   23. The thermoelectric system of claim 22, wherein the second working fluid includes the first working fluid after flowing through the first set of heat transfer devices.
  27. The first working fluid comprises steam at a temperature above the condensation point of the steam;
    The first working fluid is cooled to a temperature below the condensation point by flowing through at least a portion of the first set of heat transfer devices such that at least a portion of the vapor condenses into a liquid; 27. The thermoelectric system of claim 26, wherein the second working fluid comprises the first working fluid that does not include the at least a portion of the vapor.
  28.   28. The thermoelectric system according to claim 27, wherein the first working fluid comprises water vapor and air, and the second working fluid comprises the first working fluid from which at least a portion of the water vapor has been removed.
JP2009521857A 2006-07-28 2007-07-27 Large capacity thermoelectric temperature control system Pending JP2009544929A (en)

Priority Applications (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US83400506P true 2006-07-28 2006-07-28
US83400706P true 2006-07-28 2006-07-28
US60/834,007 2006-07-28
US60/834,005 2006-07-28
PCT/US2007/016924 WO2008013946A2 (en) 2006-07-28 2007-07-27 High capacity thermoelectric temperature control systems

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
JP2009544929A true JP2009544929A (en) 2009-12-17

Family

ID=38982106

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
JP2009521857A Pending JP2009544929A (en) 2006-07-28 2007-07-27 Large capacity thermoelectric temperature control system

Country Status (4)

Country Link
EP (1) EP2050148A2 (en)
JP (1) JP2009544929A (en)
CN (1) CN101517764B (en)
WO (1) WO2008013946A2 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2011115036A (en) * 2009-11-30 2011-06-09 Fujitsu Ltd Power generation method using heat of heat generation source, and heat pipe apparatus
JP2012023258A (en) * 2010-07-16 2012-02-02 Matsumoto Kenzai:Kk Temperature difference power generator and temperature difference power generation method
JP2013516777A (en) * 2010-01-08 2013-05-13 エミテック ゲゼルシヤフト フユア エミツシオンス テクノロギー ミツト ベシユレンクテル ハフツング An apparatus for generating electrical energy from a thermally conductive material
JP2013524498A (en) * 2010-03-30 2013-06-17 ベール ゲーエムベーハー ウント コー カーゲー Temperature adjustment element and temperature adjustment device for vehicle
JP2016200316A (en) * 2015-04-08 2016-12-01 セイコーエプソン株式会社 Heat exchange device, cooling device and projector

Families Citing this family (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6959555B2 (en) 2001-02-09 2005-11-01 Bsst Llc High power density thermoelectric systems
US7942010B2 (en) 2001-02-09 2011-05-17 Bsst, Llc Thermoelectric power generating systems utilizing segmented thermoelectric elements
US6672076B2 (en) 2001-02-09 2004-01-06 Bsst Llc Efficiency thermoelectrics utilizing convective heat flow
WO2003014634A1 (en) 2001-08-07 2003-02-20 Bsst Llc Thermoelectric personal environment appliance
US7743614B2 (en) 2005-04-08 2010-06-29 Bsst Llc Thermoelectric-based heating and cooling system
US7870745B2 (en) 2006-03-16 2011-01-18 Bsst Llc Thermoelectric device efficiency enhancement using dynamic feedback
US9310112B2 (en) 2007-05-25 2016-04-12 Gentherm Incorporated System and method for distributed thermoelectric heating and cooling
EP2315987A2 (en) 2008-06-03 2011-05-04 Bsst Llc Thermoelectric heat pump
EP2397790A3 (en) * 2008-06-10 2014-03-05 Phillip C. Watts Integrated energy system for whole home or building
EP2349753B1 (en) 2008-10-23 2016-11-23 Gentherm Incorporated Multi-mode hvac system with thermoelectric device
CN102576232B (en) 2009-05-18 2015-05-06 Bsst有限责任公司 Temperature control system with thermoelectric device
DE102009048988A1 (en) 2009-10-09 2011-04-14 Volkswagen Ag Thermoelectric partial unit for thermoelectric unit of thermoelectric element, has partial element made of metallic material, thermoelectric pellet made of thermoelectric material and connecting layer
EP2625727A4 (en) * 2010-10-04 2014-06-11 Basf Se Thermoelectric modules for exhaust system
US9476617B2 (en) 2010-10-04 2016-10-25 Basf Se Thermoelectric modules for an exhaust system
DE102010056170A1 (en) 2010-12-24 2012-06-28 Volkswagen Ag Thermoelectric heat exchange
US9006557B2 (en) 2011-06-06 2015-04-14 Gentherm Incorporated Systems and methods for reducing current and increasing voltage in thermoelectric systems
WO2012170443A2 (en) 2011-06-06 2012-12-13 Amerigon Incorporated Cartridge-based thermoelectric systems
EP2573831B1 (en) 2011-09-21 2015-12-16 Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Segmented flat tube of a thermoelectric heat pump and thermoelectric heat transfer unit
EP2880270A2 (en) 2012-08-01 2015-06-10 Gentherm Incorporated High efficiency thermoelectric generation
US10270141B2 (en) 2013-01-30 2019-04-23 Gentherm Incorporated Thermoelectric-based thermal management system
DE102013222130A1 (en) * 2013-10-30 2015-04-30 MAHLE Behr GmbH & Co. KG Heat exchanger
TWI648941B (en) * 2017-12-04 2019-01-21 奇鋐科技股份有限公司 Cooled exhaust means

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH04103925A (en) * 1990-08-23 1992-04-06 Nippondenso Co Ltd Dehumidifier
JPH08316388A (en) * 1995-05-24 1996-11-29 Sumitomo Metal Ind Ltd Heat sink excellent in heat dissipation characteristics
JP2002232028A (en) * 2000-12-01 2002-08-16 Yamaha Corp Thermoelectric module
JP2003347606A (en) * 2002-04-11 2003-12-05 Internatl Business Mach Corp <Ibm> Nanoscopic thermoelectric refrigerator
JP2004239549A (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-26 Matsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd Clothes drier
WO2005020340A2 (en) * 2003-08-18 2005-03-03 Bsst Llc High power density thermoelectric systems
JP2005522893A (en) * 2002-04-15 2005-07-28 リサーチ トライアングル インスティチュートResearch Triangle Institute Thermoelectric device and a process for producing the same using both sides peltier junction
JP2005536976A (en) * 2002-08-23 2005-12-02 ビーエスエスティー エルエルシー Compact high efficiency thermoelectric system

Family Cites Families (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE280696C (en) * 1912-04-03
US2949014A (en) * 1958-06-02 1960-08-16 Whirlpool Co Thermoelectric air conditioning apparatus
FR1280711A (en) * 1960-11-23 1962-01-08 Csf Improvements to thermoelectric cooling devices
GB1040485A (en) * 1962-06-28 1966-08-24 Licentia Gmbh Improvements relating to refrigerating equipment
US3125860A (en) * 1962-07-12 1964-03-24 Thermoelectric cooling system
FR2419479B1 (en) * 1978-03-07 1980-08-22 Comp Generale Electricite
SU861869A1 (en) * 1978-03-23 1981-09-07 Предприятие П/Я В-2763 Thermoelectric air dryer
JPH01131830A (en) * 1987-11-14 1989-05-24 Matsushita Electric Works Ltd Dehumidifier
US6539725B2 (en) * 2001-02-09 2003-04-01 Bsst Llc Efficiency thermoelectrics utilizing thermal isolation

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH04103925A (en) * 1990-08-23 1992-04-06 Nippondenso Co Ltd Dehumidifier
JPH08316388A (en) * 1995-05-24 1996-11-29 Sumitomo Metal Ind Ltd Heat sink excellent in heat dissipation characteristics
JP2002232028A (en) * 2000-12-01 2002-08-16 Yamaha Corp Thermoelectric module
JP2003347606A (en) * 2002-04-11 2003-12-05 Internatl Business Mach Corp <Ibm> Nanoscopic thermoelectric refrigerator
JP2005522893A (en) * 2002-04-15 2005-07-28 リサーチ トライアングル インスティチュートResearch Triangle Institute Thermoelectric device and a process for producing the same using both sides peltier junction
JP2005536976A (en) * 2002-08-23 2005-12-02 ビーエスエスティー エルエルシー Compact high efficiency thermoelectric system
JP2004239549A (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-26 Matsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd Clothes drier
WO2005020340A2 (en) * 2003-08-18 2005-03-03 Bsst Llc High power density thermoelectric systems

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2011115036A (en) * 2009-11-30 2011-06-09 Fujitsu Ltd Power generation method using heat of heat generation source, and heat pipe apparatus
JP2013516777A (en) * 2010-01-08 2013-05-13 エミテック ゲゼルシヤフト フユア エミツシオンス テクノロギー ミツト ベシユレンクテル ハフツング An apparatus for generating electrical energy from a thermally conductive material
JP2013524498A (en) * 2010-03-30 2013-06-17 ベール ゲーエムベーハー ウント コー カーゲー Temperature adjustment element and temperature adjustment device for vehicle
JP2012023258A (en) * 2010-07-16 2012-02-02 Matsumoto Kenzai:Kk Temperature difference power generator and temperature difference power generation method
JP2016200316A (en) * 2015-04-08 2016-12-01 セイコーエプソン株式会社 Heat exchange device, cooling device and projector

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CN101517764B (en) 2011-03-30
WO2008013946A3 (en) 2008-09-12
EP2050148A2 (en) 2009-04-22
WO2008013946A2 (en) 2008-01-31
CN101517764A (en) 2009-08-26

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Bell Cooling, heating, generating power, and recovering waste heat with thermoelectric systems
KR100317829B1 (en) Thermoelectric-cooling temperature control apparatus for semiconductor manufacturing process facilities
US6096966A (en) Tubular thermoelectric module
US5385020A (en) Thermoelectric air cooling method with individual control of multiple thermoelectric devices
CN100427849C (en) Improved efficiency thermoelectrics utilizing thermal isolation
Kumar et al. Thermoelectric generators for automotive waste heat recovery systems part I: numerical modeling and baseline model analysis
US7420807B2 (en) Cooling device for electronic apparatus
US4947648A (en) Thermoelectric refrigeration apparatus
Crane et al. Optimization of cross flow heat exchangers for thermoelectric waste heat recovery
JP2007503197A (en) Thermoelectric power generation system
US7296417B2 (en) Thermoelectric configuration employing thermal transfer fluid flow(s) with recuperator
EP2238400B1 (en) Heat pipes incorporating microchannel heat exchangers
US20060137359A1 (en) Counterflow thermoelectric configuration employing thermal transfer fluid in closed cycle
US5584183A (en) Thermoelectric heat exchanger
US6346668B1 (en) Miniature, thin-film, solid state cryogenic cooler
US2992538A (en) Thermoelectric system
US5860472A (en) Fluid transmissive apparatus for heat transfer
US5156004A (en) Composite semiconductive thermoelectric refrigerating device
JP5511817B2 (en) Thermoelectric device with improved thermal separation
US20050126184A1 (en) Thermoelectric heat pump with direct cold sink support
JP4460219B2 (en) Thermoelectric generator and method for improving efficiency in a system of a thermoelectric generator
Cosnier et al. An experimental and numerical study of a thermoelectric air-cooling and air-heating system
EP0856137A4 (en) Thermoelectric device with evaporating/condensing heat exchanger
US4734139A (en) Thermoelectric generator
US6233944B1 (en) Thermoelectric module unit

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
A072 Dismissal of procedure

Effective date: 20090930

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A072

A621 Written request for application examination

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A621

Effective date: 20100722

A131 Notification of reasons for refusal

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A131

Effective date: 20120529

A601 Written request for extension of time

Effective date: 20120817

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A601

A602 Written permission of extension of time

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A602

Effective date: 20120824

A521 Written amendment

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A523

Effective date: 20121127

A02 Decision of refusal

Free format text: JAPANESE INTERMEDIATE CODE: A02

Effective date: 20131126