HARVESTING WASTE THERMAL ENERGY FROM MILITARY SYSTEMS
Moreno, Rondolf J.
Pollman, Anthony G.
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Military systems greatly depend on the availability of energy. This energy comes mostly in the form of burning fuel in order to produce mechanical work or electricity. The ability to extract the most out of these systems aligns with the current focus of energy efficiency, not only in the military but also in society at-large. This research used a commercial thermoelectric generator (TEG) to produce an output baseline for the technology. Using an apparatus to produce heat and analyze the output, calculations performed produced correlation coefficients. These coefficients modeled a virtual TEG in COMSOL and yielded 0.72W of power. A simple design using simple calculations yielded 72W of power with 100 modules joined in 10 sets coupled in parallel, with each set containing 10 modules in coupled in series. More robust modeling and simulation design further created models that refine the design process when creating a TEG array. By building these robust design models, a systems engineer would better understand the trade space when applying this technology to a system. Additionally, the models presented in this paper can form the basis by which to explore the application of TEGs on systems. As TEGs passively convert thermal energy into electricity, a possible intrinsic benefit appears. The thermal energy converted would reduce the thermal signature of the system.
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