Thermoelectric radiant cooling panel design: Numerical simulation and experimental validation

Hansol Lim, Yong Kwon Kang, Jae Weon Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main objective of this research is to investigate desirable arrangement and spacing of thermoelectric modules (TEMs) to obtain uniform temperature distribution on the surface of a thermoelectric radiant cooling panel (TERCP). A TERCP numerical simulation model was developed based on a two-dimensional heat transfer analysis using the developed TEM model and the finite difference method. The graphical user interface (GUI) was also suggested to provide an easy-to-use design tool for TERCP. Using a developed simulation model, it was found that the triangular configuration of the TEMs on the top surface of the panel with 0.28 m spacing between the TEMs was the most suitable design choice that yields uniform temperature distribution on the bottom surface of the TERCP. To validate the simulation model and proposed panel design, an actual TERCP was constructed and tested under a controlled laboratory environment, and the temperature distribution on the panel surface was measured. The tested TERCP was made of aluminum panel with seven TEMs installed on the top side of the panel with copper substrate, and a heat sink was attached on the hot side of each TEM to release heat to air blowing through the heat sink. The design surface temperature of the proposed panel was 16 °C and the maximum temperature difference between the cold spot and hot spot on the panel surface did not exceed 3 °C as recommended by existing guideline. From the experimental validations, the panel temperature distributions predicted using the TERCP model were in good agreement with the measured panel temperature distributions with a mean error rate below 1.39%. In addition, the parametric study was conducted using validated numerical model to evaluate the effects of design factors and operation conditions on the cooling performance of the TERCP. The results showed that the spacing between TEMs, and outdoor air temperature for heat removal are the main factors to control the cooling performance of the TERCP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-261
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 5

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Keywords

  • Designs process
  • Radiant air-conditioning
  • Radiant panel
  • Temperature distribution
  • Thermoelectric module

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