Design of a Portable Thermoelectric Convective Cooling System for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and Other Applications
To be published on April 2, 2019 by SAE International in United States
Automotive technology is increasingly reliant on electrically driven accessories, systems, and payloads thanks to the rising popularity of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Solid state and similar purely electrical solutions such as thermoelectric devices are eminently preferable sources for thermal management in neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and similar short-range automobiles which often do not come stock with a climate control system. Directed convection strategies such as zone cooling using DC electric current are a natural fit for the infinitely scalable thermal control architecture possible with thermoelectrics. One such prototype device, actuated by thermoelectric devices, has been developed to meet a variety of thermal management needs with a versatile, portable system suitable for NEVs, micro cars without air conditioning, or even more specialized cooling needs. This portable hand held device has been designed, fabricated, and experimentally tested to demonstrate the effectiveness of the concept. The laboratory results demonstrated that the test unit can effectively provide solid state forced convective cooling. The experimental results facilitated the design of an enhanced modular cooling device with output approaching 200 W (682 BTU/hr) which is adequate for human body and electronic circuit cooling.