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Design and development of a heatsink for thermo-electric power harvesting in aerospace applications

Boccardi, Salvatore, Ciampa, Francesco and Meo, Michele (2018) Design and development of a heatsink for thermo-electric power harvesting in aerospace applications Smart Materials and Structures.

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Abstract

In recent years, the growing interest of aerospace companies in wireless structural health monitoring systems has led to the research of new energy efficient sources and power harvesting solutions. Among available environmental power sources, temperature gradients originated at different locations of the aircraft can be used by thermo-electric generators (TEGs) to create electrical voltage. TEGs are lightweight, provide high-energy conversion and do not contain movable parts. Thermal diffusion systems, commonly known as heatsinks, can be combined with TEGs to enhance their performance by increasing heat dissipation from a high temperature surface to the ambient air.
 This paper focused on the enhancement of TEG performance by developing an air-cooled heatsink for low-power wireless structural health monitoring applications. The design, manufacturing and testing of the proposed thermal diffusion system was investigated by evaluating the increase of the temperature gradient between the opposite surfaces of a commercial TEG element. The thermal performance of the heatsink was assessed with numerical finite element thermal simulations and validated with experimental tests. Experimental results revealed that the proposed thermal diffusion system provided higher temperature differences and, therefore, higher output power in comparison with traditional cylindrical pin-fin heatsinks. A hybrid heat diffusion system composed by copper heatsinks and highly oriented pyrolytic graphite layers was also here proposed in order to allow TEG reaching wireless SHM operative power requirements of tens of mW and, at the same time, adapt the assembly to the complexity of aerospace SHM arrangements. Experimental results revealed that the proposed heatsink-TEG arrangement was able to generate an output power over 25 mW.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Boccardi, Salvatore
Ciampa, Francescof.ciampa@surrey.ac.uk
Meo, Michele
Date : 11 June 2018
DOI : 10.1088/1361-665X/aacbac
Copyright Disclaimer : As the Version of Record of this article is going to be/has been published on a subscription basis, this Accepted Manuscript will be available for reuse under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence after a 12 month embargo period. Although reasonable endeavours have been taken to obtain all necessary permissions from third parties to include their copyrighted content within this article, their full citation and copyright line may not be present in this Accepted Manuscript version. Before using any content from this article, please refer to the Version of Record on IOPscience once published for full citation and copyright details, as permission may be required. All third party content is fully copyright protected, unless specifically stated otherwise in the figure caption of the Version of Record.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Power harvesting; Thermo-electric generator; Heatsink
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 27 Mar 2019 11:44
Last Modified : 12 Jun 2019 02:08
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/850888

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