Quantification of thermoelectric energy scavenging oppurtunity in notebook computers

Denker, Reha
Thermoelectric (TE) module integration into a notebook computer is experimentally investigated in this thesis for its energy harvesting opportunities. A detailed Finite Element (FE) model was constructed first for thermal simulations. The model outputs were then correlated with the thermal validation results of the selected system. In parallel, a commercial TE micro-module was experimentally characterized to quantify maximum power generation opportunity from the combined system and component data set. Next, suitable “warm spots” were identified within the mobile computer to extract TE power with minimum or no notable impact to system performance, as measured by thermal changes in the system, in order to avoid unacceptable performance degradation. The prediction was validated by integrating a TE micro-module to the mobile system under test. Measured TE power generation power density in the carefully selected region of the heat pipe was around 1.26 mW/cm3 with high CPU load. The generated power scales down with lower CPU activity and scales up in proportion to the utilized opportunistic space within the system. The technical feasibility of TE energy harvesting in mobile computers was hence experimentally shown for the first time in this thesis.


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Thermoelectric (TE) module integration into a mobile computer has been experimentally investigated in this paper for its energy harvesting opportunities. For this purpose, a detailed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model was constructed for thermal simulations. The model outputs were then correlated with the thermal validation results of the target system. A suitable "warm spot" has been selected, based on the FEA model, to integrate a commercial TE micro-module inside the system with minimum or no notable im...
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Citation Formats
R. Denker, “Quantification of thermoelectric energy scavenging oppurtunity in notebook computers,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.