Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation on the Optimum Coolant Flow Rate for Automotive Thermoelectric Generators
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In a water-cooled thermoelectric generator (TEG) system, there is an energy-consuming circulating water pump. In order to reduce pump energy consumption caused by backpressure and increase the output power of the entire system, combining numerical simulation and experimentation is adopted to explore the suitable coolant flow rate. Due to the limitations of the experimental conditions, numerical simulation is used to compute the temperature distribution and flow field inside the TEG. Base on the numerical results and the empirical formula, the circulating pump energy consumption is calculated. The maximum power output of the thermoelectric module (TEM) at the corresponding temperature difference is obtained by experiment. Finally, the maximum net output power of the module is revealed and the relationship between the coolant flow rate and average temperature of the hot end of the TEMs is proposed, which can serve as a theoretical basis for cooling water flow rate management of the TEG system.
KeywordsThermoelectric generator arithmetic mean experiment bench optimum coolant flow rate
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