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Simulation of a Thermoelectric Adsorption Heat Pump for Harsh Environment Electronics Cooling
Keywords: Harsh Environment Electronics, Adsorption Heat Pump, Thermo-Electric
Application of electronic modules at high temperature zones is increasingly becoming a necessity in various industries such as oil exploration, military equipment, automobiles and aerospace. While high temperature semi-conductor materials and related packaging technologies that could withstand temperatures in excess of 200 0C are still in the research and development phase, most industries use custom made electronic modules or use modules that have reduced reliably at high temperatures. Both these methods result in huge costs. With thermal requirements for harsh environment application predicted to grow in the near future, proper thermal management technologies will be required to increase the working envelope of commercially available electronics (that can reliably operate up to 150 0C) towards a harsher region (greater than 200 0C). The work presented describes the theoretical performance of a thermoelectric assisted regenerative adsorption heat pump that could be used towards providing a reliable thermal management tool for harsh environment electronics. The heat pump is a two-bed zeolite-water adsorption system with thermo-electric driven heat regeneration in between beds. A mathematical model was made to simulate the system. The system performance has been studied for an ambient temperature varying from of 200 to 250 0C and an evaporator temperature (targeted temperature of electronics module) lying between 150 - 175 0C. Electronic cooling loads varying from 6 to 10 watts (which is a typical heat dissipation rate of harsh environment electronics) have been considered. Results obtained show a COP of 0.2. Adsorption systems have very few moving parts, hence require less maintenance, which makes them suitable for harsh environment applications.
Ashish Sinha, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Teaching Assistant
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA


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