Experimental investigations on the role of various heat sinks in developing an efficient combustion based micro power generator
Publication date: 5 February 2019
Source: Applied Thermal Engineering, Volume 148
Author(s): B. Aravind, Deepak Kumar Saini, Sudarshan Kumar
In this paper, experimental investigations on a combustion based portable thermoelectric power generators have been carried out to evaluate the performance of various air and water cooled heat sinks on the cold side of the thermoelectric modules of the system. A novel backward step multi-combustor is used as a heating source. This combustor is fabricated using aluminium with a volume of ∼10 cm3. The thermal and flame stability characteristics of the microcombustor were analysed for a range of operating conditions. With the help of these results, the microcombustor was coupled with Bi2Te3 thermoelectric modules along with air and water-cooled heat sinks on the cold side of the modules. The system generated 2.4 W electric power with 2.5% overall conversion efficiency with air cooling and 4.5 W electric power with 4.6% conversion efficiency with water cooled heat sinks respectively. These results represent a significant improvement in portable-scale electrical power generation from hydrocarbon fuel powered combustors. The power characteristics of the proposed system ensure its application for various defence and rural applications as a portable power source.